September 11, 2019

School’s In Session: Three Ways Your Agency Earns An “A+” In Producer Recruiting

by Mary Newgard

What makes an insurance agency great a hiring producers?  So many brokers tell me that they struggle to find sales talent. I hate to say this, but it’s not rocket science.  Sure, there’s some method to the madness of profile assessments. There’s some finesse with working out comp deals. However, at the end of the day when you stop focusing just on, ‘I need to find a candidate,’ its easy to see how agencies achieve their goals or get off track.

Recruiting Is Sales

50% of your grade is creating a profile and a plan of attack.

I bet your agency is success writing new business because you send producers out with a sales strategy. It’s multi-faceted and includes a combination of cold calls, marketing materials, networking, brand awareness, target audience, so on and so forth. Do the same with producer recruiting. Create a simple plan with answers to the following questions:

  1. What Experience Do We Want? (niche background, total years in the business, account size)
  2. Where Do We Want Them Located? (headquarters, satellite, remote or emerging market)
  3. How Much Can We Invest? (salary vs. draw, guarantee limit, signing bonus, equity, etc.)

Now you can go into the market and talk to producers with definitive answers to the profile you want.

Time Kills All Deals

30% of your grade is interview efficiency and engagement.

We live in a world where timeliness is an expectation not a gentle guideline. Take Amazon. They set the standard for 2-day delivery and even today are finding ways for same day if not 2-hour turnaround.  Interviews should be thoughtful and efficient. You can’t dilly dally or appear dysfunctional in the interview process. Agencies with the most success moving sales candidates through the process do these things in an interview:

  • Clearly outline the process in the very first conversation
  • Involve all the decision makers as soon as possible
  • Appoint a leader to be the primary point of contact. This is the person with power to bring the process to conclusion at the offer stage.

One Great Hire Begets Another

Whoever bought just one egg? You buy a dozen, or two dozen or a truckload at a time (if you have a Costco membership).  The same is true with producers. You can never have too many sales executives in a sales organization, right? Especially in the insurance industry that frankly looks homogenized and old on a lot of employee directories. Insurance agencies successful at hiring producers adopt these futuristic behaviors.

  1. We are never done recruiting. We don’t need 1 but 100 sales candidates.
  2. We want to clone our very best hires. We know how to find similar character traits.
  3. We talk to everyone. We interview every candidate because it’s about them not us.

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