Schwab study: Firms want people skills more than analytical prowess

Sales ability and experience remains a high priority for new personnel

Nov 15, 2017 @ 3:28 pm

By InvestmentNews

For entry-level employees at advisory firms, the human touch is much more important than number-crunching skills, according to this year's Schwab Independent Advisor Outlook Study, whose findings were released this week in tandem with the annual Schwab IMPACT Conference in Chicago.

The study found that 82% of advisers seek employees with "people skills" versus 18% who are looking for employees who are "skilled with numbers." The survey also found that the top three backgrounds advisory firms consider valuable in candidates are communications, sales and consulting.

Additionally, while 56% of firm owners are looking for employees who can ultimately become part of the firm's leadership team, a sizeable 44% want employees who will support the firm without seeking a leadership role.

In terms of technology, advisers said the most important tools in their daily work life are tablets and mobile devices, Bluetooth in their car and smart TVs. Least important are robots, smart watches and virtual reality goggles.

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