CSG Q2 NEWSLETTER: WHAT'S TRENDING IN THE SUMMER INSURANCE JOB MARKET
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I resigned and was offered more money and a promotion at my current employer; does this mean they value me or is it tricks to help themselves?
A: This one is tricky. In some instances organizations really do see the error of their ways when a person resigns and realize in those moments they need them too much to see them leave. This is rarely the case, though.
More often they are covering their own interests. If they offer you a $25,000 raise it really breaks out to around $2,000 per month. Say they keep you for 2 months and then, when they’ve made a new hire or two, “downsize” your position, they really paid a few thousand dollars to replace you on their own time. Well worth it to many businesses.
In another example imagine a company underpays over what they feel they can pay them. Then, only when people resign, they offer them big raises. Those raises only bump the person to what they should/could have been making all along but it seems like a grand gesture and declaration of your value. Do you really want to work for a company like that?
These are examples but they are rooted in real life situations. The reality is that counter-offers are exceedingly infrequently real solutions and almost never work out as a result.
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.
Q: Do all companies pay a salary and bonus?
A: Compensation plans are as varied as the organizations paying them. Many pay salaries but there are some who still pay hourly as the fixed component. Some professionals, depending on role, work purely on commission or incentives as well. On the variable side bonuses are common but many organizations still offer no bonus or commission while others are heavily incentive driven. There simply is no “normal” or “standard” compensation arrangement anymore.
Q: Is it okay if my resume is more than 1 page?
A: Recruiters and hiring managers tend to value a compacted resume that is concise and clear. They also value an informative resume. Striking a balance is important. You want your resume to clearly and concisely outline your experience but you never want to shorten it so much that the content gets lost and the reader no longer knows your capabilities. Going over a page is acceptable provided the need is there to warrant it. You always want to read and reread your resume looking for ways to improve the clarity and shorten it without compromising the integrity of what you are illustrating. Here is a link to our resume resource.
Q: Is it okay to use personal references in a job search?
A: You certainly can provide them but they carry very little, if any, merit. Everyone could find friends, family, neighbors, people from their place or worship, or other people they encounter on a personal basis who will say good things about them. You having that too does not help you in a job search. Any references you provide relative to a job search should be professional. A former boss is always good to have and you should supplement the list with colleagues, vendors, clients, or others who can speak to your professional capabilities.
Remote/work-from-home jobs are common in the insurance industry.
FICTION. There could be some semantic debate as to what “common” means but in general, this is fiction. While more and more companies are adopting some form of flexible scheduling or telecommuting it is being integrated slowly and most often comes in the form of working a day or two from home versus permanently. Certain types of roles see greater flexibility than others but it remains relatively rare to see fully remote roles.
My willingness to make less money will make me more attractive as a candidate.
This is both fact and fiction; depending on circumstances...
FACT. Being openminded on compensation figures and structure (salary versus bonus, incentives, etc.) can definitely be an advantage and increase your appeal to prospective employers.
FICTION. This component comes into play when someone is taking a larger step back. While the idea of hiring someone who used to make $80,000 and paying them $60,000 seems like a bargain, and we all love deals, it can often have the opposite impact on your candidacy. Companies worry not only about making a hire but also retaining employees. Many fear hiring someone at too low of a figure, comparative to what they have made recently or in the past, out of fear they will ultimately seek out a return to that level.
Moving jobs too frequently hurts how I am viewed by prospective employers.
FACT. Job movement is one of the top few criteria recruiters and hiring managers look at when assessing a candidate initially. Someone who moves jobs too much, what many would label a “Job Hopper” is going to be scrutinized for it. In today’s market the definition of “too often” is changing somewhat. Many reports say the average tenure is 2-3 years in job but many companies still prefer to see more tenure and stability.
Before starting my job search I should talk to my boss about improving my current situation.
FICTION. If you tell your boss you are unhappy and considering leaving you have, in the vast majority of organizations, just resigned. They may keep you around until they find a replacement but you are on borrowed time.
There are situations where you may have the right boss or such a good relationship with them that doing this works out well but you are rolling the dice by trying it.