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?”
As someone on the front lines of insurance recruiting, I see this problem every day with no easy, cookie cutter approach for all agencies. Just this morning I reviewed available account manager jobs my team is working on. Across multiple regions (Southeast, Midwest, Northeast and West Coast) the standard profiles:
- 5+ year, Benefits and/or Commercial Account Manager
- Middle market/groups at a salary of $65k-$80k
....have been open with our clients for over 120 days. Think about that! For many insurance agencies, they’ve had key service openings extending into multiple quarters, renewal cycles and graduation seasons.
What can insurance agencies do to shorten the talent acquisition time frame? How do you avoid a 6-month search for an Account Executive and a 12-month search for a top producer?
START... by acknowledging your shortcomings. I imagine Dr. Phil saying, “You can’t change what you won’t accept.” Self-analysis of your agency’s recruiting process may uncover truths that lead to difficulties such as:
- Your Human Resources Director hates recruiting.
- Whenever the CEO interviews things seem to fall apart.
- Candidates leave interviews with no clear sense for the process.
- Recent hires failed because of competition including better counteroffers.
STOP... approaching openings like you’re pushing the boulder back up the hill. Classic example- you wait to call a recruiter. You don’t really want to spend money on recruiting fees. Other costs you try to avoid- paid advertising and relocation candidates. In a climate where the average producer is 59 years old and 25% of all insurance professionals will retire by 2022 (mass exodus), you don’t have a luxury to go it alone. Trying to adds 30-60 days to your search. This is how you’ll quickly arrive at a 120-day vacancy still unfilled.
GO... crazy with ideas you’ve kicked around:
Remote Employees | Workstations/Docking Stations | Unlimited PTO | What else???
This won’t be easy. It’s practically a requirement for insurance agencies to be conservative and “in the box” thinkers! If you’re going to compete in a market with fewer available candidates then you have to offer different solutions. Remember what job seekers don’t want: 40 hours/week, cubicles and 10 days of vacation.
Mary Newgard, CPC, AU