How PR-savvy RIAs are fighting the Great Resignation

Trader Talk

Changing cultural and political attitudes toward employment and the COVID-19 pandemic have turned the talent market on its head — and RIAs are no exception.

In fact, the DeVoe 2021 RIA Talent Management Report found that employee turnover is rising rapidly within financial advisory practices. With voluntary departures at their highest level in a decade, the Great Resignation will have a lasting impact on how firms recruit and retain talent over the next five years and beyond.

So what can RIAs do to combat this mass exodus and keep their firms’ growth trajectories moving in the right direction? The answer is: they should approach acquiring talent with the same ardent tenacity they use to pursue new clients. To compete for top talent in this new environment requires a renewed investment in a firm’s reputation and public profile.

Weave media coverage into your RIA’s DNA
To attract and retain the best talent in the field, you must publicly differentiate your firm’s culture from those competing for similar talent. From a public relations standpoint, that means making earned media coverage a steady part of your company’s culture and employee engagement strategy.

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Regular broadcast, print and online press coverage gives the whole team a status boost and helps them take more pride in the brand they represent. And when team members are included in those efforts and are given the opportunity to be quoted as experts in major advisor- and client-facing publications, it takes employee engagement to a powerful new level.

It’s also important to build a culture where team members support each other’s media achievements. When an advisor appears on CNBC for the first time, encourage his colleagues to gather around and watch in support. When a junior team member publishes their first blog post, celebrate it — encourage everyone on the team to like and share it on LinkedIn.

And the winners are… 
Like garnering press coverage, the benefits of an awards strategy can reach far beyond sales and marketing. Appearing on the “best of” lists of prestigious financial publications are accomplishments the entire team will be proud of.

But an awards strategy should go beyond such lists. RIAs committed to recruiting the best talent should compete for local and industry “best places to work” lists. Adding such badges to your website and referencing them in job postings will give you a massive advantage over rivals competing with you for talent.

Additionally, your individual awards strategy shouldn’t focus solely on leadership employees. Seek out lists that recognize “30 under 30s,” rising stars and other individual honors for junior advisors and support staff. An employee knowing you nominated them is an amazing gesture in itself, but winning one and seeing their award plaque hanging in the office will serve as a daily reminder of mutual pride and appreciation between that individual and the firm.

Spotlight new hires and promotions
Firm-generated recognition is important as well. When welcoming a new member to your team, issue an announcement or press release and share it on your website and across social media. Take a similar approach to highlighting promotions and other advancement milestones for existing team members, such as issuing an announcement when an advisor earns their CFP designation.

When publishing these announcements, make sure the entire team is encouraged to congratulate the advisor on LinkedIn. You and other firm leaders should engage with the post as well. It strengthens engagement and camaraderie across the entire team while making the moment extra meaningful for the featured employee.

Take it a step further by taking advantage of the local business journals nationwide that offer paid print and online “people on the move” listings. This will spread the news across your business community that your firm is actively hiring and advancing team members.

With the Great Resignation underway, it’s time to reinvest in your company image and culture to position your firm on the winning side of this talent war. The public relations strategies outlined above are a pathway for future-proofing your agency and building a long-term stable of top-tier talent.

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