Top 4 HR Concerns of Financial Services Firms and How to Resolve Them

[Editor’s note: This is a featured blog post written by Steve Edney at TriNet. TriNet is a Bronze Sponsor at LendIt USA 2017 which will take place on March 6-7, 2017 in New York City.]

If you are an entrepreneur in the financial services industry or run a financial services firm, you know that there is simply no “one size fits all” solution to your human resources (HR) needs.

I work with hundreds of small and midsize financial services firms to provide them with bundled HR solutions that address their key HR challenges. This includes the entire financial services ecosystem from hedge funds, private equity and venture capital firms to family offices, commercial and investment banks, broker-dealers and registered investment advisors.

I know from my work in helping these businesses succeed and grow their business in the financial services industry that they have unique needs when it comes to HR services. Here are four of the most common areas of concern my financial services clients have when it comes to administrative HR – and my recommendations for combatting them:

1) Lack of time for complicated processes

Financial services industry professionals are on a tight schedule and need quick and efficient HR solutions. This is why financial services firms need two things regarding HR products and services: technology, preferably with a cloud-based platform and access to professionals with HR expertise, specifically in the financial services industry.

Financial services firms can benefit greatly from productivity applications such as expense management, paid time off tracking and performance management to automate many time-consuming HR administrative processes. Further, having a bundled HR solution that delivers payroll, benefits and compliance expertise, relieves a significant administrative burden, allows firms to focus on growing their core business and focus on strategic HR.

2) Help with burdensome paperwork

Financial services firms have no shortage of forms and paperwork they have to produce. Outsourcing time-consuming HR administrative tasks enables the person tasked with such to focus on more strategic issues such as growing the business, managing core business operations and retaining/attracting top talent.

This is why outsourced services that carry the burden of processing the extensive administrative HR paperwork associated with running a business are so vital. I recommend an HR service that handles K-1 distributions, W-2 remittance, large bonus payments, off-cycle payroll, employee handbooks and other common administrative burdens that financial services firms must deal with.

3) The ability to attract and retain talent

The quality and availability of key talent is crucial to success in the extremely competitive financial services industry, and small boutique firms are often competing against large companies for talent. This is why, access to rich healthcare plans, such as the ones larger competitors have access to, can help attract and retain talent. These plans are hard for smaller firms to come by in the open marketplace, especially with recent healthcare trends post Obamacare where many healthcare providers are decreasing their focus on the small-group market.

A reputable professional employer organization (PEO), however, can help financial services firms access these benefits, with significant economies of scale, and use them to attract potential employees. I also highly recommend applicant tracking software, which simplifies the hiring process with a centralized database, customizable workflows and candidate screening automation.

4) Risk and compliance management

Financial services firms are facing constant regulatory changes and increased scrutiny on their business. This is why it’s so vital to have high-touch service and the ability to show your stakeholders that your HR is professionally managed. In order to manage and mitigate many employer-related risks, I recommend to firms that they have employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), access to HR best practices advice in the areas of HR capital assessment, employee classification guidance and sexual harassment training.

Why is this important?

The biggest challenge facing these smaller firms is the lack of an institutional HR infrastructure – which is key to not only attracting and retaining top talent but also to maintaining compliance with the increasingly complex HR landscape.

If you have any questions about how TriNet can help better serve the HR administration needs of your financial services firm, please contact me at steve.edney@trinet.com or 203-388-0932 to evaluate your options.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance. 

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