Mary Newgard

Mary Newgard
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Recent Posts

Account Manager or Account Executive? Choosing the Right Candidate Profile

Going back and forth on your next hire?  Let Capstone shed some light to settle on your profile.

There’s a thin line between insurance agencies using Account Manager or Account Executive to describe an experienced service professional.  The insurance industry creates confusion on titles, pay and responsibilities because agencies are plagued by title nuances.  In 10 seconds I amassed 12 titles that describe this agency function:  Analyst, CSR, Account Manager, Associate, Assistant, Specialist, Client Manager, Client Advocate, Consultant, Account Executive, Client Executive and Risk Advisor...

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An Impossible Search: The Warning Signs for Hiring Managers

You’re never going to fill that job.  That person does not exist.  A lot is broken in your profile. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but insurance organizations waste a lot of time in the recruiting process. When you get off to the wrong foot structuring the profile the process is exponentially harder from that point forward.  There is only one step past describing a search as difficult. It’s impossible. Here’s how you got to this point.

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Why Is Producer Recruiting SOOOOOOO Frustrating?!

I’m having trouble reconciling several frustrating experiences I had with producer recruiting last week.  I talk to insurance agencies constantly about their recruiting plans.  Their automatic response is, “We’re always looking for good producers.” 

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How Should You Send a Thank You After a Job Interview?

Like the VCR, Handwritten Thank You Cards Are Dead. While I know my partner Chris still believes in the power of the handwritten thank you note, I am here to tell you why I my opinion is that fulfilling instantaneous expectations should be your #1 goal and why I think it will suffice.

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When Is The Last Time You’ve Had a “Recruited” Candidate Referral?

One of the most common objections I hear from companies about working with an insurance recruiter is they feel the candidate quality is sub-par. Perhaps you’ve made similar statements: “Recruiters send me the same people I already know or can find on my own” and “All the candidate referrals I see are unemployed people and job hoppers.”

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The Test To Know If Your Insurance Organization Actually Recruits

I love Seinfeld.  I REALLY love Seinfeld.  If you are with me, keep reading, you’re going to like this post.  The best episode is the one with the marine biologist. If you agree, again, congratulations and keep reading. The beginning of the episode is Kramer’s proposal to Jerry and George: Who Wants to Have Some Fun!? 

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Job Postings For Cutting Edge Insurance Positions: Overcoming Writer’s Block

Insurance is an innovative industry. Companies and brokers are constantly reinventing or adding positions based on products, services and market trends. Some of the most exciting jobs hitting the market are ones the majority of insurance organizations are only starting to consider. DeLoitte’s 2017 outlook talked about industry transformation and modernization. We’re going to see a lot more hiring activity in technology, data security, process automation, advanced analytics and regulatory compliance.

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My Insurance Agency’s Recruiting is So Hard Because of Our Location

Rural markets aren’t as different from major cities as you might think.

The Human Resources Manager for a Central Coast insurance agency in California recently told me they struggle with recruiting insurance talent because they are in a “rural” market.  They’ve experienced many letdowns when recruiting qualified people who won’t relocate from Los Angeles or the Bay Area.  While I don’t disagree that location is a major factor in recruiting, it’s also worth noting the struggle is real for agencies no matter location. 

When you let this lie become your truth here’s what happens...

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4 Steps to Building A Proactive Insurance Recruiting Strategy

Planning Past the Tip of Your Nose
How to Develop a Proactive Insurance Recruiting Plan in 2018

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How Can You Refresh a Tough Insurance Job Opening?

A few weeks ago I blogged about a Benefits Account Manager opening that an agency had been trying to fill for ten months.  Sometimes we get so far down the mud hole we can’t see a way to climb out.  On that note, I ran a Mud Run once. There’s nothing quite like running a mile in shoes that feel like bricks full of sand, mud and water ----------------------------------------->

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Wanted: Executive Maturity

Insurance Agencies Recruiting Management Talent in Droves for 2018

Up and Comer.  Next Generation.  Future Leader.

Perpetuation gets so much attention when agencies discuss recruiting I’m almost sick of using the term.  People are retiring at a rapid rate from the insurance industry. There’s no debate there.  The problem is when an aging workforce intersects another underlying issue unique to agencies. 

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10 Months Later: Benefits Account Manager Opening Remains

Finding it difficult to recruit experienced insurance talent?  You’re not alone.  Below is the story of an insurance agency paralyzed in a search that began as a seemingly basic senior benefits account manager opening.  If you can relate perhaps you can also find a solution by hearing their story.

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The Fundamental Truths About Insurance Agency Hiring

Doing More Harm Than Good 
One Insurance Agency’s Story About Backchannel References // Insurance Agency Hiring

“I think we made a big mistake”  were the first words spoken to me by an insurance agency executive when recounting the story of a failed reference check.  It was an innocent idea by which the whole mess got started.  She was introduced to a new potential employee.  One of her ex-employees just so happened to work at the same firm as the applicant. Trusting the quality of the intel, they placed a call to their former colleague. 

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Using Analytics To Secure Top Insurance Talent

Big data ensures successful hiring.

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Talent Recruitment A Top Concern for Insurance Executives


Human capital. Talent acquisition.  Recruiting.  
Call it what you want but finding experienced insurance professionals is only getting more difficult.

In a recent Insurance Journal news report, 57% of insurance executives who attended a MarshBerry conference in May cited “Talent Recruitment” as their answer to What is the top challenge the [insurance] industry faces in the next three to five years?”  

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Location is Killing My Insurance Job Search

Earlier this week while preparing an insurance professional candidate for a job interview I mentioned  the  hiring manager’s first question about him concerned his location. The candidate is in western Massachusetts about 60 miles/60 minutes from the client's office.  He lives in a part of the state locals describe as “rural,” which basically means you’re nowhere near Boston and only a fool would commute that far for a job. He said multiple companies haven’t interviewed him because of where he lives.

Location is killing my job search.

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Client Management Talent: What We’re Seeing In the Insurance Market

Insurance Client Management Talent:  What We’re Seeing Out There
Account Managers and Brookies: The Ultimate 2 in 1 Combos

Why is it so hard to find experienced insurance account managers? While the insurance newswire is dominated with topics like Organic Growth, Mergers & Acquisitions and Producer Perpetuation, the reality is on a daily basis the most difficult position for an agency to fill is Account Manager. It doesn’t matter the discipline (commercial, employee benefits or personal lines),

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Your Insurance Agency’s Path to Adopting Remote Employees

What Makes Us Different?

As a small or medium sized insurance agency, I’m not sure that you appreciate what a significant recruiting advantage you gain by offering remote, work at home arrangements. Particularly with Account Managers and Account Executives, you’re really up against it when competing against alpha houses and larger brokers for the same people. Those firms have some serious talent acquisition resources:

  • Deep pockets
  • Human Resources analytics
  • Cloud service recruiting software
  • In-house recruiting teams
  • Brand recognition

If you find it difficult to hire experienced insurance candidates you must figure out What Makes You Different.  Forget about salary, bonus, benefits or PTO.  Creating a strong telecommuting policy could be the most attractive carrot you dangle to prospective and existing employees. 

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Google Your Insurance Producers: Advertising and SEO 101

Any insurance agent can hang their own shingle, but the idea that we’re better together drives salespeople to work for larger insurance agencies.  Historically, companies have recruited producers by touting resources like...

  • Market access
  • Creation of wealth
  • Service
  • Internal resources
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Why Can’t I Find Good Insurance Producers?

Get Healthy/Get Fit is the top New Year’s Resolution for 2017.  I suspect this is the case most years.  Before January 1st, researchers found a 315% increase online around the search term 'gym.'  An exercise routine is hard to keep up.  Many people start out vigorously and well intentioned.  Very few reach their goals.  We live in an instant gratification society: I want to lose weight. I want to eat that Girl Scout cookie.  I’ll just skip the gym today.  It’s not the goal but the fundamental flaw that derails the process. 

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