What are the challenges faced by advisors in hiring and attracting the right talent, given that you are competing for the same pool of talent as banks and national distributors, which are better-known brands?
Yes, it is certainly a challenge for advisors. Banks and other entities have better compensation to offer. We prefer hiring freshers as it is easier to train and mould them in the way we want. In addition to this, cost constraints also make it necessary to recruit young talent and groom them for the role.
Give us an overview of your HR philosophy and approach.
- Open, flat structure- We have an open door policy in our office and try not to have unnecessary hierarchy
- We strongly believe in investing in our employees. Every new recruit is trained in soft skills which are important in our advisory profession along with technical skills as most of our transactions are done online.
Which are the factors that have influenced your leadership style and your philosophy at work?
I was very clear from the beginning that I wanted a congenial environment in our office. And this belief has been guiding me at work.
In a business which is affected severely by market volatility and regulatory changes, is it possible to have a consistent HR policy? Have you rationalized/downsized staff or cut salaries in response to the many changes that have taken place in the environment?
As I mentioned earlier, our philosophy is simple. We work towards the betterment for our employees. ‘Only a happy employee can serve the clients better ’. We have made some minor changes in our HR philosophy but we remain completely employee-focused.
Downsize or salary cut is something we do not believe in. In fact some of our staff members have been with us for 11 years
How do you incentivize them? Do you think monetary incentive is good way to motivate your staff? How do you ensure that such incentives are aligned to client interest?
As our focus is entirely on advisory that benefits our clients, our employees do not have monthly or periodic sales targets. What we follow is offering incentives that are linked to the growth in advisory fee and not with commission/brokerage. Besides, we have an appraisal to evaluate performance.
Just like we advice our clients to cover their risk adequately, we provide for health insurance, life insurance and help our employees plan their retirement well.
We also organize annual office picnic and host lunches on special occasions like Diwali and Christmas for our employees to engage with them on a personal level.
How do you retain your employees? Have you faced attrition challenge?
Employee retention is a universal problem and advisory profession is no different.
But frankly we work closely with our staff to ensure they are learning continuously and thereby raising their productivity. This has resulted in tremendous job satisfaction for them and also helped us grow. This ensures we offer time to time increments thereby managing to keep attrition rates low.