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Finding experienced, qualified financial advisers has always been a challenge. However, over the last 12 months, finding those same candidates is even more difficult. In today’s economic environment, competition is higher than ever for the best candidates and they are more nervous to make a change. However, we continue to find success by following a couple simple rules.

First, we need to understand the current environment. During the past week, I’ve spoken with regional sales managers at seven different firms. Each one of them told me that recruiting was their No. 1 priority. There is tremendous pressure in the marketplace to interview large numbers of candidates and to try and attract the best and most qualified. This high-demand environment is making the situation more challenging now than ever before for several key reasons. First, candidates who are looking are contacted very quickly and have many suitors. They are regularly wined and dined by interested brokerage firms. They are being offered additional perks, such as support staff to help in transitioning a book of business. They are often presented with a large book of clients to inherit. They may be offered payouts in excess of 50% for the first year or more. And we have seen six-figure sign-on bonuses being offered to lure them to the new opportunity.

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