Industry Leader Interview, with Michelle Marsh, Chief Visionary Officer, Retirement Plan Concepts & Services
Dawn Hynes Question:
How are you addressing the challenge of hiring retirement plan administrators in your own organization, in terms of recruiting and hiring good talent?
Michelle Marsh Answer:
With our service level (not our consultant level), we have had a lot of success with temp to perm hiring. We have done the LinkedIn, Indeed and those types of things and have not had a lot of success or you get too many resumes that you can’t filter through.
For our assistants, distribution processors, new business installation type level people, we have used a local agency and we just do “temp to perm” (temporary to permanent). I think it gives us the ability to test them out, find out if they are a good candidate for our environment and how we operate as well as (find out) are they teachable for the knowledge we need them to have?
Obviously, Consultants are a bit more of a problem. Fortunately, I’ve been in the backyard of a Ascensus and Lincoln, so there have been some individuals willing to exit there that I have been able to hire. But, that’s a risk as well, because the way we process and the way we do what we do, doesn’t align with the way they do it. So, when I hire what I believe is a seasoned consultant, there is still a very large learning curve because a lot of times we do A to Z servicing and they’ve been functionalized. So, recently I have hired two consultant level people this year. One I did hire through a headhunter and yes, I did pay a hefty fee for that, fortunately, she’s a rockstar. She was not happy where she was, she was brought in and told one thing and her duties became something else, so she was out looking and I was fortunate enough to get her. And then, we just recently hired someone who was a recommendation from her, she said I think this person would be great. This individual came from the same company that she came from. I didn’t go soliciting. She talked to her and said, this is a great place to work. So, I do think being a great employer helps because our internal people and just like this, just sent me this person’s resume when I sent out what requirements we are looking for.
Now, I was at an industry conference at NIPPA’s BMC and I was in one of our peer groups and a lot of people are saying they’re hiring right out of college and just training them up. Four of my consultants all started as assistants, but they have been with me long-term. But the next level of assistants that we’ve had they have all just wanted to stay in that position. We really didn’t have to train them up beyond that level because they didn’t want that. And we needed to go around that and try to find other methods to bring in talent.