Have you ever watched an HGTV show on tiny homes and thought it could be for you? 330 square feet of cozy living with sleek designs and creative storage. Listen, I’m all about maximizing space but they lose me when a wine barrel becomes the shower basin and the kids start moving in. Forget that! Sometimes in my family four bedrooms is barely enough to keep our sanity.
Even though I’m sticking with typical suburbia I can relate to those homeowners’ needs to simplify. We all reach a point when our stuff is overwhelming. We miss flexibility and space. This isn’t contained purely to personal, material items. The all-consuming “junk” in our lives is also a metaphor for career choices.
Case in point: LinkedIn’s 2015 Talent Solutions survey showed a rise in professionals who chose jobs with small employers (<500 employees). A recent SHRM article discusses similar “size” advantages. You sacrifice “giant sign-on bonuses, over-the-market salaries” for freedom, opportunity and family balance.
Small insurance employers should promote size as an advantage. Even if you’re not the biggest dog on the block, doing so makes you appealing to insurance job seekers who desire autonomy and flexibility. The more experienced an insurance professional is, the less they need a big box company to feel secure and successful. This goes for all top insurance talent: producers, client service, underwriters, managers, and the list goes on.
The key is branding.
How are you doing with that these days? Here’s how you can start:
1. Stop worrying if you appear small. You actually want that. The leadership team should be visible and accessible. Promote divisions and specialty teams. Don’t put the aerial picture of all employees on your website. Instead, post a picture of the commercial lines team’s volunteer outing with Habitat for Humanity.
2. Talk about your roots. You may have grown quickly by acquisition but going from 50 to 500 employees isn’t nearly as impressive to job seekers as talking about your grassroots history. Try incorporating the phrase, "Where we’ve come from" in an interview as a precursor to, "Where we’re headed. "
3. We are nimble. Big companies can afford to offer a lot of financial perks, but what they do for one they are bound to do for all. You, however, can cater to the individual needs of employees on hot button issues like telecommuting, flex time, work-from-home, PTO, pay and soft benefits.