Are you struggling to keep up with the number of leads and referrals your agency brings in? Have you lost agents to competitors or retirement? Is business booming and need to expand?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you need to think about insurance recruitment, either on your own or using an insurance recruiting specialist. Here we explain the benefits of actively recruiting insurance agents, as well as some tips to help you succeed.
Benefits of insurance recruitment
Active insurance agent recruitment can help give your agency an advantage over your competitors, giving you access to top talent. Some of these advantages can include:
- Prospects know you are looking: By actively recruiting, prospective agents are aware that you have openings, including those with your competitors who are passively looking for a change.
- You show how you appreciate talent: When you actively connect with talented agents, you show that your agency values what they can bring to your agency. Top agents will see this, and it can increase the likelihood of choosing you over a competitor.
- You find TOP talent: With active recruitment, you set the standards for your agency, and you actively look for candidates meeting these standards.
What qualities make a great insurance agent?
When you begin active insurance agent recruitment, it is best to develop a profile that highlights what you are looking for and the skill sets that meet your agency’s needs. Some top qualities of a good insurance agent include:
- Highly skilled in sales: Any successful agency’s goal is to close on insurance policies, so you need someone with strong sales skills. Some top sales qualities include clear communication, charisma, empathy, and tenacity.
- Can handle rejection: In the insurance industry, agents will hear the word “no” a lot. A good agent can confidently handle rejection while maintaining a positive attitude and moving forward.
- An honest character: With insurance, you are selling trust. Unfortunately, many potential customers are wary of insurance agents. A successful agent needs to be honest with their clients and establish a long-lasting relationship based on trust.
- Looking to grow: Top insurance agents possess a growth mindset and can adapt to changes and challenges as they look to grow and meet their long-term goals.
What is the recruitment process?
If you decide to take on insurance agent recruiting yourself, these are the main steps of the recruitment process.
The first step is the planning stage. Here you focus on exactly the type of agent your agency is looking for. Draft a comprehensive job position outline, focusing on all major and minor job responsibilities, the experience and qualifications required, the pay structure, and any other special considerations necessary to fill the job requirements.
Stage two involves creating a target’s strategy of recruitment. What type of recruitment methods will you use? What geographical area will you target? What activities will you use throughout the recruitment process?
Searching begins with creating your recruiting message. This is essentially an advertisement for your company. Ask yourself, “What do insurance agents want?” and create an effective recruiting message that addresses this question. Once you make the message, decide how and where to spread your message. Online you can use places like Indeed or other classified sites, as well as social media platforms. In-person, consider places like college recruitment events and other networking group events. Traditional advertising like local newspapers or radio and television advertising is also an option.
Screening and hiring
Once you begin taking in applications, the screening process begins. Taking all applications and screening them against your job specifications allows you to create a shortlist for hiring purposes. Those that do not meet your expectations are immediately eliminated from the pool. After creating your shortlist, you can move on to interviews, testing, and any other hiring techniques you choose to determine the qualified candidates to consider adding to your team.
Tips to make insurance recruitment easier and more successful
The recruiting process can seem challenging at times, but a few tips can help make recruiting top insurance agents easier. These tips include:
- Take advantage of social media sites like LinkedIn. Experienced and successful agents know the importance of social media, and most will have active profiles. LinkedIn is a great resource to find and locate talented agents that you can approach with your recruitment message. Explore their profiles, looking for experience, sales approaches, and a work history that matches your agency’s needs.
- Reach out to local colleges and universities. If you are willing to take on new agents, consider contacting the career resource centers at your local colleges and universities. These centers look to place graduates into high-paying jobs, and you may find they provide a valuable resource to you, as they often have insight into each potential candidate.
- Talk with your current agents. Insurance agents often network with other agents and professionals. Your current agents may have contacts actively seeking a new position and can provide insight into these candidates.
- Be upfront about expectations. Turnover rates can be high with insurance agents, so if you are looking for long-term agents, you want to be truthful in your message to them. Do not inflate commission numbers. Be honest in your expectations as well as with what they can expect from you and the agency.
- Consider different interview styles. Instead of the traditional one-on-one interview, consider creating a panel interview with your top current agents. They can help you assess potential candidates based on their expectations. In addition, when involved in the process, your current agents may be more likely to help the new agents develop skills once they join the agency.
Maintain a stable lead flow for your agents
Active and prospering agents are happy agents. Unfortunately, nearly a third of new employees leave a job within the first six months because of dissatisfaction or unmet expectations. Once your recruiting process successfully places a new agent, it is essential to meet those expectations and provide new agents with a stable flow of leads to help retain great agents.