Pro Tips

Recruiting in a Post-Pandemic Reset

by Tiffany Markarian

The struggle to find and retain top talent in recruiting is real. Not only do you have to find people with the right skills; you need to find people who want to fill the position in your firm.

Today’s Recruiting Environment

In today’s environment, strong compensation, workplace culture, and the opportunity for professional growth will always prevail. However, more candidates are seeking greater flexibility due to the demands of childcare, pet care, commuting expenses, and overall well-being.

Too many candidates have been disenchanted by prior work experiences. As a result, they are more selective and will filter opportunities based on new criteria. Post-pandemic, people want their sense of structure back and to know they are in the right place. It requires us to recruit with more awareness.

Culture Drivers

When introducing your firm to candidates, define the company values you and your team embody in the marketplace. Then, explain how you are looking for “culture drivers” on your team. Candidates need to understand how this role can help them achieve something larger than themselves. They want to feel connected to your corporate values and how your firm can help them achieve what they want in life as well.

Purpose-Driven Hiring

Post-pandemic recruiting is about rethinking your messaging. Rather than focusing solely on job tasks, or selling your firm, explain the outcomes your job creates.

For example, if you are hiring someone for your operations division or case management team, the emphasis is not solely on accuracy or scrubbing applications (yes, that is critical!). When you position the role this way, it can sound like pushing widgets down a manufacturing belt.

Instead, explain how the role’s purpose is fostering the critical link between financial advisors doing business with your firm, taking care of clients’ economic and emotional security, and driving bottom-line profitability. You can then share the professional development and growth opportunities available through your firm.

Think Like a Marketer

Recruiting needs to go beyond passive job postings. It is about targeting ideal candidates who are successful, but not satisfied. This requires you to think like a marketer and identify centers of influence in the industry who could refer you to candidates.

This is also the ideal opportunity to restate your firm’s hiring intentions to your staff. Your employees need to know who the firm is looking for and the types of individuals who would be a culture fit. Your best referral sources often come from the networks of your existing employees.

Diversity Recruiting Opportunities

One thing the pandemic taught us is candidates no longer need to come from cities and towns in close proximity to your firm. This new virtual environment allows you to capture ideal talent wherever they are located and expand your diversity and inclusion opportunities.

Virtual Interview Sensitivity

During the initial stages of the interview process, it is important to lay eyes on your candidates and establish rapport. However, most candidates who are actively employed elsewhere may have highly-monitored servers and corporate email accounts.

Although virtual meetings are preferred when an in-person meeting is not possible, it might not be the candidate’s preference. For the first interview, your candidate may prefer a phone call vs. Zoom, to avoid being monitored during work hours.

On the flip side, virtual environments allow for more frequent interactions with candidates. You can cultivate candidates on a regular basis without having to formally plan for in-person interviews.

Generational Recruiting Awareness

During this pandemic reset, there is a culture shift happening. Candidates are filtering decisions based on their view of leadership and the overall job experience.

Candidates no longer want a job that grinds them down (A.K.A. “work hard and follow instructions”). They are looking for a culture that allows them to grow and achieve something significant. It requires you to be more aware of generational needs.

For example:

  • Gen Z is more tuned in to environmental and social issues. They want to hear how they will help others in this role. Gen Z has also been affected by volatile markets, so it is important to emphasize how your position can offer them a stable career.
  • Gen Y / Millennials are more aware of self-development and improvement. Talk about their ability to grow, find their purpose, and make a difference in the industry.
  • Gen X is more sensitive and cautious of a firm’s leadership style. Many of these candidates have been through past issues with leadership and they want better balance in their work environment. They want to be part of a team that works well together to achieve goals.
  • Boomers have historically had a strong work ethic. As such, they want to be part of a firm that is growing and be recognized for the experience they bring to the table.

Skills and Personality Assessments

Post-pandemic recruiting is no longer about assessing simple paper resumes or online profiles and creating assumptions. There are pre-hiring tools available that help unveil a candidate’s motivations, management style, skills, and performance abilities. These insights can help you make better hiring decisions in applied settings.

Pre-hiring tools can include Myers-Briggs Type Indicators, DiSC assessments, and other Personality Orientation Profiles.


Success with recruiting is being cognizant of a candidate’s filters and feelings. It requires connecting on shared personal values and a common purpose.

Staying aware of these trends can help you attract and retain the right talent and strengthen your overall organization.

Tiffany MarkarianRecruiting in a Post-Pandemic Reset

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