Not many companies had plans to increase their headcount by around 20 per cent in 2012, but Convoy Financial Services set that goal and is well on its way to achieving it.
With the season for hiring fresh graduates now in full swing, the company is confident of expanding its total workforce to 1,800 or so in the next few months, with the addition of new recruits to train mainly as frontline financial planners.
'It is quite difficult to find good consultants,' says Henry Shin, Convoy's chief distribution officer. 'But we provide the right support and environment to train people new to the industry, and give them the skills and mindset to build a successful career.'
The induction process may include one month of 'pre-job training' to familiarise new joiners with office practice and sales team routines. Experienced staff will outline key aspects of the role and what to expect. Formal training over the next four to six weeks covers everything from compliance and financial knowledge to in-house policies and effective client interaction.
Trainee consultants also take exams to obtain the three industry licences enabling them to offer professional advice on insurance, investment products and the MPF.
'The MPF has become more important for us over the past two years, and it is an area we are planning to develop,' Shin says.
Noting that candidates with finance industry experience are always welcome to apply, Shin stresses that personal qualities, rather than degree subject or prior qualifications are the main determining factor.
The company looks for applicants who are self-confident and outgoing with good communication skills. Ideally, they should also have an analytical mind, a high level of integrity, and be good team players.
Once they complete the training programme and achieve initial sales targets, recruits can look forward to a fast-moving career.
The usual path will take them from senior consultant to management grade, where they recruit and run a sales team, to associate director within three to four years, depending on performance, of course.
Individual income potential increases commensurately, with seniority bringing the chance for commission, recurrent earnings and 'overrides' based on team achievements.