FEATURED Q&A + FACT OR FICTION: A series of popular candidate questions followed by breaking down the most common job search myths and truths.
Our Featured Q&A gives you an opportunity to engage with us and get your questions answered on a variety of topics to pertaining to the insurance job search or career planning process. If you have a question you’d like answered from one of our insurance recruiting consultants, please email us at [email protected].
Q: Is there a best time of year to relocate/move?
A: While a simple question, there is no simple answer... Determining a “best” time to make a move is very case dependent. For certain professions or types of roles there are times of the year that tend to offer more opportunity than others but even those are not set in stone rules. The best time of year to make a move is when things work out best for you and your own personal situation.
Q: I have been looking for a new insurance job for several months and expected it to go much faster. What is the normal amount of time it takes to secure a new job?
A: Job searches are impacted by a multitude of factors ranging from geography, profession, and salary range to industry practices, availability of candidates, and more. Searches sometimes start and stop on the same day with a single interview leading to an offer, but we also see searches that for one reason or another take over a year. Planning for this unpredictability is a key part of an effective search strategy.
A: Every organization handles this a little differently and there is no set standard, but we do see some common themes. Generally, we see the following:
- For entry to mid-level hires: two or three interviews coupled with some testing or assessments in between.
- More senior level or executive hires: extend out to a 4th or even 5th interview. Be prepared for anything from one interview on up, but 4-5 total interviews is a hard average.
Q: Is there a good way to know if the time is right for me to be thinking about a career move?
A: Many people maintain something of an open policy to hearing about new opportunities. We hear from people a lot who are always willing to listen to something. In reality, they are not interested in making a change but would “if the right thing came along.” For those folks it is usually about needing to be blown away by something to really make a change. For them, the time is really not right because things are going great already. So how do you know if it is right for you? Is there something, or perhaps multiple things, you feel could or should be improved upon relative to your career? This could be commute, advancement, money, benefits, or any number of things. If you feel any of those pain points then you owe it to yourself to see if those improvements can be made by exploring your marketplace. You may just need reassurance you are in the best possible situation. or you may find something better is out there for you.
I should NOT expect a raise in transitioning to another organization.
FICTION. This is a tricky one because there are always a lot of factors at play so no two sets of circumstances are identical BUT I say fiction because most instances do afford the opportunity for an increase of some type. A loose guideline is the rule of 10. Generally a raise is sought at 10% or $10,000; whichever is less. That does not mean you’ll get that kind of increase but it is a good starting point for discussions and again, this cannot be stressed enough, every situation is unique. Be prepared that a lateral today may be necessary to advance your career in the direction you want to take it.
It is alright to be interviewing with multiple organizations simultaneously.
FACT. Actually, this is the ideal way to conduct your search if possible. The only drawback to consider here is time management. You need to be able to make yourself available more often if you are talking with multiple organizations. How can interviewing with multiple organizations benefits you?
- Provides a better perspective to help you make an informed decision
- Helps you insulate yourself from not getting a particular job or a company putting their search on hold.
Companies that won’t negotiate on salary will negotiate on vacation time, work from home, or other perks.
FICTION. Every organization is unique and their ability, or willingness, to negotiate. It is true that most companies have certain elements of an offer they are more flexible with, but it is case-by-case and without much predictability. In general you’ll find more flexibility within smaller to mid-sized organizations where they are not often governed by more rigid and fixed corporate guidelines.
I should wait until after a scheduled vacation to accept a new position.
FICTION. It is not uncommon for this to come up at the offer stage at all. People often have vacations or time off on the books and communicating it to a new employer when you accept an offer, not before, is the best way to handle it. Good companies will work with you and still allow for time off. The worst case scenario we encounter here is that you may take the time unpaid because of having worked so little time before your scheduled vacation. The reason waiting can be bad is about timing. Timing in a job search is the most important factor and also the least predictable. If the right fit with the right organization is available now, don’t wait. It may not be so easy to find something similar later on.