Financial Advisors considering working with a 3rd party recruiter

Choose wisely

In our last blog, I explained why a financial advisor should use a 3rd party recruiting firm when considering changing broker dealers or RIAs.  Today I wanted to dive in a little bit deeper and explore how an advisor should interview a third-party recruiter to find the best one.

Think about a client trying to decide which financial advisor they should work with and the questions involved in that interview process.  Similar items should be uncovered.  Below is a list of questions advisors should explore before they work with a 3rd party recruiter.


1) Expertise– how long has this person/firm been recruiting?  Do they understand the width and breath of options available to advisors today, including all forms of independence?  

2) Connections– How many firms do they represent?  This is absolutely crucial.  There is no benefit to working with a consultant that only represents a handful of firms.  It’s like an advisor having limitations on how they can help a client.  An advisors most successful outcome happens when a variety of firms, that meet an advisors needs, are explored.  When a recruiter has limited options, biases are inherent and an advisor will most likely not feel they have fully explored the marketplace.

3) Integrity- What is the firms process and commitment to confidentiality?  The truth is, there are a lot of unethical practices that exist in the recruiting marketplace.  Recruiters can send an advisors name out to a bunch of BD and RIAs in the hopes of getting paid without to doing much of anything for an advisor.  

4) Involvement– What is the recruiters process for selecting, interviewing, negotiating and transitioning to a new firm?  Does the consultant lead you through the entire process or are they focused on just showing you a firm and then you are on your own for the rest?  I find some of the most crucial times for involvement is during the transition phase, long after a new firm has been selected. 

It’s important for an advisor to choose a third-party recruiter that’s going to represent them with integrity and respect and with the experience needed to lead the process, identify unexpected opportunities and involvement throughout the entire lifecycle of the process.

Jodie Papike is the CEO of Cross-Search, a third-party, independent broker dealer/RIA recruiting firm that connects advisors with the right broker dealers and RIAs.