October 1, 2020

Three Indicators Your 2021 Talent Strategy Will Be Successful

by Mary Newgard

How do you measure recruiting success? If it’s exclusively based on filling job openings, then you are doing a disservice to the process. Hiring is transactional. Talent strategy is a comprehensive plan that influences organizational leadership, retention, profitability and growth.

I love to bake. It’s one of my favorite hobbies. My other favorite hobby is running, so as you can see one action clearly necessitates the other!  When I first learned to bake, I tried to recreate my mom’s famous chocolate cake. The batter looked great going into the oven, but 40 minutes later I could see something went very wrong. It looked like a chocolate pancake. Why hadn’t it risen?  Well, if you know anything about baking then you already know the answer to this question. Eggs. I had forgotten to add eggs.

Talent strategies are like baking a cake. Recruiting is just one ingredient that makes the whole ‘cake’ rise or fall.  As you build your 2021 hiring plan, it’s important to measure success along the way. These three indicators are adopted throughout the business community and can be applied to agency hires.

A Diverse Candidate Pool

“Are there specific benefits derived from having a multigenerational workforce?” According to AreaDevelopment’s Q4 2019 Recruiting & Managing The Multigenerational Workforce, highly successful organizations see value in a multigenerational workforce. It influences upskills & new hire training as well as perpetuation strategies for retirees.

How can your agency build a diverse candidate pool?

  • Update policies to appeal to a multigenerational workforce. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Global Talent Trends report, “56% of companies say they’ve recently updated policies to appeal to a multigenerational workforce.”
  • Utilize non-traditional employment strategies. Not every employee needs to be W-2 or full-time. Multigenerational can also mean multi-engagement (1099, consultant, K-1, temp/contract-to-perm, etc.)
  • Create a Diversity & Inclusion training program. Emphasizing community, unity and a welcoming workplace through dedicated training programs have a direct correlation with business success. According to Business News Daily (9/2020), “Diverse workforces are 35% more likely to have above-average profit margins than companies with more homogenous employee bases.”

Focus on Employee Experience

Large corporations have created specialized “employee experience” roles, and smaller organizations have stopped using the term Human Resources altogether. Studies show there is a direct link between employee experience and retention.

Why should your agency focus on Employee Experience?

  1. Retention and referrals are equally as important as new hire recruiting. “77% of companies focus on employee experience to increase retention,” cites LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2020.
    • Are your priorities balanced between attracting new candidates & retaining existing employees?
    • Can you raise the percentage of new hires identified through employee referrals?
  1. Your viewpoint shifts from institution to individuals. Mark Levy, Former Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb and Allbirds, sums it up this way, “Employee experience is all about doing things WITH and FOR your employees, not to them.”
  2. The employment ‘journey’ holds the key. A foreign concept if you’re not a student of employee experience, LinkedIn’s study suggests The 4 P’s to get started- People, Place, Product & Process. “For each key moment along the employment journey, from hiring through exiting, seek to understand and improve the health of each factor.”

Fully Utilize Data Analytics

Notice my choice of words here- Utilize vs. Embrace. Your agency already embraces technology. Paperless systems, Salesforce and your AMS are vital to sales and client service. Do you place the same value & reliance on talent management software?

Why do you need technology to successfully recruit?

  1. Recruiting is sales. Without a CRM, you have no candidate database building or management capabilities. A comprehensive HRIS software tool allows you to:
    • Capture important applicant data
    • Manage the interview lifecycle
    • Communicate directly with passive & active candidates
    • Foster centers of influence/referral streams
  1. People Analytics make smarter hiring decisions. Essentially ‘people analytics’ derives measurable data from your current workforce to understand successful future hires. Below you can see how popular analytics categories specifically relate to agency hires like producers, account managers and executives.
    • Identifying skills gaps
    • Predicting candidate success
    • Continuous improvement
    • Corporate training programs
    • Data security
    • Diversity & Inclusion analytics

“Ask the Insurance Recruiter” is a monthly column written by Mary Newgard, Partner and published in partnership with Insurance Journal Magazine. Visit Insurance Journal Magazine’s website for a complete list of previous articles. For questions and comments, email Mary at mnewgard@csgrecruiting.com


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