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4 min read

Building an Exceptional Hiring and M&A Process

Building an Exceptional Hiring and M&A Process

Merit Financial Advisors uses the DNA Web App to find the right talent, enhance team dynamics, and acquire firms that are behavioral fit.

This financial services firm stands out not only for its impressive track record with clients, but also for its commitment to nurturing an exceptional workplace culture. In this case study, we explore how they harnessed the power of the DNA Behavior web app to build an enviable people-culture and that sets them apart in their industry. Not has it simplified and enhanced their hiring strategy, it has fortified their mergers and acquisitions (M&A) review process. This exemplary process has led to them acquiring 40 businesses and becoming a $10 billion AUM (assets under management) firm.

Recognizing the Importance of Hiring the Right Talent
As a rapidly growing firm with a keen focus on culture, Merit Financial Advisors understood the critical importance of making the right hiring decisions. They realized that finding the perfect talent wasn't just about impressive resumes; it required a deeper understanding of candidates' behavioral traits and how they might integrate into their existing team. This realization led them to seek a more refined and data-driven approach to talent acquisition.

Partnering with a Cutting-edge Recruiting Firm
They decided to partner with Core Ventures, a recruiting firm that specializes in finding the right fit for companies, not just the right resume. Core Ventures quickly recognized the need for a tool that could provide valuable insights into candidates' behavioral profiles to ensure compatibility with Merit Financial Advisors' unique culture. They turned to the DNA Behavior Web App to streamline their talent acquisition process.

Leveraging the DNA Behavior Web App in Hiring
After subscribing, here are a few of the ways that Core Ventures and Merit Financial Advisors utilized the features of the DNA Behavior web app in hiring:

Linked the Behavioral Assessment to Job Postings
One of the key features of the DNA Behavior Web App is the self-registration link provided to candidates within job postings. This link allows interested individuals to easily participate in a behavioral assessment, providing a holistic view of their natural strengths, personality traits, cognitive biases, motivations, and more. The beauty of this online tool is its simplicity and accessibility, as candidates can complete the assessment at their convenience.

Upon completion, candidates instantly receive their individual results. Simultaneously, Core Ventures is alerted and provided with insights on how the candidate's behavioral style aligns with the demands of the financial advising role, including their approach to client interactions, money management, and their work style within a team. The unprecedented level of accuracy of the data accelerates the entire hiring process.

Used Comparison Reports to Conduct More Informed Interviews
Armed with this wealth of behavioral data, Core Ventures creates Comparison Reports within the app that directly compare the candidate's profile with the profiles of existing team members. These reports are invaluable during the interview process, as they enable the hiring manager to ensure that the candidate is not just a skillset match but also a behavioral fit for the team. The insights gleaned from these reports empower hiring managers to ask targeted behavioral interview questions, fostering a deeper understanding of each candidate.

"For me, it was very confirming. You think you have a handle on who you are as you become more self-aware, but its confirming to have science back those feelings you have and what you think about who you are. We use DNA Behavior quite a bit at our firm and we use it in our interview process to give us a head start in understanding that person."

Rick Kent, Founder & CEO, Merit Financial Advisors


Shared Insights With Employees to Improve the Onboarding Process
Once a candidate is identified as a strong fit, their profile is seamlessly integrated into the main Merit Financial Advisor user account. Existing employees gain access to these insights, allowing them to understand the newcomer's behavioral profile even before meeting them in person. Colleagues will know what strengths the new hire brings to the table and the best way to relate to them.

Used Team and Work Talent Reports to Build Stronger Teams
Merit Financial Advisors also uses the Work Talents and Team reports provided by the DNA Behavior Web App. These reports aid in the initial hiring process but are equally important in the integration process. The insights foster a sense of connection and understanding among team members that enhances team dynamics.

Reinforcing the M&A Review Process
When Merit Financial Advisors looks at a firm for acquisition, they profile all of the key stakeholders to understand their key behaviors using the DNA Behavior web app. They also analyze teams using the Team Report feature, an on-screen reporting tool that maps the personality traits of each team member. Company leaders facilitate discussions about their own workplace culture and the culture of the firm being reviewed for acquisition.

Features of Team Report Used in M&A Review:

Results and Relationships
The Team Report is used to get an overview of the team, as well as the natural strengths and personality traits of each participant. One specific area Merit Financial Advisors looks at is how they score in the area of results versus relationships. The ideal team will have a balance.

Unique Style Mix
They also take a broader view of the unique style mix of the team and to see how compatible they are for working amongst themselves and with the existing corporate team. They look at each person’s DNA Natural Behavior Styles as well as the Compatibility Matrix.

Factors, Strengths, Struggles, and Communication Keys
The app highlights each individual’s work talents and helps Merit Financial Advisors understand how they will operate. They looks at the Behavioral Factor Analysis, Behavioral Strengths and Struggles, and Behavioral Communication Keys for each team member.

The Results
The integrations between Merit Financial Advisors, Core Ventures, and the DNA Behavior Web App has yielded remarkable results:

  1. Recognition: Merit Financial Advisors has been recognized as one of the "Best Places to Work for Financial Advisers" by InvestmentNews for the last six years in a row!

  2. Streamlined Hiring: The behaviorally based talent acquisition process has significantly reduced the time and effort required for hiring, saving valuable resources.

  3. Company Culture: The behavioral insights provided by the DNA Behavior Web App have proven to be remarkably accurate, ensuring that each hire or acquisition aligns not only with the company's skill requirements but also its unique culture.

  4. Enhanced Team Dynamics: Using the Work Talents and Team reports, the firm is able to integrate new hires and acquisitions seamlessly into their teams, resulting in improved collaboration and productivity.

Merit Financial Advisors is an industry trailblazer with a reputation for innovation and excellence. Becoming a recognized leader in the financial advising industry was greatly influenced by their commitment to building an outstanding company culture and their strategic use of the DNA Behavior Web App. By partnering with Core Ventures and harnessing the power of behavioral insights, they have not only achieved industry recognition but has also laid a strong foundation for continued growth and success in the ever-evolving world of financial advising. We are proud to be a part of their transformative journey that has helped them build a people-centric business. By delivering great employee experiences (EX), great client experiences (CX) naturally followed!


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