May 17, 2021

Need an Edge to Hire Passive Insurance Job Seekers? Here’s How.

by Chris Winterboer

Job offers are the perfect time to set your organization apart. Client service, sales and executive insurance professionals all look for something a little different.

Similar to the current housing market, the job outlook in the insurance industry is experiencing some unique peaks and valleys currently. For the most part, good houses in good locations are flying off the market due to a number of economic factors including low interest rates, higher rates of saving during the pandemic and higher comps that encourage passive home sellers to jump in and take advantage.

The same issue of supply and demand is happening within the insurance industry. With looming retirements still forecasting upwards of one-third of tenured employees moving on, where is the talent going to come from? Patient candidates that are not in a huge hurry to leave can not only be picky, but demand more compensation, benefits, and career advancement when they dip their toe into the job seeker category.

Insurance companies and brokers that are successfully attracting top talent find ways to customize the offer process. Here are strategies we’re seeing play out in the market that you can integrate into your process.

Use Compensation to Recruit Producers

As Jerry Maguire can relate, most producers just want agencies to show them the money. There are multiple ways compensation can be the cornerstone of your recruiting push.

  • Offer producers a path towards more prospects or “looks” at new business.
    • Don’t just tell producers to make more calls which will ultimately lead to writing more business. With COVID still a big factor when it comes to seeing your prospects and clients in person, what are you doing to provide them resources to stand out?
  • Talk about resources and support.
    • Are you hiring qualified service and marketing staff to provide sufficient backroom infrastructure? Are you creating whitepapers and seminars that matter to the clients? Do you ease administrative burdens to allow more time spent truly prospecting?
  • Front load new business commissions.
    • Don’t be afraid to increase new business commission tiers. Some firms have 5-6 different tiers with low thresholds that quickly accelerate. The idea is to get new producers a taste for winning early on with an ongoing ‘conditioning’ that new business is always the #1 most important thing.

Use Flexibility to Recruit Insurance Account Managers

Client Service professionals care about the total package, but watch their eyes immediately adjust from the salary on the offer to all the other perks.  

  • Top of mind right now is flexibility & work/life balance. You absolutely must outline work-from-home options, flexible schedules, and tools/resources for a home office. A lot of client service professionals have been burned by broken promises or inconsistent policies on workplace flexibility. Putting this in writing immediately sets you apart from other firms.

Use the "Midas Touch" to Recruit Insurance Executives

Executives are the most diverse group on this list. Most insurance organizations don’t have a ‘go to’ script for these hires. They either don’t make enough leadership hires or there’s too much variance that what works for one doesn’t apply to the next. Strip away the idea that the nuts and bolts of an offer is what attracts executive candidates. It’s the personal touch that seals the deal for you. Three main things:

  • Little Details Matter.  Yes, the little things. Instead of just focusing on the bottom line, think about what might make a difference to someone who is accustomed to a big salary and bonus.
    • Structure your executive packages with an extreme level of detail. Cell phone reimbursement, car allowance, company credit card, travel and entertainment, membership dues – anything that can be added without pushing the total cost out of whack is a good investment. Believe me, these things will not go unnoticed.
  • Candidates Hold Competitive Intel. Want to know how your competitors structure leadership compensation?  Just ask the candidate. They have worked for, interviewed with and hired from a number of insurance organizations.
    • Do not invest the wheel. Sit down with the candidate to pour over creative comp strategies. They will have had good and bad experiences in previous models. Find out what excites them the most and utilize their knowledge to make sure the appropriate metrics are in play so its feasible for you and them.
  • Be Their Advocate. Make It Personal. Seems easy, right? I am telling you, however, that it is not. Far too often companies fail to designate someone as the leader of the offer process. Offers are more difficult to make by committee. When you select one executive to manage the offer process the candidate feels more connected and invested.
    • With a recent executive level hire we made, the CEO himself checked in multiple times before, during, and after the offer was presented. He and the candidate were talking & texting day and night as if they’d known each other for years. He even introduced the candidate to multiple internal and external stakeholders before the start date so that they could hit the ground running on day one.


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