The wrong hire in your wealth management back-office operations team can be costly to your firm, and not just in the monetary sense.
Bad hires affect operational performance, and they influence your mood and a team’s overall morale. The longer they stay in your organization, either more damage occurs or it simply prevents your firm from achieving its operations objectives.
Is there a gut feeling in you that says something isn’t quite right with these hires? Or perhaps something is very wrong, but you don’t know it’s an actual problem or you brush it aside, hoping everything will work itself out.
6 Signs of a Wrong Hire in Wealth Management Back-Office Operations
Showing Up Late
Daily reconciliation reporting requires punctuality, as the reports often need to be completed early in the morning before or just at the beginning of the stock market’s opening.
The hire knew the job required an early start time, usually 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning, but you find them showing up consistently late, and not just by a few minutes.
It’s understandable to prefer staying in a warm and cozy bed, but the job description is very clear: be at the office very early so the daily reports can be ready for your trading and investing teams.
Even if this person does a great job in their work, the choice to be routinely late signals arrogance and entitlement. Just because someone performs well, they are not entitled to using the time they show up to work as a bargaining chip.
This might go hand-in-hand with showing up late; attitudes towards time can say a lot about the person.
Other departments in your organization need their daily, monthly, and quarterly reports by a certain time, and if this work is frequently done past the deadline and without good reason, this person might not be a suitable member for your back-office staff.
But before making accusations, make sure you’ve looked into any possible reasons for delays that shouldn’t place blame solely on them.
- Is the back-office team overworked?
- Are the documentation and training resources poor and lacking?
- Is the Internet slow?
If the workload is reasonable, the documentation and training resources are adequate, and the Internet speed is fast enough, then you can question them for missing targets.
Reporting Mistakes Galore
Reporting errors are another source of frustration for operations managers. Bad data affects cash and positions reconciliation, and it ruins the performance reports.
Again, before assigning blame, check the quality of your training, process documentation, and QA systems. Now if you’ve done everything in your power to have a well-trained back office operations reporting team and you’ve seen everyone else perform well except for one, then it’s a sign of a bad hire.
Making mistakes is one thing; learning from them is another. Recurring mistakes in the same area is a cause for concern, and it’s a sign they might not ever learn.
- Does they get combative when you provide criticism or feedback?
- Do they fight with other team members?
- Do the verbal exchanges involve shouting or result in someone crying?
- Are they just in general a negative source of energy to your wealth management firm?
Employees like this are not worth holding on to, despite their portfolio accounting skills. Behavior like this will negatively affect others’ productivity levels, and they’ll cause headaches for everyone in the organization.
This article from the Houston Chronicle offers great tips and reminders for when letting go of someone with a bad attitude.
Overstated Skill Sets
Some hires will fudge their résumé, claiming more experience and expertise in your portfolio accounting software than they really have. Perhaps when you hired them, you expected they’d be further up to speed, but now you have to train them up.
Other hires will claim a skill in something that is expected and assumed they should already have.
For example, some will say they’re skilled in Microsoft Excel, which in their mind is the ability to add a few values into the cells and create a basic graph. But in this day and age, we expect someone working on a computer will know how to enter data into a spreadsheet. To be truly skilled in Excel would mean a knowledge in working the formulas and logic functions, which most people don’t have expertise in.
No Skills Growth or Development
Some hires will not show a willingness to grow as an asset to your wealth management firm. Instead, they stick with the skills they already have, and they don’t want to perform tasks that are hard or make them feel uncomfortable.
When new work arises, they will not take initiative in offering a helping hand. They treat work like a hot potato, quickly passing it on to someone else to deal with.
If key back-office employees leave your team, then you’re left with the horses that didn’t want to learn new tricks as backups.
Solutions to Dealing with Bad Operations Hires
Invest More Time in Hiring
According to a report article from CareerBuilder, one of the leading reasons for a bad hire is the employer’s need to fill a position quickly, and when selecting a candidate under stressful and
time-sensitive conditions, there is no luxury of taking enough time to choose the right person.
Still, investing more time in the hiring process will help avoid these bad hires. And considering the the labor market has been tightening, you need to take the time to hire, because the talent is harder to come by.
Improve Your Training Program
Maybe you hired someone for a position that you expected to train someone. If so, make sure all of the resources to conduct proper training are available, including good documentation.
Use an Employee Monitoring and Performance Tracking System
Having such a system in place will give you a better view of how your team is doing. You can see what time your employees clock in, and you’ll know if they’re finishing their reports on time. It can also help identify errors in the report before finished.
Let new hires know what kind of work environment they’re entering into, and make it clear that creating drama and discord will not be tolerated.
- Conflicts will be solved peacefully, not through arguments and tantrums.
- Being good for goodness’ sake will advance you within the organization.
- Taking initiative and learning new skills will be rewarded.
Consider Wealth Management Outsourcing for Your Back-Office
Rather than deal with the headache of hiring and the consequences of a bad hire, you can work with a back-office reconciliation outsourcing company that will perform the work for you.
In addition, they can run the reports overnight, ensuring you’ll get them before you come into the office in the morning.
They supply you with a team of portfolio accounting specialists according to the workload, and they have sophisticated quality control and automation systems to ensure you get accurate reports.
A Better Wealth Management Back-Office Operations
A bad hire hurts your organization beyond financially; they make life at work difficult for you and everyone else. By identifying the signs of a poor choice in hiring, you can also learn how to properly deal with them.
Operational performance is key, so don’t let a bad employee in your-back office bring it down.
Empaxis is a leading provider of middle- and back-office outsourcing services for asset managers and hedge funds.