There’s been a lot of ink spilled of late about recruiting in our industry. Whether it’s hiring wealth managers, financial advisors or registered representatives, according to just about everyone, it’s getting harder to find talented people. There are a lot of reasons for this: older advisors are looking to retire; the crash of 2008 and the difficult markets of the past few years have kept new potential advisors out of the business; brokerage firms and banks, feeling the sting of the crash, have slashed budgets for hiring and training new advisors; and many firms have made it more difficult contractually for FAs to leave.

So, what are firms doing? Well, many have raised the stakes for the talent that is there, increasing upfront money to 150%+ of trailing-12 (albeit with milestones that new hires must achieve to get all the money). Some are offering as much as $50,000 hiring bounties for internal referrals that lead to a hire. But in the bank channel, many investment program managers are still relying primarily on the “prayer method.” That is, many banks (with the exception of the biggest players, who look and act like wirehouses anyway), are hoping someone good will call or walk in and see the value of their program as opposed to the “inferior” program at the competitor across the street.

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