LinkedIn was built for recruiting
I would argue that the site is set up in the best interests of hiring managers — even more so than the actual financial advisors who monopolize it!
With over 100 million U.S.-based users, two new users joining every second, and 40% of users checking daily, LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world, with the fastest-growing and most engaged user base. The Oechsli Institute’s 2014 Social Media Survey reported that 90% of advisors have a LinkedIn account.
The best way to find financial advisor talent? Boolean modifiers!
Boolean may seem like complex nerd speak – it’s not. It’s actually a fairly simple way to narrow your search results. Here are the modifiers you can use when building your searches:
- Quotation marks: If you would like to search for an exact phrase, put the phrase in quotes.
- Parentheses: Use them if you want to combine multiple terms and modifiers.
(“financial advisor” OR “wealth manager”) AND “XYZ Firm”
- AND: To ensure that both terms are on someone’s profile use an uppercase AND.
“financial advisor” AND CFP
- OR: If either term will work, use an upper-case OR. This will broaden your search.
“financial advisor” OR “wealth manager”
- NOT: If you would like to exclude people with certain terms on their profile, use an uppercase NOT or a minus sign.
“financial advisor” -manager
You are now a Boolean expert. Let’s build your search.
Step 1: Determine company field
When using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search function, you must be clear about the parameters of your search. If you want to search within a particular company, make use of the Company field. You will want to denote “Current” in the drop-down list.
If you want to search across multiple companies, you can apply the Boolean modifier “OR.” For example:
Step 2: Build a list of titles
Next, consider the “Title” field. If your search is company-specific, keep in mind that most major firms have a very specific title hierarchy tied to production. One of the easiest ways to obtain this hierarchy is to ask. Talk to financial advisors you know at various firms and build a list of the titles you are targeting. This technique is most likely appropriate when you are searching for talent at one particular company.
Below is a generic example of a Boolean search string you might build. Notice that it includes multiple synonyms for the title “financial advisor,” and it removes other managers from your search results with the minus signs. Once you build your search string, you can copy and paste it into the Title or Keyword field. You will also want to choose “current” from the drop down menu under the title field.
(“Financial Advisor” OR “Wealth Manager” OR “Financial Planner” OR “Wealth Advisor” OR “Portfolio Manager” OR “Senior Vice President” OR “First Vice President” OR “Financial Planning Specialist “) -“Branch Manager” -“Manager”
If your search is not company-specific, you can build a list of titles by simply thinking of terms financial advisors use to describe themselves.
Step 3: Determine location
If it’s important that your search is within a certain geographical location (most of the time it is), make sure you include your postal code at the bottom of the search. Also, choose the mile radius you are targeting.
Bonus: Years of experience (Premium Feature)
If you are a paid LinkedIn subscriber, you have even more search options. In particular, you may be able to filter by Years of Experience.
Making contact with the talent
You’ve sourced the talent, now it’s up to you to reach out. LinkedIn helps you understand the relationship between people you currently know and people you want to know. Review your results for introduction opportunities. As we know, a lot of financial advisors are connected to other financial advisors.
If there is no introduction route, consider reaching out to the advisor directly through InMail or sending a personalized request to connect.
LinkedIn is a giant database, and you can slice and dice the information in a number of ways. By combining your advanced searches with Boolean modifiers you can get more results that are more accurate. If you are a manager and not using LinkedIn to source new talent, you are missing qualified candidates.