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Remove all conflicts of Interest? You’re Dreamin’​!

Remove all conflicts of Interest? You’re Dreamin’​!

It is unfortunately too easy to find trade press reflecting the wrong-doing of an individual or organisation in the financial markets. Should the nature of any indiscretion or activity be measured by degrees, or is it outright fraudulent? Is being ignorant of “Best Interest Duty or Reasonable Basis” any better than knowingly disrespecting this lawful responsibility when a financial adviser? A recent article was titled “The idea that commissions are not conflicted is akin to the argument that guns don’t kill people“. Having read the article it made sense to me and is clearly consistent with the direction of the industry. Interestingly, in reading to the end, the author represents an association that supports independent advice (and names his individual business also). This is the world of educational/content marketing as a means to an end – in this case to grow their membership and promote his business as a responsible independent service. Arguably, is it not a subtle conflict of interest to write this article as it promotes the association and his business? Conflict of interest is difficult to avoid. Not just for the financial planning industry & the nature of human behaviour is that people lie. In fact, a fantastic documentary titled “(Dis)Honesty – the Truth about Lies” (Available on Netflix) is a great depiction of human behaviour. It features individuals sharing their stories on the outcomes of their lies (at the time they lied, it was seen in some circumstances as in the best interest of themselves, their family and not hurting anyone else). People lie to protect themselves, not look foolish, avoid conflict, to preserve something they...
Scarcity of Experienced Financial Planning Talent – It’s Coming

Scarcity of Experienced Financial Planning Talent – It’s Coming

If you think it’s already here, there’s a way to go! The proposed educational changes (new and existing authorised reps – AR’s) have been introduced to Parliament. Turnbull has also weighed into the discuss. Over the last 12+ months, change has already begun with many licensees moving to minimum education standards that mirror proposals for the authorising of all new financial planners. These proposed (and expected) changes will impact FP businesses in two ways: A number of ageing financial planners who don’t meet the new minimum will choose to retire from delivering advice at some point before 2024 (or the date that is ultimately agreed). Many new entrants to the industry will come from young graduates similar to professional services today. As we know from accounting and law, pathways to delivering advice do not happen overnight. It takes many years of experiential learning, continuous education and engagement before advice is independently delivered. These two factors will create a “Scarcity Window For Talent” if the industry does not prepare as we progress towards being recognised as a profession. And with scarcity comes opportunity Opportunity for those experienced, well educated business owners and advisers with demonstrated ethics and quality technical and engagement skill. Opportunity for new entrants with a focus and belief that professional advice can be delivered by the industry. That they are the future. Di Johnson, Professor Mark Brimble from Griffith University and Zanetti Recruitment & Consulting have collaborated and recently published a paper in the Financial Planning Research Journal titled “Industry demand for financial planning graduates” – Click on this link for the full report.   The research...
Company Reviews: Perception vs Reality:  Online Reputation and Recruitment

Company Reviews: Perception vs Reality: Online Reputation and Recruitment

I recently came across the image above shared by James Tiew, Executive Chef at Hilton Worldwide. Firstly, it is a fantastic advertising image that put a smile on my face by using a subjectively negative experience of an individual to potentially create new business. After pondering on the statement, it also hit a nerve about a recent trend we see in employment around online company reviews and the effect that technology can have on attracting top-tier talent.   The Experience Recently, we engaged with a fantastic individual who we supported though the recruitment process with a large, well-known financial planning firm.  After a month with all parties managing the due process, the candidate was made a verbal offer. The bell was rung at the office – the process undertaken was sound, the offer compelling and the client and new employee were very happy with the outcome. Having then issued the formal offer, a couple of days passed without any contact from the candidate to either ourselves or our client, so an outbound call was made. To our surprise, the candidate had decided to decline the offer.  After respectfully digging further, they advised that they’d found a number of poor online company reviews on one website and believed it wasn’t the right move for their career to go to “such a company”. After investigation of the online reviews, most were 5 star, with three representing 1 star reviews (all the same theme). After internal debate, we decided this matter should be discussed with our client.  The main purpose was to let them know exactly why they had missed out on a...
Privacy Rights – The Job Seeker Unknown

Privacy Rights – The Job Seeker Unknown

In the search for a new role, your privacy and how you’re represented to a potential employer are paramount. But rarely does anyone read an agency’s privacy policy prior to engagement. And why should they? There is enough regulation and precedent in the Australian market……right? Wrong!  Although agencies operate under the same legislative framework as employers (Fair Work Act) and potentially a code of conduct if a member of the RCSA (association for the recruitment industry), there is no national regulation (it is being discussed) and the state regime is toothless. Some agencies have no privacy policy available for review. Many people when engaging personnel consultant’s to help them find a new gig are (in many cases) applying for a role online, not knowing the person or agency that will ultimately represent them. What does a job seeker want from an agency and their staff? Connection – A recruiter to be connected, have agreements and relationships with employers Transparency – To be communicated with, to be told what the role is and who the role is with Competence – Know the process and be good at what they do. To be honourable – Ethical and acting in the best interest of all parties Knowledgeable – Of the industry, employer and role they are recruiting for Action – Get me a job.  The right one! There are others however you should be asking yourself this question also: In addition to what I want, what do I expect? Not handled well, the disclosure of your information at the wrong time or without your consent could jeopardise your current employment position or be a misrepresentation of...
Proposed Educational Standards – Three simple questions Financial Planners should ask

Proposed Educational Standards – Three simple questions Financial Planners should ask

We’ve seen all the trade press citing 60% of advisers not having the educational minimums under the proposed federal government framework. I agree many will embrace change. Some begrudgingly. Whether the legislation and creation of the independent body is enacted or not prior to the next federal election, the industry has moved. What will be the response from Authorised Representatives (ARs) who don’t satisfy any new minimum requirements? The answer is simple. Authorised Representatives should ask themselves the following questions: Do I have a continued passion for a career in financial planning and therefore prepared to complete formalised study beyond current requirements to hold AR status by 2019 (or the date eventually agreed)? If I’m over 50 something – Do I have sufficient capital to either retire or pursue other business interests? If a business owner – Can I (and do I have the desire to) continue as an owner, manager and leader of a business without being an Authorised Representative?  If so, what are the implications for existing client relationships and can I deliver sufficient value and opportunity to employees? Whether clarity on the decision is still distant or not, the legislation has bipartisan support and the industry is yearning to improve its image and perceived value.  Many AR’s will need to make a decision sooner than later. Couple this with the proposed new entrants pathway, and there may be a gap in the supply of quality, productive advisers for a period of time. And with disruption comes two choices: The  sky is falling What opportunities arise as a result of change? We see opportunity What’s certain is if you...
The Business of Human Resources (TBOHR)

The Business of Human Resources (TBOHR)

The Brave new world of Human Resource Management The new climate of Industrial Relations, along with changes in Economic and labour reforms, have created a significant shift in traditional Human Resources practice and management.  The tools and practices that serve you today may well be on their way to becoming obsolete in the new world. Identifying business risk and the management of those risks inherent in all industries has never been more important to a business, regardless of its size. Superior HR management does not have to be onerous or expensive.     Our 5 step framework demonstrates how we can help you to identify key risks, the result areas that require management and support at all levels of your business and the outcomes that you can expect to achieve that are critical to your success. We help you create superior human resource management practices that do not become outdated into the future, securing your future strategic success in – The Brave new world! The Business of HR (TBOHR) can be your fully customisable and scalable HR management solution. Don’t put it off any longer, let us show you how we can help your business today by calling for your free HR health check on 07 3229...
What do clients value most about financial planning?

What do clients value most about financial planning?

Griffith University is updating research on the benefits of financial planning for clients, to highlight the reasons that clients stay with the planner over the short/long term and the value that they get from establishing and maintaining a relationship with their financial planner. If you are a client of a financial planner, or run a financial planning business and would like to forward the survey on to your clients, the link to this 5 minutes survey can be found below. The survey is completely anonymous and voluntary.  The research will highlight the benefits of financial planning from the clients’ perspectives, and map the mix of reasons that clients maintain a relationship with their planner. The survey will close on 30 November 2015 Please click here to take part. Thank you for your potential input and assistance, a large response will give us greater detail and evidence of the value of financial planning for clients. If you would like a preview of the questions, please email m.brimble@griffith.edu.au for a PDF. copy. A report will be publicly available early in...
Small Firms – Why it’s hard to attract and retain the right talent!

Small Firms – Why it’s hard to attract and retain the right talent!

Attending the recent Conexus Financial Business Practice Forum in Sydney recently gave me further insight into the the operation of many businesses. I was given the opportunity to share some of the findings from our study conducted with Griffith University. So what did we share that was the challenge with scale (or lack thereof?) Attraction of Quality Staff We will see a greater emphasis on career transition and graduate recruitment in the years ahead.  The eventual release of the findings from the  December 2014 PJC inquiry report and subsequent proposals will potentially drive this with increased minimum education standards being at the core of future entry levels to the industry/profession. An undergraduate degree alone will not determine the success of a staff member within financial planning.  Attitude, desire, continuous learning and engagement skills will. Small businesses find it is difficult to grow their own staff (Graduate or career transition) without it having an impact on the performance of their service to clients, and potentially on the balance of the team. Graduate recruitment is an extremely difficult task, especially for firms of less than five staff. Forward planning of recruitment is particularly important for small to medium businesses, where a lack of scale often also creates time and experience constraints around finding the right candidate. By example, a small business with only one Client Service Officer loses that individual through resignation.  In this circumstance, the business has four weeks notice and 100% of that resource to fill! As a result, even businesses with a desire to develop graduates in order to create a sustainable model will instead focus on hiring only experienced staff in order to meet immediate workload demands. You need...
Why Recruitment for Small Business Sucks – Part 2

Why Recruitment for Small Business Sucks – Part 2

Some weeks ago I posted the recruitment experience of a small business owner. There were some common themes that came from his experience. Losing a staff member without a resourcing plan created an urgency to replace the resource before it has an impact on client service, productivity and team morale. Speed to market to replace a resource compromised process and better judgement in hiring decisions. Not the only theme but clearly one that stood out. Whichever way you choose to recruit, getting it wrong can have long term financial impact on the business and cultural consequences within the team. If you didn’t see the first post, it’s a quick, 3 minute read worthy of review before moving on. We now look at what to consider when creating an in-house recruitment resource or outsourcing to a competent third party. We’ll also introduce a recruitment philosophy that doesn’t compromise productivity. That is to build and manage an “Ongoing Talent Pool”. Like most things in life, achieving the best outcomes only occur with personal and professional development, effort and growth. Hiring with speed can be achieved but it doesn’t mean falling in love with a candidate’s compelling personality in the first interview & making an offer. If you do believe the individual satisfies your requirements, you shouldn’t dabble in due diligence & management of the process. Before we look at what you should do to improve your recruitment effort in the longer term, you still need to fill gaps in your team today. A few “quick” tips when managing your current recruitment process Don’t let industry experience alone influence your decision — Employers can...
Why Recruitment for Small Business Sucks – The reason why it can be challenging!

Why Recruitment for Small Business Sucks – The reason why it can be challenging!

Small business has many challenges. The greatest one we experience is the attraction & retention of the right people. As a business owner (and also engaged to support businesses to source culturally aligned competent staff) I know it can be a roller coaster ride. Some think it’s best defined as an art wrapped in some science. No doubt emotional intellect, due process, assessment tools, the right questioning and assessment all play a part. What’s common from our experience? Most think recruitment sucks. It’s too time consuming to properly do in-house and too expensive to outsource. But these are the two choices small business owners have (excluding iterations of both). But these are the two choices small business owners have (excluding iterations of both). The principals/directors learn how to effectively recruit talent for their business (or educate & charge a team member with that responsibility). Outsource to a competent third party. I suppose there is a third choice. That is to recruit the way you always have. A sales manager I worked with over 25 years ago always said; “The more you do of what you’re doing, the more you’ll get of what you’ve got!” If it’s not working for you today, then this really is not an option! Whichever way you choose to recruit staff, getting it wrong can have long term financial and cultural consequences. To quote Jim Collins: “getting the right people on the bus” is the first step. “Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the...