While each financial firm will operate a little differently, most major institutions are looking for the same basic qualities in their advisors and money managers. Knowing what characteristics are valued and how to display those traits during the recruiting and interview process is essential when looking for a high-profile position. Here are some of the key areas firms will be interested in:
Production: Performance is paramount in financial services and quantifiable data is essential to prove your record. Provide evidence of your gross and client assets, return on assets, and other basic metrics.
Work History: As hiring financial professionals can be a lengthy and expensive process, managers seek out long-term hires and look carefully into where candidates have worked previously and for how long; reputable firms obviously look better on a résumé. If there are several short stints on a resume, be sure to express your desire to find a stable, long-term position.
Business Focus: Every financial professional operates differently and a hiring firm will want to know a candidate’s specific process, from how they interact with clients to how they plan to expand moving forward.
Mobility of Business: Clients and resources often follow financial professionals from firm to firm. Potential employers will want to know the details of the product mix and how portable the business model will be.
CRD and Background Check: Virtually all employers now require a background check, but financial professionals will need to present their Central Registration Depository (CRD), issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), as well. Any and all issues will be vetted thoroughly, so be prepared to defend or explain any potential problems.
Culture and Fit: Corporate culture varies between firms and certain personalities simply will not thrive in particular environments. Take time to research the firm thoroughly and meet with employees from various departments to ensure the job is a good fit.
About the Author: Distinguished as one of the Top 10 Managers of 2010 by On Wall Street magazine, Frank LaRosa possesses 15 years of financial experience with some of the most prominent firms in the country. In 2011, LaRosa launched his own New Jersey-based firm, ELITE Recruiting & Consulting, which places financial managers in positions with best-of-breed firms. More information on Frank LaRosa and ELITE Recruiting & Consulting can be found at www.ercrecruiting.com.