RIAs, here are 4 ways to find your future new hire

Hear directly from an RIA intern who sat down with university reps and
other industry professionals to gather tips for advisors on finding talent. 


October 20, 2021

By Erin Higgins, RIA Intern 

Although I now have a much better understanding of the RIA industry, I realize that there are not that many young professionals who are aware of this career path. 

This is certainly not an easy problem to fix. But to help address the issue, I reached out to advisors and faculty from multiple universities across the country to get their advice. 

Here are some recommendations based on what I learned: 

  1. Get involved with programs at universities.

The only way to attract young people is to let them know that your firm exists.

“Students tend to gravitate towards what they know. Come to Campus. Volunteer your time. You can’t be what you can’t see.” 

Nathan Harness, Director of Financial Planning at Texas A&M University

Letting students know about your firm can open many doors to attracting young professionals while also helping make your local programs better. Cäzilia Loibl, CFP® Program Director at The Ohio State University talked about the many ways that advisors get involved with her program; she invites advisors to co-teach her introductory courses, get involved on the financial planning advisory board, and become mentors for the students in the program.  

Thomas Carroll, Principal and President of Homrich Berg, and Schwab Advisor Services Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Board member, talks about how there are many no-cost options available to advisors through programs that are already established through the university. These include attending job fairs or hosting on-campus mock interviews. Not only are these programs free, but they allow you to interact one-on-one with students as well as get your name out there.  

There are many programs across the nation that are looking for firms to get involved. This website gives you the ability to find a program within your area that you can get involved in. It also provides you with the contact information of the coordinator of each program. 

  2. Become a mentor for a student.  

Nandita Das, Director of Financial Planning at Delaware State University says, “Coming to the classroom is only a precursor, and relationship building shouldn’t end there.” Building a relationship with young professionals should happen on a one-on-one basis. It is easy for young people to find out about a firm, but to stand out, you must cultivate a professional relationship with them that will help differentiate you. Das also says that students need to be exposed to the real impact of financial planning, versus just theory. At the end of these mentorships, advisors may see the potential that the student has and end up giving him or her a job offer.  

  3. Create internships and externships 

“Students want to get into an industry where they feel they can succeed, and internships create opportunities that allow them to succeed.”

Cäzilia Loibl, CFP® Program Director at The Ohio State University

Offering an internship gives students the opportunity to see the type of work they would do on a day-to-day basis at your firm. Another way is providing externships to students that allow them to come shadow an advisor for a day. Bringing a student into the office helps the student picture themselves working there, which will help determine if they are a good fit for the firm. These opportunities don’t have to cost much to the firm. Besides paying the student, the firm could also partner with the school to help provide course credit. Not only will these internships help you today, but should the intern have a great experience they become your best brand ambassador to their network.  

"When recruiting young talent to your firm, advisors must keep in mind that it is a marathon and not a sprint."

 Thomas Carroll, Principal and President of Homrich Berg 

  4. Spread the word at elementary and high schools too 

Harness talks about how it is a good idea to partner with elementary and high schools to show students that this industry exists because many students don’t know about it. He also states that it is important to talk about how financial planning helps improve people’s lives. 

High school students and advisors have the opportunity to participate in the Financial Planning Academy, developed by Texas Tech University and funded by Charles Schwab Foundation, in partnership with Schwab Advisor Services. It’s a summer program that offers rising high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors education, and training in the core areas of personal financial management. 

About the author: 

As a rising Graduate student at Texas A&M University, Erin is currently studying Accounting, Financial Management, and Financial Planning. This summer she worked as an RIA Intern with Schwab Advisor Services. Erin says she learned about many opportunities to grow within the independent investment advisory profession and is looking forward to jumpstarting her career in financial services after graduating in May. 


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) is not affiliated with Schwab Advisor Services or The Charles Schwab Corporation.   

The above mentioned firms and their employees are not affiliated with or employees of Schwab unless otherwise noted. 

The Charles Schwab Foundation is a nonprofit, private foundation, classified by the IRS as a charity under section 501(c),(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is neither a part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC) nor its parent company The Charles Schwab Corporation. 

Schwab Advisor Services™ serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading, and support of Schwab. 

Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with, or supervised by Schwab. For informational purposes only.