May 19, 2022 - Webinar replay

10 simple ways marketing can fast track your recruitment and save agency fees

Phil Bray 0:00
Good morning, everybody, and welcome to today’s webinar. Hopefully everyone can hear me, maybe a couple of people can just put a note in the chat to say that you can hear me? That will be fantastic. So, we’re gonna start today slightly differently, before I hand over to Dan. I want to ask everybody on the webinar, if you can just put a little note in the chat, and answer this question. The question I want answering is: What’s your biggest recruitment challenge right now? What’s your biggest recruitment challenge right now? So if you can just put a sentence or two in the chat, I would really appreciate it. Because we want to find out what your biggest challenges are. And obviously, it shows you’re listening as well. So put that note in the chat, “What’s your biggest recruitment challenge?” And we’ll come back to that in a second. In the meantime, in time honoured tradition, Dan, let’s do some housekeeping if that’s okay.

Dan Campbell 0:57
Sure thing. So, hi, I’m Dan. I’m 50% glamorous assistant, 50% technical issue fixer, which is quite scary. So, if our sound or video cuts out, let us know. And I’ll twist a few dials my end or, I don’t know, turn something off and on again. So I see a lot of familiar faces in the attendees list. So you all know how this all works. But, for the new faces in the crowd, we like lots of engagement and input. So we can’t see or hear yet. So the chat function, and the Q&A box – just at the bottom of the screen – is absolutely your friend. So, to ask questions or give comments, you can use either the Q&A box, or the chat function. I’ll be monitoring both, and reading them out at regular intervals as we go along. I mean, recruitments, a tricky one for any business, right? So, don’t hold back. We’re all facing the same problems and challenges. So, even if it’s not a question, but just sharing your story with a message we can all learn from, let’s hear it. If you’re thinking it, somebody else is, too. So don’t worry, there’s absolutely no such thing as a silly question or suggestion. The same goes too, if your experience differs from something that Phil is talking about, challenge us on our thinking. We don’t have all the answers, but we can absolutely find out for you, and all learn together. Lastly, we’re recording this webinar. So, a copy will be sent out later today. Or in the follow up email, we have the recording, we have any notes of resources and assets and things, that Phil mentions. Yardsticks own Abi Robinson is in the audience, too. She’s furiously jotting down everything that Phil mentions. So, if you miss anything, don’t worry, Abi has absolutely got you covered. And, I’m going to put a link to a short survey in the chat. So if I just do that now, if everybody could fill that in, we’d be most grateful. Because it means that we can then tailor these webinars, to include subjects that, A) you’re interested in, B) are relevant, and C) are going to help you, so we can make these webinar series as useful as possible for you. So fill it in, give your input. We love running them. So, tell us what you want. And we’ll absolutely make it happen. Well, within reason, I guess. It has to be something somewhat linked to financial services and marketing, but you get the idea. So on that note, let’s get into it. Phil, how can you market Fast Track Recruitment?

Phil Bray 3:24
Right, let’s answer that question in a second. Let’s look at some of the people’s challenges. So thank you for everyone putting these in. What have we got on here? Let’s start sharing a few things. So, Simon, recruiting financial advisers, that’s your biggest challenge. Mark, recruiting a new financial planner. Kevin, knowing where to begin. Well, hopefully a few hints and tips on that today. Finding the right skill set, Sholpan. Lloyd, what have we got here? Location, and finding the right candidates. Finding the right people for good candidates, for Nicola, that fit the company culture. That’s really important, isn’t it? What else? Attracting candidates for admin and financial planner roles? So I think that’s the first mention that we’ve had. But from what I hear when I talk to business owners, is that finding good administrators and good paraplanners is equally as challenging as finding good advisers. Gemma, lack of candidates who meet the profile. Kelly, finding candidates. David, finding the right people, and also salary expectations. Finding good quality advisers from Gary. Lack of applications. So there’s definitely a theme here, isn’t there? Just the number of applications, and finding good quality people. But then we’ve got from Hannah, and also from Sarah, candidates signing contracts and then falling through. Candidates agreeing to join, then stay in their current role, after they’re promised the world by their current employer and a big pay rise. Now, we’ve not actually got anything in this webinar to deal with those two issues. So give that some thought. Give those two things some thought – if you will everybody on this webinar – and then perhaps together, we can collectively help Hannah and Sarah out, later on. And as a reminder, their specific issues of candidates agreeing to the role, then falling through. Back to these marked distinct lack of quality candidates. Dave, attracting Chartered financial planners, who can work with professional connections. Olivia, finding good quality candidates for admin roles that have sufficient experience. Realistic expectations. Kelly, how to operate knowing every day multiple recruiters are trying to recruit your team on LinkedIn. So we’ve got some thoughts on that. And we’ll come back to that one later. Dan, perhaps if I don’t do that one during the presentation, you can remind me and we’ll cover that one off at the end.

Dan Campbell 5:50
Yeah, sure thing.

Phil Bray 5:52
There’s clearly a couple of things there. We’ve got the question about how you make sure that candidates who agreed to join you, get over the line. And so if we give that some thought while we’re presenting. And obviously, for most people, it’s about finding the right number of good quality candidates for adviser, planner, admin and paraplanning roles. Those seem to be the main issues. So hopefully, we can give you some practical hints, tips and ideas today. So, what are we going to talk about? What are we going to talk about? So, we’re going to … through this is: 10 key marketing tactics that will help you recruit the right people. This isn’t thought leadership stuff today, this is really practical things that you can do, and go away and implement in your business this afternoon, if you’ve got nothing else to do. Things that can make a difference immediately. We’re going to talk about three ways to use LinkedIn, to solve your recruitment challenges. And we’re gonna talk about Glassdoor. We had an interesting experience with Glassdoor, which we’ll recount to you. And, we’re gonna talk about what it is, and how you can use it to your advantage. Then we’re gonna talk about the changes you might need to make to your website – if you’re recruiting – and how to write a great job description. So Kevin, you started, you asked about knowing the place to start? Well, for me, the first place to start is to write a great job description. So we’re going to talk about that. And then we’re going to talk about how to impress potential candidates. So it’s you that they apply to, and then don’t look elsewhere. But as Dan said, this is based on our lived experience. So five years ago, was myself, Dan and Michael, sat in a little broom cupboard, in Nottingham, and there are now 40 of us. And we’ve taken some missteps when it comes to recruitment. But we’re working out now what works for us, both in terms of getting the right people culturally, and also getting the right stream of candidates. We don’t get it right all the time, by any stretch. But this is our lived experience. And it’s also based on what we see working for us, but working for other advisers and planners as well. So do question, do comment and do challenge – we always say that – but do add to the debate as well. If you’ve tried something that’s different, and you feel that it would actually be useful to tell the whole group then please do share it. I do really want today to be a debate, so that we all leave – including Dan, myself and Abi – with new information and new things that we can go away and implement in our businesses. So let’s start by identifying the problem. So there is clearly… and what everyone has said on the chat. There is clearly a supply and demand issue. There is significantly more demand at the moment, for advisers, planners, paraplanners and admin staff, than there is supply. Clearly more demand than supply. We also – I think – have faced… we get more discerning candidates. And we certainly see that. But we see candidates being more discerning about who they who they work for, maybe wanting different benefit packages, different things than they did two or three years ago. And of course, we’ve got that changing work environment. I’ve been doing this webinar two and a half, three years ago, think we had an office full of 25 people behind us. There’s still 10 people in today. But we’re all working very differently, aren’t we? And I don’t know what people’s experience on this webinar is. But what are you getting… Maybe put something in the chat and we can come back to that. But what are you getting your candidates or what are candidates saying to you about where they want to work? Do they want to work in the office? Do they want to work permanent from home? Do they want a hybrid? And how easy is it for you to give them what they’re looking for? So maybe put a few comments in the chat around that because I’d love to know what people are saying there. But we do have that changing work environment. And that’s led to – what people have coined – the great resignation, which is a large proportion of people wanting to change jobs. And then we’ve got that sheer volume of noise. And for various reasons, I log into advisers and planners LinkedIn accounts from time to time, mostly to post on their behalf. And their messages, they’re absolutely full of spam, but also messages from recruitment consultants, asking them if they’re looking to move. And you’ve got just a huge volume of noise from both employers and employees at the moment. And I do think that a lot of firms – and we were guilty of this for two or three years – a lot of firms work reactively. So they’re not proactively doing things to position themselves well, from a recruitment perspective. And they’re not permanently doing that, they only start looking when they need. And what we’re going to talk about today is a bunch of things you can be doing all the time, and just be permanently on with, so that you’re not… you don’t suddenly start marketing, when you actually need somebody, you’re more proactive and less reactive. So for me, the solution is to develop a recruitment strategy. And as the slide says, we talk to clients a lot about their client acquisition strategy, writing marketing plans to help them acquire new clients. But there’s… you absolutely should also have a marketing plan – a marketing strategy – that helps you recruit. You probably need fewer recruits, than you will new clients, but you absolutely should have two strategies. One for client acquisition, one for recruitment. And then you need to give the strategy enough time and resources to implement it efficiently. And, as I said before, you absolutely also need to be working on your recruitment, even when you don’t have any vacancies. Because that groundwork that you put in when you don’t have vacancies, will absolutely pay dividends when you do. Look at it like that old analogy. When you’re really busy… When you’re really busy with client work and new clients coming on board, that’s the last time, the very last time you should stop marketing your business. Because when that busyness, when that subsides, and you do have more capacity for taking on new clients, you can’t suddenly start marketing and turn on the tap. Well, the same is true with recruitment. So develop two strategies: one for client acquisition, one for recruitment. And in the same way that your client acquisition strategy should start by building the foundations, and then looking at tactics to generate prospects, you should do exactly the same when it comes to recruitment. Build solid foundations for your recruitment strategy, and then use tactics to generate prospects. Of course, in this case, it’s not prospects of clients, it’s prospects to come and work with you. Dan, I’ve seen a couple of things go through the chat?

Dan Campbell 13:08
Yeah, so we’ve had some comments come through. And it’s a very mixed feeling and mixed opinions about hybrid working. So, Elaine mentioned that they did an employee engagement process. And from this, they now have in place hybrid working. Dave says hybrid is very easy to accommodate if you’ve got the right people, IT and comms in place. But then we’ve got Kelly saying that hybrid working is a must for candidates. However, it impacts on the new team members and the support they can access. So in their experience, it’s not as positive as it perhaps was historically. And Simon backs this up by saying for him, we’re hybrid and keen to be hybrid, but we find it’s harder to build a culture.

Phil Bray 13:53
Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. It is harder to build a culture. It’s something that we’ve worked on really hard over the past two and a half years. And it is incredibly hard. I think you can do it. But it is… I have a lot of sympathy for that, it is very, very hard. So, if the solution is to develop a strategy, where do we start? So let’s dig into the practical stuff. So first of all, for me, this all starts with writing a great job advert. Now, we need to understand that your job advert is different to your job description or your job spec. Description and spec are probably more technical in nature. But your advert is what sells this role. And because we have this imbalance, this supply demand imbalance, we need to get our heads round the fact that we have to sell this role. Because whatever the role you’re recruiting for, paraplanner, admin, adviser, financial planner, we have to sell this role to get a stream of the right candidates. So for me? If you’re developing a marketing strategy to acquire new clients, you should start by developing a client persona. And the same is true when it comes to recruitment. So develop your – what I would call – your dream candidate persona. So what do these people look like? What’s their background? What are their qualifications? What are their motivations? What keeps them awake at night? Most importantly, what gets them out of bed in the morning? And hopefully, that’s coming to work for you. Where do they want to work? What’s the balance that they want between office and remote working? What compensation package… what motivates them in terms of compensation package? Career growth? Just build for each of your job roles. Build that dream candidate persona. Really important that we start there. In the same way, it’s really important that we start there, when we’re marketing your business, to attract new clients. Then, we need to write the job advert. Now, your advert, as I say, it shouldn’t be just a copy and paste of the job spec, or all very technical in nature. It should absolutely impress, attract and excite your ideal candidate. And you get that through with the language. And I think you also with the language, you can ensure that your culture and your business’s personality shines through. Be passionate and have just energy, flowing through the advert. You’re selling your business, you’re selling your role, to the ideal candidate, that dream candidate that we talked about. So it’s essential that your advert does all those things. And you can do it, as I say, through language. You can also do it through adding in testimonials from existing team members, staff survey results, even staff videos. We’ll come and talk about that in a bit. But your advert? It isn’t a… I’ve seen terrible adverts, as we’ve been writing this webinar. And I’ve seen some really good ones. And the really good ones do inspire, they motivate, and they’re not technical briefs, though they are a sales job. We also need to give – in the advert – what candidates want to see. So 80% of them want a detailed role description. They want to know what they’re going to be doing on a day-to-day basis. 65% want to know what the requirements of the role are, you know, the skills and characteristics of the ideal candidate. And 61% want compensation and benefits information. So this is really interesting. We’ve tried this both ways, and I’m not sure we’ve necessarily got an answer on this. So, in some of our job adverts – and we tend to advertise our roles on our website, on LinkedIn and on Indeed – we tend to advertise ours roles on those three places. And sometimes we’ll put a salary range on there. And other times we won’t. And I’ve not necessarily got to a definitive answer on this. So, I’m really interested to hear what other people are doing. So if maybe you could put something in the chat now, and we’ll come back to in a second. Just thinking about the last couple of roles you advertised. Did you put a specific salary, no salary, or salary range? So the last few jobs, did you put a specific salary, no salary or salary range? And we’ll come back to that in a minute. But your advert, apart from being a passionate and energetic sale of your business, and the role, those are three specific things that candidates want to see. And when you’re writing your job description, you’ve got to include all these things. Personally, I would probably put them in this order, but you can mix it up yourself. But I do think you need all of them in here. So the first thing is an accurate job title. Really important that you do that. One of the mistakes we made, is we advertised for a client success executive. It’s a title that we use internally and with our clients. We currently have three people in that role. Ryan, Ellie and Bee. The mistake we made, is we advertised for client success executive, thinking that everybody knew what it was! And we just got tumbleweed. We got no responses at all. When we change it to marketing executive – which is a more widely-known title – we got loads of responses. So it’s really important to use an accurate job title. Then list the key skills, attributes and characteristics of the ideal candidate. So that’s coming back to your dream candidate persona that you created. It’s really important that you put a description of the business there. And that’s your opportunity to get your culture across. It’s incredibly important – I think more important than it ever has been – that that cultural fit between employee and employer is right, especially in the world of hybrid or remote working. So really important you get that across. And it’s a great opportunity to be energetic, to be passionate about your business. Talk about the responsibilities of the role, again, that’s because candidates want it. Location, that’s your opportunity to talk about whether you’re offering hybrid working, office working, etc, etc. Benefits package, as I said before, we list all the benefits that we offer, from salary range on some of the jobs right the way through to our Friday Kudos prize that we award every Friday to an employee. And then what you want them to do to apply. So we generally ask for covering letter, CV, and examples of their work. Especially if it’s the content team, the digital team, or Dan’s banding team. You know what? We rarely get it. And it’s a great filter. Because that’s in at the start. That request is in at the start of the advert, and at the bottom of the advert, but we rarely get it. And it really is a great, great filter. Abi won’t mind me saying that when Abi joined us back in January, the thing that led me to Abi’s application was just the quality of it. The covering letter, the portfolio of her work. Abi had even gone to the extent of using the Yardstick brand colours in the portfolio of her work. It was just so impressive. And really, really stood out for role that we probably had 300 applicants for. So those are all the things that I would recommend including in the job spec, sorry, the job advert, not the job spec the job advert. And we also need to think about how it’s written as well. It’s really important for me that it’s written in the first person: “I”, “we”, “you”, etc. Avoid phrases like, “the successful candidate will…” So write in the first person. Be clear to the point, be really succinct. Use subheadings… sorry, use short sentences and paragraphs to be clear and to the point, and then use subheadings as well. The subheadings are massively important. Because if people are scanning the job advert, and don’t necessarily read all the content, you can use your subheadings to make your killer points around package, the culture of the business, the role etc. But subheadings are massively, massively important. And Nick Parkhouse, our head of content, has written a brilliant article a while ago on the use of subheadings. And Abi, we can put that in the follow up if that’s okay? And then use bullet points as well, because people will scan read. We all scan read online these days, we don’t read online how we do the printed word. So write in the first person. Be clear to the point, using short sentences and short paragraphs. And then subheadings to make your key points stand out, and bullet points as well, to make your key points stand out. Now we are absolutely not perfect. But, if you want to go and have a look at the job adverts that we’ve got live with moment – I actually think we’ve only got one – go and have a look at our website and see what we’ve done there. That job advert has been changed a bit over the years, I think Dan wrote the original version. And Nick, our Head of Content, has changed a few bits, Abi has changed a few bits I’ve changed a few bit. There’s still more we can do with it. But hopefully, it shows you how the personality of our business shines through. And we have had compliments from candidates on our job advert. So, hopefully that shows you the things you should be including, the things people are looking for, the list of things to work through when you’re writing your job advert, and how to use language. But most importantly, start with that dream candidate persona. Dan, I’ve seen some stuff come through on the chat, do you want to dive in there?

Dan Campbell 24:20
Absolutely. So to begin, the question was asked was, “What’s the usual salary information shown?” And overwhelmingly it’s a range. So 90%+ have said “salary range”. A few have said “no salary”. And Kevin asks a great question, saying that surely showing a range means that people instantly want the top of that range.

Phil Bray 24:49
That’s a good point. So, when we’ve put a range on and we offer a position, we will explain why we are offering the point on that range that we are offering. And it’s not been a problem for us. I can’t immediately think of a candidate that hasn’t come to us because of the salary being paid, or where there’s been significant negotiations. So, so far, that’s not been a problem for us. But we’re not putting a salary range on every job advert. Perhaps others who are, can comment on that from Kevin’s point?

Dan Campbell 25:26
Yeah, a few people have said that they say, salary will be competitive, because it completely depends on the person, what they bring, etc. So that’s something that people have been using quite a lot. Mark asks a brilliant question related to your… the slide that’s currently on the screen, “What’s the ideal advert length? There seems to be a lot to include?”

Phil Bray 25:47
That’s a really good question. And it goes back to being clear and to the point. I think you can do that by… I think you can include those things. But it’s not easy to write. It’s not easy to write something that’s short and succinct. So I would suggest, you can probably get… I’d suggest you should probably get all those things in maybe 600 words, 700 words. But that’s why it’s so important to break it up with bullet points, short sentences, short paragraphs, and subheadings. Because 700 words can look beautifully laid out and really easy to read, if you’re using those short sentences, bullet points, and subheadings. If you don’t use any of those, it can just look like a massive off-putting text. So you can – sort of the sliding doors moment – the same 700 words can be really easy to read, or really difficult to digest. So that’s the first thing, write a great job advert. And Kevin, what you put in the chat earlier, that’s the starting point. Number two, once you’ve got the job advert, we need to get your website right, because candidates are going to be looking at your website. And for us, that means that you add a Careers or Join Us page. If you’re only looking for one person, I do think it’s important to add a Careers or Join Us page to your website. Display all your current roles. So if you are looking for an adviser, planer and a paraplanner, then each of them should have their own page. And each of them should have their own page, but you would have all three on one. So, “Click here, if you want to look at the adviser role”, “Click here if you want to look at the paraplanner role”, “Click here, if you want to look at the admin role”. And then clearly, when they click on that they go through into page, which has got the job advert on there. So display all your current roles and put a child page on there for each job advert, each job that you’ve got open. Now, if you don’t have any jobs open, if you don’t have any jobs open, I would still have your Careers and Join Us page live. But I would have a message on there, that says something to the effect of, “We’re always looking for good people. If you are looking for new challenge, if you’ve got experience in financial services” – or whatever you’re looking for – “then please do reach out to us, please do send an email. We’re always looking to hear from good quality candidates.” And that’s a really good example, of where you can be permanently switched on to recruitment, as opposed to just turning on when a job vacancy becomes live. So just putting that, “We’re always looking for good people…” message, “We don’t have any vacancies right now. But you never know what might happen if you get in touch”, you might encourage a few speculative CVs there. And then make the Job page easy to find. So put it in the main navigation of your website. Make it really easy for candidates to find. And also, I’d link to it from your team page. So, let’s say you’ve got pictures of your team, there’s five of you in the team. And you’ve got pictures of you all on the team page. Then I put a six person on there – a little silhouette – with Join Us? underneath it. Is this you? Are we looking for each other? Something along those lines. Just because you might get candidates, rather than going to the Careers or Join Us page, they might have gone to the team page. So a few things that you can do on your website, as I say, to make it easy for candidates to find the roles that you’re currently advertising. And then, because we have this disconnect between supply and demand, the supply and demand issue. We’ve got to get our heads around the fact that we need to impress potential candidates, in the same way that we might be trying to impress potential clients. So, we talk a lot at Yardstick about social proof – the thoughts and words of others to demonstrate the value that you add – and we generally talk about it in the context of acquiring new clients. But for me, it applies absolutely equally to prospective candidates – people who are coming to work for you. And that’s because, they will check you out online before applying. If someone is thinking of moving and th ey’re applying for a paraplanning role with company A, and a paraplanning role with company B. Company A’s got one Google review, it’s one star, and it’s not particularly good. Company B has got 60 Google reviews, they’re really, really positive – which is going to give them a better first impression of the business? And as I say, we’ve got to reframe this, and sell you, your business and your role, to potential candidates. So as I say, candidates will check you out online before applying, because – I missed three reasons – to understand whether they want to work for you or not, to help them with their application, and then to prepare for an interview. So there’s three reasons there, why candidates will be looking at you online. And they will be equally impressed as prospective clients will be, by your client-driven social proof. So that means online ratings and reviews, Google and VouchedFor. Publishing your client survey results, that will set you apart from most of your peers and competitors. Have videos of your clients, again, they set you apart as well. Your clients talking about the value they deliver, will motivate potential candidates. So we talk a lot about social proof. Who knows? We might do some webinars later on in the year about it. So I won’t talk too much more about that right now. But just remember that social proof, as much as it’s important for new clients, it’s important for potential recruits. And then, we can also have social proof that’s driven by your team, other people within your business. And that’s because candidates want to understand what it’s like to work for you. They want to understand the culture. They want to understand what other people think about the workplace. When we’re on interviews, and we’re interviewing potential candidates, and you get that stage in the interview when you hand it over to them, and you ask them about what questions have you got for us? One of things we’re finding now, is that first question is very often about culture; about the culture of the business, and how they might fit in. And it’s something that’s becoming more and more important to people. So candidates want to understand what it’s like, to work for you. I think this, for us, there’s three ways of doing this. The first is using something like Glassdoor. So Glassdoor is an online rating and review platform, where existing employees and former employees can go and leave a review for their employer, or their former employer. And it’s all anonymous. And you know what? They can go on and do it, even if you don’t have a Glassdoor profile. So we had an interesting early experience of this. We had a former employee – I’m assuming it’s not fake review – but we had a former employee, go and leave a negative review about us on there. This was about, I’m guessing, about eight months ago, wasn’t it Dan? And it was only a couple of lines. We haven’t even been able to narrow it down to the person we think it is – there’s probably three or four people who had left us during the first lockdown. Because we had a little bit of a clear out, and it shook us a little bit. Nobody likes to think there was something negative about us. Especially when our team member survey – which we’ll come to in a minute – showed really positive, very positive net promoter score, and some really positive feedback. And we knew that this negative review might impact on our ability to recruit and attract really good quality people. So one thing is we… first thing we did, was reach out to members of our team, and ask them to go and leave reviews themselves on Glassdoor. We didn’t give them any indication of what we wanted them to say, we just gave them a link and said, “Would you mind going to leave us a review?” And what we found is we got a really big load of positive feedback. We got a few things that we can work on. But what we’ve now got, is a far more authentic footprint of reviews, rather than just that one, negative one. We’ve got a far more authentic footprint of reviews from the team, which absolutely, I think, demonstrates the culture of what it’s like to work at The Yardstick Agency. So flipping that around, what can you learn from that? First thing is, get ahead of the game. Don’t be in the position that we were in, we preach on Google reviews, of getting ahead of the game. So, make sure that you get ahead of the game, by getting your team members, maybe one a week – depending on the size of your team – to go and leave you a review on Glassdoor. And I would… I wouldn’t give them any direction, I would simply go and ask them to leave you that review. And you might ask some former employees as well, to leave you that review. And what you’ll find, hopefully, you’ll get a similar, really authentic footprint, as we did, you might learn a few things that you can improve on. But, when a candidate looks at it, they will start to learn about the culture in your business. The next thing I would do is, we do an annual team member survey. And again, depending on the size of your business, clearly, if you’ve only got two or three employees, it might be a bit of overkill to do a survey. But, we do an annual team member survey, where we do a net promoter score and ask a series of questions. And that’s incredibly useful. It helps us see where there’s any issues we need to work on. It shows us what we need to stop doing, what we need to start doing, what we need to improve. But it also gives us some great stats, and feedback and testimonials, that we can use in marketing. And finally, videos – team member videos – we’ll come to those on the next slide. But for me, team member videos are really incredibly important when it shows, to showing off the culture of working in your business. So Dan, any questions?

Dan Campbell 36:45
Right. So, a few things. One question that I think we’ll come to a little bit later on in the presentation, is from David, who asks, “What about financially incentivising the team to introduce candidates?” And I know you will speak about that a bit later on. So, we’ll pick that up a bit later down the line. But, great question in from Rebecca, in the meantime, who asks, “Should you tailor the advert to the platform you’re advertising on, such as LinkedIn? Or is the advert style that we’ve suggested a few slides previous, suitable for all?”

Phil Bray 37:18
I think the advert style is suitable for all. So when you are adding your advert to LinkedIn or Indeed, or on your website, on LinkedIn and Indeed, and your website, you’re faced with kind of a block – where you can copy and paste the text in it and format it, etc. So for me, I think it’s suitable for all. The only caveat to that, is any formatting that you can or cannot add on the on the different platforms.

Dan Campbell 37:50
Brilliant, then yeah, that’s it for now, let’s move on.

Phil Bray 37:52
Let’s move on to videos. So, very few firms do this. I can think of a tiny, tiny handful of firms that do this. And… or at least in terms of employee ease. So, clients are often now appearing on videos on behalf of their adviser or planner, talking about their story, talking about the benefits of working with the planner, the value of working for them. But as I say, we very rarely see this. You can count on the fingers of one hand, the number of times I’ve seen it, where the employer is getting their team members on video, to talk about what it’s like to work at the name of the firm. And for me, I’d probably be asking three things on video: What’s the best thing about working at…? Would you recommend working at…? How would you describe the culture at…? And there’s other questions you can add in, but there’s three to start with. And for me, the videos, they create an immediate first impression. A really positive first impression, and they create an immediate connection. Far more than text does. They’re relatively easy to produce these days. You could get someone to come into the office, where you can record them on the studio in your pocket, otherwise known as a mobile phone. Editing is relatively straightforward these days. You can do it yourself, you can come to your local friendly specialist agency. And, there’s an example on here, go and have a look after Henwood Courts’ video, after this webinar. We recorded that just before Christmas, and their staff were brilliant. We’ve got, maybe five individual videos, from members of their staff. And then we edited them together into one video. So for me, getting those videos recorded, would be a real step forward for a lot of firms. But of course, once you’ve produced the content, you’ve then got to promote it. So where would we use it? I think you can put the videos on your Careers page on your website. And let’s say for example, you were big enough to do this. Let’s say you’ve got a paraplanner advert, planner advert and an administrative advert. Why not on those adverts on your website, have an administrator talking about what it’s like to work there, and answering those three questions and adviser or planner doing the same, and a paraplanner doing the same. And that will set you apart massively, because almost nobody is doing this. So use the videos on your website Careers page, use one on your Job Adverts pages if you can. Use them on your social posts. If you’re posting your job – and we’ll talk about that in a minute – if you’re posting your jobs on social media, then, really powerful. Post, link to the job, and then a video. “What’s it like to work here? Well, don’t let the boss tell you – hear from one of our employees”, I think that’s really, really powerful. And then your LinkedIn profile as well. There’s all sorts of ways of using video on LinkedIn. We’ve got a blog about that, maybe four or five weeks ago – Abi, if we can put that in the follow up, that would be great as well. So use video. Record it, and then produce it, and then promote it. Then, some of the firms that I see successfully recruit, build. They spend a lot of time building their profile in their profession. And this is something that they are frequently on with. They are, they understand the benefits of building their profile in the profession, and understand that actually, one of those benefits is potentially making it easier for recruitment. So how do you build your profile in the profession? Awards. I think entering awards, being shortlisted for awards, and winning awards, help raise your profile in the profession. Not only because the awarding body, professional adviser, money marketing and PFS, etc, will promote your shortlisting. And hopefully you’ll win, but you can promote it as well. And during that awards journey – from entry, to shortlist, to the event, to winning – there’s just so many points that you can promote along the way. It really does have a significant benefit, because it raises your profile within the profession. And of course if you’re shortlisted, or you win, it shows the quality of your work. And in a market where supply, or demand is outstripping supply, then showing the quality of your work through – partly through – awards, I think is a really good thing to do. First, the coverage helps raise your profile as well. So press coverage in the personal finance press, and the trade press, really does help raise your profile. Personal finance press has never been easier, things like Newspage. For those who have used Newspage again, we’ll put the link in the show notes, in the follow up notes. But Newspage is doing a great job, at getting smaller financial planning or financial advice firms who don’t have a PR budget, getting them coverage in the personal finance class. And the trade press is relatively easier to get coverage in. But again, your coverage in the personal finance press, the trade press raises your profile. It’s brand amplifier, and it shows that you are a forward-looking firm. I think speaking at events helps, if potential recruits see you speaking at an event, it creates a bit of a connection. But again, it raises your profile. It shows the type of person you are, shows whether they would want to potentially come and work for you. So I think, speaking at events is tremendously important. Supporting the advice and planning community, and developing that reputation for giving back. Again, it’s about raising profile, but also showing your culture and your business’s culture. So those are three or four things, that you can be always on with, you can be permanently doing. They will all have benefits for your business, especially when it comes to recruitment. And there’s some people on this call that are tremendous at it. I think I might have seen Sarah at Berry and Oak, I hope you won’t mind me saying. I think what Sarah and Andrew do at Berry and Oak absolutely ticks a load of these boxes. They do it absolutely brilliantly. So number seven, we said we’d talk about three things to do on LinkedIn, and that’s what we’re going to talk about now. So for me, the first thing you can do on LinkedIn to actively generate new candidates, is to use the Paid Advert function on there. So use the job advert you’ve created earlier. Just follow the steps, the stages on LinkedIn, and put your ad on there. But I would always, always, always add a budget. Don’t take the free version. I would always add a budget. And we generally add a budget of between £10 and £14 a day. Depending on how desperate we are for the candidate, and candidates we want to see. One thing I would say is, you very much need to see this as a CV harvesting tool, that you then need to filter down. So we will use certain filters, once we’ve got the CVs to narrow them down to the candidates that we want to interview. A couple of tips there, as I say, add the budget. Remember to close it down. So Indeed, you can add a… on Indeed, you can add a “end date” for the advert, so you don’t have to remember to pop back in and close it down. I’ve not found a way of doing that on LinkedIn. So, what you don’t want to do is hire the candidate, and then realise your job is still running for a month. Not only might that undermine and unnerve the candidate that you have offered the job to, it would also cost you a few quid unnecessarily. So add the budget, but remember to close it down. The other thing I found, is that your… this has probably got something to do with LinkedIn algorithms – not quite worked out why – we tend to find we get the highest number of candidates, and the best quality of candidates in the first 10 days of the job advert being posted. So, we tend to leave it up for maybe a couple of weeks, then take it down for a few days, then put it back up. And what we tend to find, is that seems to push it to the top of LinkedIn’s algorithms. And therefore you end up with more candidates, by doing that. By putting it up, closing it down, putting it back up, and leaving it up permanently. One thing to note, you don’t need a premium subscription on LinkedIn, to be able to pay for the job adverts, and also consider other platforms. So NextGen Planners has a job board. Go and have a look at that, Abi, we can put a link to that in the show notes. I would also potentially try Indeed, and you can split test this. Put your adverts up, put exactly the same advert up on LinkedIn, Indeed, NextGen Planners, and see what you get back. And you might find that actually, these two job boards are best for adviser planner role. And these two job boards are best for admin roles or paraplanning roles. I’m really interested to hear other job boards, that people are using on this call successfully. So if there’s other job boards that you use, then do put them in the chat. But for me, I would be using those three: LinkedIn,NextGen and Indeed, and seeing what works. But I’m talking to advisers and planners all the time, who are having significant success with recruitment on LinkedIn. And one of the things they’re doing, is putting paid job adverts on there. Another thing that we’re doing, is posting natively. Now posting natively is marketing speak for “writing your own post”. It is nothing more complicated than that. So, I would suggest that you write, you regularly write posts, promoting your vacancies. Yeah, we talk a lot about the balance, between content production and content promotion. So see your job advert as the production of the content, and see your native posts as the promotion. And, like all content promotion, you need to do it more than once. You need to do it regularly. Because people might have missed the first post, they might not have been looking at that time. You might not have appealed to them at that time. So you’ve got to publish your posts, promoting your jobs. That’s not easy to say! You’ve got to publish your posts promoting your jobs, frequently. Do it from your personal account, do it from your corporate accounts as well. Personally, I would probably be posting more from personal, but it depends on the number of connections you’ve got and how that works. And then, once you’ve posted your job advert, host your social proof in the comments. So you’ve got your job advert, you’ve got a nice image. Always, always put the link to your job advert in the comments, not in the body of the post. Happy to explain more about why that’s the case. But always put your job advert in the comments. And then, next comment below that, start putting some of your social proof in, “Here’s John, talking about what it’s like to work at your firm as a paraplanner”, and post a video. Building it up like that constructed from the post, I think is really powerful. So post, image, link to the advert linked to social proof, I think works really, really well. And then finally, get your team – if you’ve got a team – then get your team to support your posts by commenting, liking and sharing through a native post – but not, not, by clicking the Share button. So get them to pop in there, leave a comment about how great it is to work for you. Just get them to leave a comment, get them to like it, the whole one-two of commenting and liking. And then encourage them to share as well, by writing their own post and linking it back through. And this will actually link back through to one of the incentives, we’ll talk about in a minute. But they shouldn’t click the Share button. The Share button, bizarrely on LinkedIn algorithm, actually reduces the number of people who see it. So don’t click the Share button, get them to write their own post. Number nine, on LinkedIn, the third of the three things on LinkedIn. Cold outreach. So this might be a little bit controversial, but cold outreach. So the first thing to do is turn on, on LinkedIn, the “I’m hiring” badge. It’s two little badges, you can, it’s kind of a wrap-around text on your image, and there’s two of those badges you can turn on. One is “I’m hiring”. And one is “Open to offers”, or “Open to work”, or something like that. Now, make sure you select the right badge. Otherwise, it rather defeats the object. But turn on the “I’m hiring” badge. Then use the search facility to identify potential candidates. So you could use a search facility to identify financial planners in Bedford. If you are looking for a financial planner in Bedford, or paraplanners in York and surrounding towns. And create your list of potential candidates, then view their profile. Go and have a look at their profile. Because that does two things. First, it demonstrates your interest in them. Because LinkedIn will tell them you’ve looked at their profile. So it shows that you’re interested. And of course, by looking at their profile, you’ll be able to understand whether they are the right fit for you; whether they are the right candidate, and how much on the face of it, they match your dream candidate persona – which you’ve created in step one – and then get in touch with them. And one of the things we’ve seen, is that we know that, from time to time, we know that cold outreach by recruitment consultants is not always particularly well received, by the people that are on the end of it. We also know through our own experience – and what we’ve seen others do – is that cold outreach by the actual potential employer is almost never received negatively. I’ve done this a lot, and we’ve recruited from it, and I have never had a negative response. The worst that happens, is I get ignored. It’s not great for the ego, but I can live with it. So the absolute worst thing is, you get ignored. We don’t see negativity. So therefore cold outreach, I think can help you go straight to the horse’s mouth, straight to potential candidates. And there’s two ways of doing it when you’ve worked out your shortlist. The first, is you send a connection request with a covering message. And that connection request is limited to 300 characters. And I would use something like this. “Hi”, really important you personalise it. So, “Hi, Dan, forgive the unsolicited approach. We’re looking for a paraplanner. So I’d like to understand if you’re considering a change. If not, please hit delete and forgive the intrusion. If you’re thinking over your options, I’d love to chat. Regards, Phil” Something along those lines – short, to the point, and with a couple of niceties in there to apologise. And we’ve used something like that, or a derivative of that, a lot. And you’ll get messages back saying, “Thanks, it’s good to connect. But we’re not looking.” That’s fine, because I’ve got another connection there, of a potential future employee. One things I’m really interested in, is building up – and you should be interested in as well – is building up your audience of potential employees on LinkedIn. So if in the future, you might want to be recruiting planners, paraplanners and administrators. Using this cold outreach, we’ll potentially find some low hanging fruit, people who we’re interested in now that will build up your audience of potential future employees. So the first way of doing that, is you send a connection request with a covering message. Second way of doing it, is if you’ve got a premium account – and you can argue that it’s worth turning on a Premium account, for the purposes of doing this – you need the Business Premium that’s about £40 a month. I wouldn’t go for the Recruiter, it’s more expensive. But when you have a Premium account, you get a certain number of InMails each month. Now basically, an InMail is the same as an email, but in the LinkedIn environment. And you get given a certain number of those InMails each month with a Premium membership, and you can often get your first month free as a Premium member as well. And there’s no limit on the number of words in an InMail. So therefore, you can put something a little bit longer, a little bit more detailed, in your message. But cold outreach genuinely works. Narrow down your shortlist, check them out, compare them to your dream candidate persona, work up a couple of messages, and then send them out. And then obviously reply, it finds low hanging fruit now, but also helps build up your audience of potential future candidates. So those are the three things on LinkedIn: job adverts, posting natively, and cold outreach. And then lastly, recruitment incentives. I don’t know if anybody uses these, I’d be really interested, put some notes in the chat if you would. But what we do at Yardstick is, if a member of our team introduces us to somebody who comes to work for us, we pay £1,000 bonus, in however way they want it, providing it’s not cash in hand. But whether it’s a pension contribution, in their salary as a bonus, we pay £1,000 for a successful hire. I think we’ve probably paid, maybe four of those out, over the years. And what we tend to find is developers have worked with other developers in other agencies, branding wizards have worked with other branding wizards, in other agencies, etc, etc. And the same will be true for yourselves. Your experienced paraplanners, administrators, advisers, will have worked with other people in the past. And… as it’s really small profession, isn’t it? Quite an insular, quite a small profession, and people know each other. So we’ve found that £1,000 has been really quite a bit of a motivation, for people here. I am delighted to pay it out. Because for two reasons, really. The first is, it’s less costly than a recruitment consultant. But, I think you’re more likely to get the cultural fit right, because your employee knows the person they’re introducing to you. And the chances are, they’re not going to introduce somebody that isn’t a right fit culturally. So last one, recruitment incentives, give it a go. And that’s it! There are the 10 things that we think you can do to improve your recruitment, through marketing. I hope that’s been of help. We need your help with something. Putting out – as Dan said earlier – we’re building up our webinar programme for the second half of 2022. And we want to be presenting to you on topics that are actually of interest to you. So we’ve developed this little survey, perhaps Dan, you can put a link in the chat again, if you’ve not already done it in the past couple of minutes. And if you can just go on there, onto Survey Monkey. There’s three questions on there. That’s, that’s all there is. And it will really help us, to make sure that the webinar programme we develop hits the hits the nail on the head, in the second half of 2022. So, we’re ending on time, I can hear the Council House bells in the background in Nottingham. Not ringing on behalf of Nottingham Forest last night – excellent win. But to say that the time is up. Really happy to stay on the call, though. And continue the debate and answer any questions, and take anybody’s feedback. So I’m really interested to get your questions, and find out now what’s working for you and what’s not? The people that are still on the call, let’s share a few things, what’s working? And what’s not? Dan, what have we got?

Dan Campbell 59:12
Okay, so we spoke a little bit earlier about what other the platforms we might use to form as part of our recruitment efforts? And Elaine mentions that for admin and paraplanner roles, they’ve used the local college and universities, and the last few candidates recruited from there have been outstanding. And Claire says that, Facebook, for them. They’ve had more receptive admin applicants rather than LinkedIn. Especially for those graduates, they seem to be flocking more to Facebook, than LinkedIn. Ben asks a techy question, that you may be able to supply a link with, Abi? Where can they find the “I’m hiring” badge on LinkedIn? It may be hidden behind the menu that you can direct them to?

Phil Bray 1:00:02
We’ll put a… what we’ll do there, Ben, is we’ll put a screenshot of where you access it in the follow up, in the show notes. So in the show notes, we’ll just put a little screenshot, and you can see where it is.

Dan Campbell 1:00:13
Perfect. A few people are using incentives. Caroline and Charlotte are both using incentives, and they get a good amount of recommendations. So there absolutely is something there. And then, let’s take a look. Okay, so Andrew asks – it might be a different topic, which is always good, because that goes into, you know, ideas for the second half of this year’s webinars efforts. But interested to know, why sharing directly on LinkedIn is not good? Because they do that a lot.

Phil Bray 1:00:45
Okay. So, the Share button on LinkedIn, although it looks nice – warm, cuddly, you know – click it, share it, and it shares with your other connections, is actually shown to be far less effective, than writing your own posts. So, it’s far better, don’t click the Share button. Because the loud algorithm doesn’t like it, despite LinkedIn putting that there as an option. Don’t click the Share button. Write your own post, add your own image. And then if there’s a link to a previous post, put that link in the comments. It’s just far better way of doing it, you’ll get far more traction that way, than clicking the Share button, which genuinely just elicits Tumbleweed. It’s a long winded answer Andrew, the shorter version is, LinkedIn’s algorithm prefers native posts, rather than sharing.

Dan Campbell 1:01:38
Yeah, it’s all those ways to beat that algorithm, isn’t it? You know, it rules all. Okay, we had a question a while back from Kelly that I want to flag, because we didn’t get to it. So, this goes back to when we were doing our staff surveys, as opposed to client surveys. Do we think the survey should be anonymous to help honesty? Or do we find that people are happy to provide their name to their responses?

Phil Bray 1:02:03
Dan, can you remember what we did?

Dan Campbell 1:02:05
We anonymised ours. And I think it was important because for our survey, it was very much about remote working, in-office working, a hybrid of both. And we wanted people to really be honest, so we didn’t want people to think they couldn’t tell the truth. So absolutely. Anonymous was right for us at that time.

Phil Bray 1:02:26
Yeah, it was coming back to me now. We did. We did three things in the survey. We asked about hybrid working office, versus remote. We asked them to vote, give their vote, in a net promoter score on a scale of zero to 10. How likely would you be to recommend working at Yardstick to other people? And then we asked about benefits packages. So one things we’ve always tried to do here, as we’ve been growing, is add in something – a significant extra – in the benefits package. So in 2020, we added five extra days holiday. And in 2021. We asked the team members what they wanted. And from memory, it was an increased pension contribution, and a kind of healthcare cash plan. Interestingly, subsidised financial advice was third. So really quite close. So you never know we might get there this year. But short answer is we anonymis ed it.

Dan Campbell 1:03:21
Yeah. And on that, Sholpan asks whether we can share the questions we asked? Just so they can get some insight as to wording.

Phil Bray 1:03:32
Yeah, I’ve got no problem with that. It might not be right for your business Sholpan. But I’m happy to share those questions. Again, we’ll put those in the show notes.

Dan Campbell 1:03:41
Okay, Claire asks a good question: Is there a benefit to promoting “We are hiring” on your client facing newsletter?

Phil Bray 1:03:48
I saw that… Um… I don’t know. There is the possibility that your clients might be interested? Someone your clients know might be interested – a member of their family? So I think that’s a positive. I think you’ve probably got to be careful of, just the message. You wouldn’t want that message to come across that you’re desperate to recruit, and because you’re struggling operationally. So providing you can craft and write that message in such a way, that it might just deal with that nervousness, then yeah, why not? It shows that you’re investing in operations, presumably to give a better service, or improve the service or just to continue delivering a service. You never know, they might know people. I can’t see a downside with that. I’ve talked myself into – from not knowing, I’ve talked myself into thinking there’s not a downside.

Dan Campbell 1:04:44
Well that goes hand in hand, with what we say at the very start. We don’t know all the answers, but we will get there. You know, it’s a process. So Olivia mentions that for them, verbally sharing the vacancy with select clients works better, rather than a blanket approach. And Andrew mentioned, “We did it in a newsletter to clients about a graduate role.” And for them, they got great feedback, that they were looking to take on students. So yeah, there’s a few things there that people can take away.

Phil Bray 1:05:14
That’s a great angle. And again, speaks to the culture of your business Andrew.

Dan Campbell 1:05:21
Okay, so the only other thing outstanding, and Alison asked a short while ago, because they joined late, is whether a recording is sent out? Absolutely, yes. We’ll get a recording, plus a follow up email of any links, notes, things that I suppose came up over the course of the hour that we flag as important. So those are coming to you. But other than that, I can’t see anything else. So any more for any more?

Phil Bray 1:05:45
I think we’re good, aren’t we?

Dan Campbell 1:05:51
I think we are. Yeah, and Olivia mentioned, “Thanks, guys. It’s great to know we’re all in the same boat!” And that’s the key thing here, isn’t it? It’s a challenge that everybody faces. So that’s why your engagement and input today has been such, you know, a positive thing. So thanks for everybody for their input. It’s been brilliant.

Phil Bray 1:06:10
Thank you, everybody, for calling out this afternoon with all the links in it, might be slightly longer than we’d normally send out. Do please go and complete that survey, it really help us tailor the webinar programme for you next year. And go and enjoy the sun, it looks great out there! See you soon everybody. See you next month.

Dan Campbell 1:06:27
Okay guys, bye.

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