March 21, 2017

Why Can’t I Find Good Insurance Producers?

by Mary Newgard

Get Healthy/Get Fit is the top New Year’s Resolution for 2017. I suspect this is the case most years. Before January 1st, researchers found a 315% increase online around the search term ‘gym.’ An exercise routine is hard to keep up. Many people start out vigorously and well-intentioned. Very few reach their goals. We live in an instant gratification society: I want to lose weight. I want to eat that Girl Scout cookie. I’ll just skip the gym today. It’s not the goal but the fundamental flaw that derails the process.

Think of insurance producer recruiting in the same way.

Every year, insurance agencies want to bring on new production talent. Sales managers, executives, and HR teams go gangbusters to find prospective candidates. When the pipeline doesn’t fill up quickly or goes cold instantly, frustration sets in.

Feeling that way about your agency’s production recruiting? You can’t seem to fill the pipeline with enough leads? You probably fall into one of these four profiles. Each that create a unique stumbling block.

1. Consistency: Your agency is easily distracted.

More pressing matters (i.e. new sales, retention, marketing, acquisitions) take priority over producer recruiting. Your candidate profile keeps changing. Success and failure with new hires has you questioning the right profile. You’ve gone from out-of-industry to requiring insurance experience. You only looked at local candidates and now want to tap into alumni networks across the country. At this point, you can’t tell where you’ve started or what you’ve accomplished. Everything feels jumbled together.

2. Identification: You treat producer recruiting like a transaction.

Ironically, it’s quite the opposite of how you treat prospecting clients. Your consultative mindset with business development doesn’t carry over to producer recruiting. Sales and recruiting are the same thing but you’ve never treated it as such. You know you need a process but don’t know where to start. Research competitors. Make and track cold calls. Pursue leads immediately. Have a value proposition. Close deals quickly.

3. Time: Despite your best efforts, you’re just one person.

You have the agency’s full support on the 2017 “producer recruiting plan” but no one helps with the day in, day out execution. In addition to producer recruiting, you also: Manage the Sales Team, Run the Agency, Handle all M&A due diligence, Oversee Human Resources, or have 80 other open positions to fill. Recruiting is a full-time job – especially producer recruiting – but the agency treats it like an add-on.

4. Resources: Here’s a phone, a desk and a LinkedIn account.

Your insurance agency recruits producers the same way as ‘old school’ insurance sales. Pound out enough calls and something good is bound to happen, right?! You don’t have dedicated research tools or marketing materials to give prospective candidates.

You’re only as good as your phone pitch and you hate sales. No one has gone through a “What Makes Our Agency Different” exercise because at the end of the day, executives don’t want to deal with it. It’s hard and they have better things to do. All they care about is interviews. The ironic part about this is that agency executives are natural salespeople. They are happy to sell the agency to prospective clients, but can’t find time to do it with prospective job seekers.

Which profile do you identify with the most?

Self-diagnosis is the first step to correcting the process. It’s also a reminder the goal isn’t always about finding candidates; it’s about finding the resources and people that can find them for you. The second step is getting help. Find specialized resources. Talk to me about how Capstone can help.


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