/Op-ed: Advisors can help clients manage their human capital

Op-ed: Advisors can help clients manage their human capital

Vladimir Vladimirov | E+ | Getty Images

The role of a financial advisor can encompass areas that many people might not expect.

The truth is a financial advisor is not just someone who helps with investments. Quite often, the job is to assist with every aspect of a client’s financial life.

Advisors use their expertise to create a personalized financial plan to help realize the client’s goals. That same advisor also can leverage their skillset to work with a client to manage their human capital to earn income and build wealth.

This is a key because human capital is essentially the future earning power a person has left in their career. I believe it is my responsibility to help clients maximize their human capital and plan for it so that its transition into financial capital is optimized.

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Of course, stable income is a necessary piece of building wealth. When a client experiences job loss, the impact on their financial life can be dramatic. The coronavirus pandemic has hit many of my clients especially hard. Because of our established trust, many clients have confided in me, hoping that my expertise can help them evaluate their job options and guide them to a solution.

While I’m not taking on a job as career coach, I am offering tips to clients to navigate the changing job market. My role is to help clients set up their finances to achieve their dreams, and — because of the pandemic — that includes answering questions surrounding job loss.

Before the pandemic, various studies concluded that 85% of jobs were filled through networking. Covid-19 has all but eliminated in-person networking opportunities, creating a significant roadblock to finding employment.

Clients are also struggling to crack the code of the hidden job market. It’s no secret that many positions are filled without ever being advertised. With recruiters starting their candidate search within their existing network, the hidden job market proves that word of mouth can make or break your search.

My experience in the financial industry has taught me that successful networking isn’t about meeting as many people as possible. Instead, you’re actually better off targeting key contacts to meet well-connected people.

To that point, 47% of companies use social media to attract employees, according to a Jobvite Recruiter Nation survey. Even networking events have moved online.

Although in-person networking may be a thing of the past (at least for now), social media and virtual networking present substantial opportunities for job seekers — and I’m sharing tips with my clients on how to get comfortable with creating a virtual version of themselves.

I try to offer tips to my clients who are looking for jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic. The use of social media and online events by potential employers means job seekers must clean up their online presence and practice their video skills to expand their virtual network. If they do, it could increase their chance of landing an open position.

I urge my clients to pay close attention to social media. Creating a strong social media presence is the first step. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are popular platforms that can help my clients connect with people they know. However, LinkedIn is where the magic happens. LinkedIn is my favorite recommendation when I hear of someone looking for a job.

Even former President Barack Obama once joked during a TV press conference that he would join LinkedIn to help him land a job after his term was up.

Hiring managers and employers use LinkedIn to source talent. To that point, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their candidate search, according to a Jobvite Recruiter Nation survey.

It’s best to start with people you know. If my clients contact me about losing their job, I encourage them not to be shy and to reach out to their friends and family to let them know you’re looking for a job. Send a connection request on Facebook or LinkedIn, and be sure to add a personal note.

Another piece of advice I offer my clients is to look up alumni networks you may have forgotten about and get in touch with former classmates and colleagues. It could help you tap into the hidden job market by getting a referral to a position that’s opening up.

Professional associations are another excellent source for networking. Joining and connecting with people in a professional association allows you to attend (virtual) events and meet others within your field. You may also connect with members who know of companies that are hiring and may arrange a job interview for you.

DjelicS | E+ | Getty Images

Video skills are also very important these days. When it comes to honing those video skills, I tell clients to practice, practice, practice.

Why? Because so many business conversations and events are now taking place online.

Above all, I suggest to clients to get comfortable using video and test their technology. Proper attire is also important — dress as you would for an in-person interview. If you lack video experience, practice with a spouse or friend, so you’re more relaxed during the virtual interview.

Just like financial investments require time to grow, job searching won’t happen overnight, either.

So much has changed this year. Employers and their human resources departments are still adapting to the pandemic and economic slowdown. Also, many firms are dealing with changes to existing staff and that can lead to longer response times when applying for open positions.

That means the job search and the hiring process itself may take a little more time than usual. That’s why I’ve encouraged my clients to be patient but persistent in their efforts.

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