“Recruiting experienced, planning-focused advisors who will embrace our planning model and culture is always a long, and sometimes challenging, process,” said Heather Claridge, Nicola Wealth’s senior vice-president of people and culture. “We don’t feel that the ‘great resignation’ has negatively impacted our ability to attract advisors.”
But she added: “Regardless of what industry you’re in, when you look at the employment market right now, if you’re not paying attention to that employee experience, you’re going to be in trouble in terms of retention. In finance, it’s important to stress that the experience that the employees have will very much impact the end client experience. So, the closer you are to the client, the more essential it is to make sure that the employee, culture, and client experiences are all aligned.”
Claridge stressed that Nicola’s culture values constant learning, high-caring, collaboration, and innovation. She also emphasized that it “shares the pie” with employees, clients, and the community. That includes sharing the thought leadership as well as the organization’s financial success, which it also shares with communities that need its support since its volunteer community committee also receives a percentage of the firm’s profit. Many advisors have also been attracted by the fact that they get regular stock option grants and the opportunity to be an owner as part of its profit-sharing model, which also forms a percentage of employees’ base salary.
“When the organization wins, the clients win, and the people in our communities win. That’s the share the pie mentality,” she said. “What has challenged our recruitment is both current market conditions and potential advisors not understanding how lucrative our compensation model is.”
“There isn’t one profile of a person who fits, but they have to be aligned with our values,” said Claridge. “We’re really proud of our culture. It is our secret sauce.”