May 2, 2022

What It Takes to Hire Insurance Talent in Today’s Job Market

by Mary Newgard

Dear Mary,

Your team is in the thick of recruiting every day, not only for our open roles but for positions across the nation. I’m curious what you are seeing with:

  • Candidate willingness (or not) to move to a new employer;
  • Motivations that drive job change; and
  • What’s important to job seekers as they explore job opportunities?

I appreciate your time in helping us understand the market out there. ~ HR Director

Candidate Engagement

Willingness is engagement. Do insurance professionals apply to jobs? Will they respond to direct messages? Will they seriously entertain an offer? The answer is “yes” if several factors line up:

  • Job Advertisements: Brief, informative, and engaging job ads with simple calls to action — How to Apply, How to Learn More About Us, and How to Connect with Us — attract job seekers.
  • Direct Solicitation: Experienced insurance professionals engage on unique and compelling career opportunities.
  • Process: Insurance professionals have little patience for disorganized companies. The more efficient your hiring process, the more you will attract and hire top talent.

Takeaway Questions:

  • Do we track and review data on job advertisement performance?
  • Is our writing style appropriate for our target audience?
  • Are we getting the right ROI on paid job boards?
  • Is our LinkedIn Inmail response rate satisfactory?
  • Do we build, refresh, and engage a candidate database?
  • Do hiring managers follow a uniform, company approved hiring process?
  • Do we communicate the entire interview process ahead of time?
  • Have we missed hires because other companies moved faster?

Search Motivation

The top three reasons experienced insurance professionals start a job search:

1) Location

  • They want to work remotely.
  • They want a hybrid work schedule.
  • They want to relocate.

2) Compensation

  • They want a salary increase.
  • They want a bonus they can directly influence.
  • They want higher commissions.

3) Job Dissatisfaction

  • There are no short or long-term career advancement opportunities.
  • Their employer lacks stability, struggles to be profitable/grow, or has a high likelihood to be acquired.
  • They do not like the company culture, their direct supervisor, or their peers.

Takeaway Questions:

  • Have we done enough with remote, work-from-home opportunities to substantially increase our talent pool?
  • Will our retention suffer if we do not embrace a virtual workforce?
  • Do our careers stand out to candidates interested in moving to our market?
  • Do we need to change our compensation structure to compete for talent?
  • Does our variable compensation program give us a competitive advantage?
  • Is our benefits package a selling point?
  • Does our PTO address the needs of a diverse, multi-generational workforce?
  • Will candidates find more career opportunities with us or our competitors?
  • What are the statistics we should cite about growth, tenure, retention, stability, and ownership longevity?
  • How do candidates experience our culture during the interview process?

What Candidates Want & Need

Pique an insurance professional’s interest in new career opportunities with:

  • An overview of your brand identity.
  • Insight into what makes your company and position different.
  • An outline of the interview process.
  • The facts of the job.

Takeaway Questions:

  • What are our two to three biggest hiring and recruiting challenges?
  • Are the right leaders consistently engaged in talent acquisition strategies?
  • Can we tackle this on our own, or do we need outside expertise to help us?

“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


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