October 3, 2018
What Is A ‘Contingent Worker’? …..and Other Insurance Agency Questions About Contract Employees
by Amy Stuntz
I’m always really surprised that given the difficulty insurance agencies face hiring CSRs and Account Managers that more don’t utilize contract employees. Many times, the insurance industry feels very progressive and at the fore front of trends. Not in the case of alternative labor arrangements. Nationally, contingent workers (aka temp or contract workers) represent one-third of the U.S. workforce (Bureau of Labor Statistics, June, 2018). Yet very few agencies I speak with consistently integrate temp and long-term contract employees into their service teams. Doing so can help agencies solve a lot of the problems (sourcing, turn over, rising salary costs) faced with support hires.
Problem 1: Balancing a Budget
The politicians in Washington may not be able to balance a budget but you can! Contingency workers do a great job filling in for short-term gaps- FMLA (maternity leave, extended bereavement, family leave), Sabbaticals and Seasonal Overflow (benefits enrollment, M&A transitions, book of business purchases).
Problem 2: Your Account Managers Are Burned Out
The cliché, ‘I’m overworked and underpaid’ is rooted in truth. The #1 reason account managers start a job search is because their book has reached maximum capacity. Their agency doesn’t seem to have a solution in sight to provide them relief.
Contract workers, on the other hand, give relief and flexibility to complement your permanent current staff. Your full-time employees will remain fully productive without being overworked.
Problem 3: Account Manager Salaries Are Rising At An Alarming Rate
Contingent workers on long-term contract assignments come at all levels- Administrative/CSR, Tactical and Strategic/Account Executives. Hiring skilled specialists with the ultimate contract flexibility mitigates the effect of merit increases and big incentive bonus plans.