Part of running an insurance agency is attracting the right agents to help you. Building the right team to help you take your agency to the next level can be a challenge, but these tips can help!
Always Be Looking for Talent
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to finding insurance agents is that you always want to be looking. Even if you don’t think you need to hire someone at the moment, it is smart to be actively looking.
This prepares you for a situation where you lose an agent on short notice, either permanently or temporarily. It also gives you the option to let go of people on your team who are underperforming, as you will have potential replacements lined up.
It’s important to remember that even if your goal isn’t to hire someone immediately, you can find talent, then keep in touch with them. Use the time until you have an opening to nurture your professional relationship with them so they will want to work with you when the time comes.
Prevent Rush Decisions
This strategy also prevents you from hiring people out of desperation. If you find yourself needing to hire someone quickly, you may end up with a less-than-stellar hire. This can cost you time and money in the long run.
Encourage Your Current Team to Refer People
One of the most often overlooked resources for finding insurance agents are the agents you already have working for you or other members of your team. There are plenty of ways to encourage this, including offering a hiring bonus for employees who refer a friend. You can even offer a smaller bonus for a referral who applies and a larger one for one who gets hired to generate goodwill.
The other advantage of this is that you are more likely to attract like-minded people. After all, the recommending employees are familiar with your work culture and agency expectations. The fact that the new employees already have a friend at work should also make their integration into the team go more smoothly.
Just remember that there is a downside to this. If you don’t end up hiring the referred person or you hire them and have to fire them later, it may create ill will with the employee who recommended them.
Hiring Family Members of Employees Is a Gamble
If you follow this strategy, keep in mind that the risks increase if you hire a family member of an employee. That increases the risk that they may exclude others in your company or that if something goes wrong, both employees will leave instead of just the new hire. It also increases the risk that if something happens, such as a funeral in the family or even a vacation, you will temporarily lose a larger portion of your team.
That being said, hiring family members can be worth the risk, as long as you are prepared for the potential consequences.
Write the Job Posting Carefully
Because of all the information you need to fit into a job description or posting, it can easily become bogged down by details. If you take the unique approach and think about it as similar to a dating profile, you may see better results. The main similarity is that your goal with either is to attract someone. For the job listing, that person will be someone who is talented and right for the role.
As you write your listing, you want to include enough information to give candidates an idea of whether it is the right fit for them. But do so without overwhelming them.
This includes mentioning the salary and bonuses that agents will receive. Even seemingly small things, such as training information or having a receptionist on-site, can make a difference. This helps set clear expectations. Assuming your package is competitive, it will also help you attract more candidates, including those who may not have been interested otherwise. Think about what makes your agency different from others and include that – is it the compensation package? The agency’s culture? Something else?
Don’t Include Too Many Tests
When creating the job listing, it can be tempting to include tests of some sort, whether to check applicants’ skills or confirm they read the description. However, this is not the ideal stage of the process to do that.
Your goal with the job listing is to hook candidates and get them to submit their resumes. Once you have filtered through the resumes and narrowed your candidates down somewhat, then you can ask them to complete tasks or pose other tests. The important thing is to do so when you already have at least some relationship with the candidate and when it isn’t hurting your influx of applicants. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask about their – it is always good to get a baseline – it just shouldn’t be the primary focus in the early stages of the hiring process.
Remember, your agency is only as good as the people in it, so make sure you invest the time and dollars into building the best team possible!