When it comes to employee development, Freedom 55 Financial is as committed as they come. The company offers an extensive onboarding and training program for financial security advisors, ensuring that new hires hit the ground running – with all the licensing they need.
“We have always had the reputation in the industry for providing top-notch training for people that are new to the financial world,” said Herman Chan, director of practice development at Freedom 55 Financial. “And we’re constantly fine-tuning the process and improving upon it.”
There’s a lot we can learn from the success Freedom 55 Financial’s had with employee training and development. Let’s take a closer look.
Talent can always be developed
When Freedom 55 Financial looks for new financial security advisors, they don’t limit their search to candidates with extensive experience in the industry. Instead, they cast a wider net, and seek out talented, motivated people from all professional backgrounds who are looking for new opportunities.
“We are looking for career changers,” said Chan. “That means taking somebody who has done really well in something else and getting them to see the opportunity to be an advisor in our industry. We’ll take an ex-golf professional and make them an advisor; we’ll take an ex-retail sales manager and develop them into a successful financial security advisor.”
Chan should know; he studied journalism at Carleton University and then joined Freedom 55 Financial after running an RBC Insurance branch.
“I’m living proof that if you take a bit of risk you’ll get a bigger reward,” Chan said.
And with demographic changes in the industry, Freedom 55 Financial is increasingly looking to show young people the possibilities of a career in financial advising.
“It’s very important for us to attract more millennials to the industry,” he said.
Development takes devotion – and time
Freedom 55 Financial requires financial security advisors to obtain licenses to sell both life insurance and mutual funds. But trainees are hardly on their own.
New candidates start with up to six weeks of paid classroom training designed to help them attain their licensing, with a combination of in-class and web-based learning. Candidates are provided a training allowance during this period, which also covers the cost of the books and exams.
If candidates pass the licensing tests – which Chan estimates that, with Freedom 55 Financial’s training program, roughly 90 per cent do – they enter into the next phase of training: an eight-week program where they work directly with dedicated managers to learn about the company’s sales processes, product fundamentals, and client-focused approach.
That means that Freedom 55 Financial invests more than three months of training time to make sure new financial security advisors are set up for success.
Don’t stop developing
The company’s commitment to training and development doesn’t end after those initial three months.
For at least their first year with Freedom 55 Financial, a new financial security advisor will benefit from the close mentorship of a director with advisor experience.
Furthermore, every Monday and Friday morning new advisors are invited to additional training and development sessions at their local financial centres. Those sessions cover a variety of different topics, often with a focus on skill-based training and sales concepts.
Even the best can get better
Although this training and development program could serve as a model for companies who want to ensure their employees reach their potential, Freedom 55 Financial is not resting on its laurels.
As Chan explains, the company is continually looking for ways to further improve their training program.
“I’d like to think we’re already one of the best,” Chan said, “and we’re getting even better.”