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Hiring Experienced 401(k) Administrator in 2021


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Has anyone had trouble filling a 401(k) admin position in recent months?  We are hiring and our ads have not generated much interest.  I've placed ads on LinkedIn, Indeed, and adding one to Benefitslink today.  I'm just wondering if others have had success and their recommendation for where to connect with good candidates.  

Thank you. 

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Assuming you are looking for an experienced Administrator, and not "merely" someone smart who you can train:

I have no good sources other than the one you are using right now (BenefitsLink) - which is excellent. Unless you hit someone who is looking to relocate ALREADY, the general feedback that I've seen is that normal Admin positions frequently don't pay enough to entice people to relocate. If you are offering relocation expenses, that might help a lot. (If you move your business to Maui, you might get a lot more applicants. 😎)

I've also heard, anecdotally, that many of the larger companies, while they have some very good people, often compartmentalize - so someone may be very good at Nondiscrimination testing, but can't interpret a document or do a 5500 form or a VCP filing. So getting the trained person you want, at a price you want to pay, can be very challenging. Subject of course to local conditions/labor supply. 

It also seems to me that some of the younger generation has some unrealistic demands on salaries/benefits. (When I started, plans were pretty simple - we did them with a hammer and chisel on stone tablets, and benefit formulas were 1 goat per year of service up to 25...)

If you are willing to train, then job fairs at local colleges can work. At my prior employer, (a much larger company) we picked up a couple of excellent people. Problem there is that if you are a small TPA, there isn't generally a lot of room for advancement, so the 20-somethings move on.

Sorry I can't provide more helpful suggestions. Good luck!

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16 minutes ago, Belgarath said:

 (When I started, plans were pretty simple - we did them with a hammer and chisel on stone tablets, and benefit formulas were 1 goat per year of service up to 25...)

 

Man I wish I could have worked for some place with that rich of a benefit as a whole goat for 25 years back in the day!   Most I found I had to share a goat.....

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1 hour ago, susieQ said:

Thanks for the entertaining replies...

 

This isn't limited to the employee benefits. CPA firms are having a very hard time finding applicants to fill vacancies, especially as you get to manager level.  It is for a variety of reasons, but quality of life or work/life balance seems to be towards the top.  Many applicants are just not willing to take on the heavy workloads anymore, and this is especially true you do not offer work from home to offset some of that time.   The major CPA firms have started to increase pay and benefits to attract new applicants and folks who previously left the industry for something else.  I would assume that we can apply the same issues to our corner of the industry.   

 

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Also, TPAs are piling on more work and not offering more benefits. I've worked for various TPAs for the last 30 years. Raises were far and few between while piling on more work and requiring designations, which actually mean nothing except that you know how to study for a test! In today's environment telecommuting should be on the table definitely and also work/life balance.  No one should be answering emails on vacation (my biggest pet peeve!!! and also you aren't that important)  or during the weekend (again, you're not that important), or working over 40 hours a week.  If that's happening then your work load is too much.  There is also the ageism factor.  My husband who does have credentials decided to retire because he'd interviewed for many TPA positions just to be turned down in favor of a twenty-something.  

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1 hour ago, Riley Britton said:

No one should be answering emails on vacation (my biggest pet peeve!!! and also you aren't that important)  or during the weekend (again, you're not that important), or working over 40 hours a week.  If that's happening then your work load is too much. 

Eh, that really depends on the position.  Once you get past pure sit at your desk admin, you are going to have a very hard time finding an employer if you think it should be clock in - clock out 40 hours mon-fri.   

 

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On 5/24/2021 at 11:38 AM, Riley Britton said:

No one should be answering emails on vacation (my biggest pet peeve!!! and also you aren't that important)  or during the weekend (again, you're not that important), or working over 40 hours a week.

Ahhhh, the good old days.  Problem is, the work does NOT stop when you are on vacation, over the weekends, or in the evenings.  Choose your poison - check your phone a couple of times and get rid of the chaff, and deal with the low hanging fruit, or return to the office and see 6025 emails in your inbox (and, that is exactly the number in my inbox currently, and I've only taken 1 day off so far this year).  This thing called retirement is looking better and better every day and every email incoming.....  And for the record - EVERYONE *is* that important.  Just lose one of them and see how important they are.

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3 minutes ago, BG5150 said:

Do you use the Clean Up folder utility?  (If you are using Outlook)

Often.... 52 emails so far today....

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Rules, rules, rules.  Create rules.

Have the rules delete the crap that comes every day that you don't use.  I delete everything with "NIPA" in the title.

Shuffle all the crap into folders.  I send all my [insert R/K name here] daily (even on weekends!) emails to a folder and delete them all every so often.

I get an e-mail for every voicemail with an audio file of the message.  I use a rule to send all those to a file.

Anything to get the less imperative items off my main screen.

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And dang it!  You started talking about a lot of e-mails.  I usually don't get many.  Maybe a dozen or two in a day.  But between 3:05 and 3:15 PM today, I received 19 e-mails!  17 of them directly work-related.

You jinxed me!

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29 minutes ago, BG5150 said:

And dang it!  You started talking about a lot of e-mails.  I usually don't get many.  Maybe a dozen or two in a day.  But between 3:05 and 3:15 PM today, I received 19 e-mails!  17 of them directly work-related.

You jinxed me!

It wasn't me!  It was the universe that did you in!  I use rules in my personal email (also Outlook), but at work, 98% requires I at least be aware of the contents.  I try to "file" to a folder but often other more pressing matters intervene - which is the reason for the 6000+ in my inbox.  I do tend to ignore most "reply all" that include a member of my team (they can handle it, and will loop me in when needed).  The problem is - EVERYONE thinks you read, comprehend, and memorize everything they sent you - not realizing 600 other people are sending you stuff too...

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/26/2021 at 1:06 PM, MoJo said:

Ahhhh, the good old days.  Problem is, the work does NOT stop when you are on vacation, over the weekends, or in the evenings.  Choose your poison - check your phone a couple of times and get rid of the chaff, and deal with the low hanging fruit, or return to the office and see 6025 emails in your inbox (and, that is exactly the number in my inbox currently, and I've only taken 1 day off so far this year).  This thing called retirement is looking better and better every day and every email incoming.....  And for the record - EVERYONE *is* that important.  Just lose one of them and see how important they are.

What I meant is that everyone is replaceable.  I do not check emails/voice mails when on vacation OR the weekend. Absolutely not.  Don't get paid enough as an admin to do that.  After 2 weeks off the most emails I've ever had is 100 and  lots of those were deleted. 

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11 hours ago, Riley Britton said:

What I meant is that everyone is replaceable.  I do not check emails/voice mails when on vacation OR the weekend. Absolutely not.  Don't get paid enough as an admin to do that.  After 2 weeks off the most emails I've ever had is 100 and  lots of those were deleted. 

Depends on the function.  As noted in this thread, it's hard to find experienced talent, meaning "replaceable" but not easily or immediately....  I have a member of my team retiring next March, and we've already begun the search, because finding an expert on ESOPs and taxes is not easy.....

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