September 7, 2023

What’s the Best Recruiting Tool to Find Insurance Talent? The Answer Might Surprise You.

by Mary Newgard

The #1, MOST IMPORTANT recruiting tool, one most insurance agencies and carriers don’t use to its fullest potential is… (drumroll please!) a candidate database. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software are virtually the same when it comes to how your company can leverage technology to create recruiting success.

Databases Trump Other Sourcing Strategies

It’s easier to make a warm sale, right? If a business has brand familiarity with your agency, then they are more likely to invite you into the RFP process. The same is true with prospective employees. People who have already applied, interviewed, or stayed in touch with HR or a hiring manager are the best recruits for new openings. When you get into the habit of building and maintaining a database your ATS becomes more effective than cold calls and job board applications to source candidates.

Cold Calling Doesn't Work

A lot of hiring managers believe this is how recruiting is done. Wrong. People don’t pick up the phone. A number they don’t recognize is spam. Cold calling has a 1%-3% response rate. Employed people aren’t going to pick up the phone while they are at work. Finally, people read a job ad in 4-6 seconds. How quickly are they going to lose patience with a bad opening line? You run the risk of getting hung up on unless you’re an extremely skilled recruiter.

Job Boards Have Limitations

No third-party platform replaces an in-house system. Resume databases through job boards aren’t insurance specific and have outdated information. Job boards have a 30-day lifecycle. After that point you’ve seen all the active job seekers and lost positioning at the top of search results. Finally, InMails look and feel like emails, but you can’t personalize the formatting. They are costly and need to be carefully constructed because poor response rates will label you as spam.

Making the Case to Prioritize Your Candidate Database

Can you imagine a producer or account manager working without software to support their daily activity? How could you prospect, write new business, service existing clients, or anything in between? You couldn’t, which is why for insurance agencies it’s easy to appreciate the need for similar technology to support recruiting efforts.

My entire team is super passionate about the need for our clients to fully realize the benefits of an ATS. We see it first-hand within Capstone. If we didn’t have a database, we’d start at zero on every search. Insurance organizations call us because they hope we already know a candidate that fits their job. You want to get to that same place internally.

Unfortunately, too often I see insurance organizations spend a lot of time and money to get candidates, but once the job is closed all that information is forgotten. The idea that the process “lives and dies with the job” is probably the biggest flaw in your ATS/CRM. You need an ATS to sustain recruiting success. A database can be customized based on your workflows and best practices to:

  • Search candidate information
  • Organize candidates into talent pools
  • Save documents
  • Record interview activity
  • Communicate on a recurring basis in anticipation of future openings

Visit our website,, for more information on how my team could help you develop database management strategies to support your recruiting efforts.

“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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