One thing that we’ve discovered over our 25 years in business is that people have a thirst for knowledge. They want to develop new skills and feel like they’re moving on in their career. And that was backed up by LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, where 94% of employees said they would stay longer at a company if it helped them learn and progress. Even getting a pay rise didn’t come out that high!

In the next blog in our series, 25 years of passion, quality and service, we’re focussing on how to get it right when you recruit new people and build your team. We’ll look at why it makes sense to hire people who are a good fit for the way you work and then help them acquire the skills they need, rather than choosing people based on their qualifications and skills and finding you can’t teach them to share your values.


Better skills mean a better business

Investing in your team and developing their skills and qualifications is a no-brainer. It means you have a happier, more motivated group of people working for you. And as their knowledge grows, they’re able to give a better service to your clients. And if you need another reason, it means they’ll stay with you for longer – meaning you’ll actually get a healthy return on your investment.


Attracting the right people

Our core values mean everything to us, so it’s important that our team lives and breathes them too. If you want to surround yourself with people who have the right kind of values, attitude and potential for your business, you need to offer more than a competitive salary. Just as your hiring decisions shouldn’t only focus on a candidate’s CV, the right person will be looking beyond your job description and list of benefits. They’ll want to sign up to the kind of company and culture that cares about where they’re headed, aligns with their beliefs and offers a nurturing environment for their future.

It’s something we’ve found when trying to attract suitable Client Relationship Managers. Unless we can show them how we’ll invest in their career, it’s hard to convince them to leave their current employer.


Get the best people early on

Our Apprenticeship scheme has been one of the best things we’ve done for our business. It means we can find brilliant young people, straight out of school or college and help them take their first steps in our industry. Training is usually two years, but our latest star recruit, Tom, became fully qualified within 18 months. He’s 20, has already developed great experience, been promoted to Client Relationship Manager. Now two more young people have just joined us to begin their exciting journey in the mortgage and insurance world.


Building the board of the future

You need to think about the future of your business as well as what’s happening right now. That’s why we’re working with Infusion to help our advisers build the skills they’ll need to eventually take on management and leadership roles within First Financial. They’re learning how to use their time more efficiently, work smarter and manage a team. And most of all, it’s showing them that we’re really serious about promoting from within.


Want to know more?

If you found this interesting, you might also want to read the previous blog in our series, 5 top tips for a brilliant team. Or get in touch for advice about all kinds of mortgages, property finance, life and critical illness cover.