February 17, 2020

Prioritize Your Insurance Talent Sourcing: Three Sources to Utilize

by Mary Newgard

How do I find experienced insurance talent?  This is the #1 question Capstone is asked by every client. There are so many answers to dissect recruiting problems that we often get lost in the abundance of information.  I can simplify the answer for you.

Insurance Companies Recruit Talent from Three Main Sources



Direct Outreach

A rockin’ recruiting strategy has balanced candidate sourcing. What I mean by that is 80-90% of the time you can’t fill job openings through just postings. There’s a limit to what Careerbuilder and ZipRecruiter can do for you.  Likewise, you can’t expect employees under the referral category to give you every lead. Eventually their networks tap out especially on unusual, one-off roles.

Balanced sourcing does not mean equal. For example, outside recruiters fall under the direct outreach category. Well, you don’t want 33% of your hires to come with external placement fees. That’s a budget buster that isn’t sustainable as your company grows. More candidates should come through your own efforts (advertising and referrals) than any other avenue.

A Guide to Prioritize Insurance Talent Sourcing


Fill 50-60% of your talent pipeline through advertising

  1. Your Careers Page
    • Make sure there are plenty of “Easy Apply” buttons
    • Give candidates ways to submit resumes directly to HR without having to apply for a formal job opening
    • Automate the application experience so candidates receive information about your company after applying (ex.- follow up emails, direct links to social media)
  2. Job Boards
    • Costly, yes, but worth it if you can automate and quantify results
    • Automate by using an HRIS system to post jobs that push to boards like Indeed and Glassdoor
    • Quantify the value of job boards by tracking the applications origination/source
    • Control costs by eliminating job boards that only give candidates you can obtain through another method


Find 20-30% of your candidates through referrals

  1. Employee Referrals
    • Offer meaningful bonus programs (it can be monetary or in the form of extra PTO days) to create leads from your current workforce
  2. Social Media
    • While convention may say this should fall under advertising, I disagree. Social media is less a billboard advertisement and more a living, breathing sharing mechanism.
    • Ask employees to engage (i.e. like, share, comment, and retweet) with posts about Job Openings. Their social networks create a compounding effect with your company’s followers.
  3. Company Partners
    • I’ve never met an insurance company rep who didn’t want to help an agency with recruiting. Ask your business partners to support your hiring plans.

Direct Outreach

Fill 10-20% of your openings through direct outreach

  1. Passive Candidate Recruiting
    • This should occur consistently throughout the year with a spike when openings arise. Most often Human Resources and company executives are reaching out on LinkedIn to build connections and have exploratory conversations.
  2. Database Management
    • That wonderful Excel sheet or HRIS system you’ve invested in will produce dividends by creating a candidate database for future hires
    • Candidate databases are nurtured through quarterly touch points and requests to follow the company on social media
  3. Third-Party Recruiters
    • You need a strong partnership with an outside search firm. Earmark money for external placement fees during your annual budget planning session. While paying the cost is never fun, it will be far easier with money already set aside.
    • Partner on ‘set apart’ roles; select openings with special characteristics (ex.- hard-to-fill, long tail recruiting cycles, or executive openings) that don’t distract internal HR/Talent Acquisition teams from the majority of typical, ongoing postings.


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