The current industry climate of immense super changes and fast developments in technology presented an opportune time for SMSF practices to focus on new talent and resource needs, according to a financial services graduate placement firm.
“Our graduates are bright and ambitious, and they’re looking for the opportunity to kick-start their careers in small to medium businesses where they can add value and be part of making a difference,” Grad Mentor director Alisdair Barr told selfmanagedsuper.
“They are coming out of university with degrees in financial planning, accounting, finance and economics, and SMSF firms can provide the perfect environment to coach and guide these young professionals to fulfilling professional careers for both them and the firms they work in.”
However, many university graduates were unaware of the opportunities in small to medium professional services firms, particularly in relation to SMSFs, Barr noted.
“So the first part is raising the awareness of the opportunities to this group of what a career around SMSF can look like,” he said.
“We’re confident these graduates will provide great solutions to professional firms who are prepared to invest the time in a graduate to get them technically proficient.
“The other component of the awareness is supporting firms to identify, select, grow and develop this talent who will be the future of the profession and a long-term contributor to their SMSF firm.”
While there have been significant technological developments with SMSF software, there remained an urgent need for client-facing resources.
“The use of technology is one of the key drivers of this next generation, so they’ll be able to adapt to that very easily, however, I am of the belief that tasks in firms that can be replicated can be automated,” Barr said.
“And for that, technology is great, but there is still the need to build relationships, show empathy and deliver great service, which will require great talent.”
He revealed Grad Mentor had experienced an increase in inquiries from financial planning firms for SMSF staff, however, most of the graduates who joined these firms often entered administration and client services roles and absorbed these tasks as part of their role.
“Clients normally come to us when they have a pressing need, a tactical solution, which is that someone has left their role or they have an increased workload,” he said.
“The concerns about a graduate are usually their lack of experience, however, this comes with the upside that they can be groomed in the way that the firm wants.
“Our clients really want to find bright graduates who can demonstrate a strong work ethic and attention to detail.”