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Cooper Parry Wealth’s recruitment process for paraplanners

ABR spoke to Rachel Kitching, head of operations at Cooper Parry Wealth, about the recruitment process the firm undertakes when hiring into a paraplanner role


ABR: How does Cooper Parry Wealth ensure it gets the right paraplanner for the job? 

RK: We have a really structured process for recruiting paraplanners into Cooper Parry Wealth.

Typically, if we’re looking for a senior paraplanner then we want someone who has or is close to achieving a Level 6 qualification and for a more junior paraplanner we’re looking for a Level 4.

But a qualification is only part of what makes a good paraplanner. A key element is experience. For a firm like ours, where we’re undertaking full financial planning for our clients, if a paraplanner doesn’t have experience of delivering that level of service then there’s additional time and resource needed to train them up.

Also, our paraplanners have very much a client facing role, they will attend and present within client meetings, so we expect them to have a whole range of skills, including presentation skills and soft relationship skills.

So getting the right candidate, in terms of qualification, experience and fit with the company is essential. Our recruitment process is thorough and follows a defined path, where we are testing people at every stage.

ABR: Would you talk us through that interview and testing process?

RK: Initially we sift through the CVs received and match candidates’ skills and experience against our set criteria. This begins the filtering process.

This is followed by a series of practical tests, which include psychometric profiling as well as tests for numeracy, speed and accuracy.

We then look at Kolbe scoring. This analyses the ‘conative striving’ as opposed to the ‘cognitive thinking’ of the candidates.

So using this series of tests, we assess the candidate’s emotional responses, through the psychometric profiling; their cognitive processes, their way of thinking; and finally, through the Kolbe testing, we look at how people will approach problem solving, their natural inclination towards putting things together and working things out. We’ve found the Kolbe scoring both interesting and useful in the recruitment process.

Once we’ve got that amount of testing and profiling complete, it is only at that stage that we will move into an interview situation. As a result, at interview we do tend to end up with a better calibre of candidate.

Then we test further in a two-interview process. Interview one will be very technical and knowledge based in its focus. Interview two will be more around assessing the candidate against our company values and whether they will fit within the team.

This may seem like a tough recruitment process but it can be made fun and both we as a company and the candidates get a lot of feedback from it, which can benefit both sides of the table.

Visit Cooper Parry Wealth website

Find out more about Kolbe scoring


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