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How to onboard the right junior partner

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The benefits to bringing on a junior partner to your practice are obvious ― clearer succession plan, greater capacity to service clients ― but whether you're a solo practitioner or a team with a long-established dynamic, this can be a tricky process.

“It’s like a marriage,” says Mickey Wasserman, a Los Angeles-based recruiter.

Experts say there are several simple actions that advisers can do at the outset to ensure a successful marriage. First, have a clear job description, expectations and goals for the new partner so that you are both in full agreement as to what each other wants and needs.

“This is where great teams separate themselves from good teams,” says Matt Ransom, vice president of new financial advisor development at Raymond James. “Have a vision for why you want to hire somebody and how to hold them accountable moving forward.”

Do an assessment of your business to see if there are potential gaps in your service. Ransom suggests asking: can a junior partner help you or your team fill in those gaps? Regularly holding performance assessments with your new team member is also good practice.

Once you find the right person to take under your wing, you will need to put in time and effort to train this person in order to familiarize them with your style when dealing with clients.

“You get a feel for how they’re doing early on, and whether they’re coachable,” Ransom says. “We have a long runway for the people that are going to put a lot of effort in succeeding.”

And don't be shy about asking for help from coaches, branch managers or even a fellow adviser who has experience onboarding a new talent.

If you get it right, then adding a new team member can pay dividends, Ransom says.

"I like the energy a new team member can bring to a practice. It hits the second gear and it gets you re-energized," he says.

This story is part of a 30-30 series on strategies to boost your practice.

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