5 Tools for Hiring the Best Advisor Candidates

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Hiring employees can be one of the most important—and costly—decisions that financial planners make when it comes to growing their practices. But finding the right fit for your firm can be difficult in many cases, and sorting out the good candidates from the bad may simply come down to a gut-instinct decision. If that decision is wrong, it can cost you and your firm a great deal of time, frustration and lost revenue and have an adverse impact on both your clients and your other employees.

However, there are now several tools available that advisors can use to help them find the right candidate for their firm. These reasonably priced tests and programs can help prospective employers to quickly and efficiently find the exact match for their open positions.

Read on for a snapshots of a few tools intended to make hiring easier. (For related reading, see: )

Testing for Fit

  • DISC test. The Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness test provides a measure of how people communicate with each other. It can show prospective employers how a person will interact with folks who use different communication styles. The questionnaire can help users increase their knowledge of themselves, learn more about their own motivations and the things that cause them stress. It also shows how takers react to and solve problems. This test can ultimately indicate how someone is likely to act and communicate in a given situation, and how they will interact with you and other employees. The test can be taken online or on paper. Price: $59.25.
  • Strength tests. The series of tests breaks down 34 talent themes found in people and assesses the strength of each theme in a person. The more dominant a theme is, the greater the impact it will have in a person’s behavior and decisions. Some of the behaviors that it ranks include achiever, analytical, belief, command, communication, discipline, empathy, focus, input, intellection, learner, relator, strategic and woo. It should be noted that while these tests can find talent, these aptitudes may not be readily apparent in the takers and may require some cultivation. There are several different types of tests available. Cost for each: $24.95. (For related reading, see: )
  • Kolbe A Index. offers several different tests and measurements, but its A Index test is designed to assess the taker’s method of operation and instinctual way of doing things. The test is available online and has 36 questions. It only needs to be taken once, because the innate abilities that it measures do not change for a person over time. The test costs $49.95 and provides instant results and analysis. Other tests that the company offers include the Kolbe B test that gauges how takers perceive their job responsibilities; this test may help takers to see when they are faced with tasks and responsibilities that are contrary to their strengths and abilities. The Career MO+ and Financial MO+ can help takers to use their results from Index A and B to make better job and financial decisions.
  • 16 PF Questionnaire. uses a model with 16 personality trait variables. There are 164 questions that test takers answer about themselves, ranking their disagreement or agreement on a scale from 1 to 5. This test is designed purely for educational purposes and cannot replace other professional assessments. It is free to all takers. (For related reading, see: )
  • The Caliper Profile. This is designed to help employers discover whether a given candidate is the right fit for a job. The test analyzes takers on a deep level and helps employers screen out prospects who may have impressed in an interview but do not have the right characteristics for the job. It looks past interview formalities, gut feelings by employers and other external factors to get to the candidate’s real strengths, limitations and motivations. This tool can be used to find appropriate candidates for sales, administrative, management and technical personnel as well as graduates and real estate professionals. The test can be taken either on paper or online and the results are stored in the cloud. Employers can use these results to match them against different types or families of jobs or behaviors that are stored in the Caliper library.

The Bottom Line

Although no test or assessment can perfectly reveal every job candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, the tests listed here can provide solid baseline information about the characteristics and motivations for most possible hires. But these results should always be weighed against your knowledge of the traits in people who have been successful and unsuccessful in the job that you are hiring for—and also your own gut feelings. (For related reading, see: )

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