Financial services firm Edward Jones has partnered with 100 Black Men of America, Inc. in a collaborative effort designed to raise awareness of the firm’s career opportunities within the African-American community, and to provide financial education programming in communities where both organizations have a presence. The goal is to offer more choices to investors who are diversifying faster than the pool of financial advisors.
“We’re trying to offer more choices to investors,” says Price Woodward, principal of Financial Advisor Recruiting and Hiring at Edward Jones. “A growing number of our investors are Asian, black or Hispanic and many are females. The investment advisor profession has been very white and very male dominated. Not only do we want to diversify because we think it’s the right thing to do, by the same token, we need to offer greater choices to our investors.”
In addition to the partnership pilot with 100 Black Men, the firm is using outside recruiters to meet its hefty diversity applicant requirements and has recently moved a tenured female financial advisor into a dedicated recruiting position in an effort to boost the strategic recruitment of female financial advisors.
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Woodward says that Edward Jones employs more than 11,200 financial advisors. In 2007, the firm had a goal of hiring more than 300 new advisors each month which included 250 new advisors in the U.S. and 25 in Canada and the United Kingdom. For 2008, the firm has a goal of hiring 275 U.S. financial advisors each month along with another 30 in both Canada and the United Kingdom on a monthly basis. Because the firm only hires 8% to 9% of the people who apply, the firm processed 42,000 applicants last year which translates to 175 to 180 applicants on a daily basis.