Mary Newgard
Mary Newgard

Wanted: Executive Maturity

Human Resources, Recruiting Strategy

October 16, 2017

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. 

There is a stark lack of Executive Maturity within most retailers. Agencies tend to operate a lean, flat infrastructure with a few executives holding multiple roles.  Aging themselves as the organization has also grown creates the need for more people leading the charge in key mid-level positions.  Internal promotion isn’t an easy option.  Producers are a crap shoot when it comes to management. Other agencies seem like a logical source ground until you realize they have the same talent shortage.

If your agency’s 2018 recruiting plans include an executive search, here are a three things you should know:

1. Ready Yourself. This Will Take A While
A 4-6 month search sets a realistic timeline. Before speaking with a candidate have your entire process streamlined. These “breadcrumbs” include:

Application, Profile Assessments, References, Number of Interviews, Method of Interviews (conference call, video/Skype, in-person), Cost allocation, Background checks, Compensation, Counteroffers and Relocation.
Image result for hiring process

2. Don’t Compromise Insurance Experience.
When the going gets tough insurance agencies dream of the perfect candidate coming from outside the industry. #Fail.  The road is littered with failed business executives trying to learn insurance. You’re always better to source from other avenues within insurance. 

Ask yourself: Will we look at people from a carrier, TPA, wholesale broker or consulting firm? 
If yes, then you may have to adjust certain parameters (namely compensation and title) to fit the candidate rather than vice versa.

Image result for job advertisement icon3. Read Job Advertisements.
The market is competitive for Gen X executive talent which means first impressions are key.  Take a minute to research similar job advertisements.  What do you want to tout in writing? What is your spiel when you call a candidate? Can you articulate “Why Us?”  It’s all about the value proposition.

Here are examples for you:

  1. Vice President Team Leader, Senior Benefits Consultant
  2. Vice President Commercial Sales Leader
  3. Commercial Insurance Agency Department Manager


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