The insurance industry – like others today – is understaffed. In late 2021, an insurance labor market study showed that 53% of agencies planned to “aggressively hire” within 12 months to fill vacancies. The same study also showed that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to fill open positions. As an owner, your insurance agency management relies on knowledgeable staff, but it can be challenging to fill positions in today’s market.
With hiring season just around the corner, your agency needs to focus on how to recruit new talent for your team. Past tactics may no longer work on a younger, more tech-driven workforce. It’s time to expand your outreach, position insurance differently, and look for diverse qualities to keep your agency growing.
Updating Your Agency Recruitment
Over the last two years, employee expectations changed significantly due to the COVID-19 disruption. Yet, there were changes in the air even before 2020. The growing Millennial and Gen Z workforce have different expectations than their predecessors. A few areas your agency can highlight to increase recruitment include:
1. Offer greater work flexibility
The COVID-19 shutdowns resulted in an explosion of new work environments. For many, working from home became, and remains, the norm. New hires now expect remote work options, whether one day a week or more. A recent survey showed that 83% of workers said they “prefer hybrid working arrangements,” meaning they would like the option to work from home regularly. You don’t need to promise full-time remote work, but giving some work from home time as an option is becoming standard.
2. Embrace technology
Look back at our past posts and you’ll see insurtech is a large part of modern insurance agency management, especially when it comes to customer needs and expectations. Job seekers are also looking for tech-savvy companies. Millennials and Gen Z grew up using tech and expect to see it in their workplace. Plus, you need team members who intuitively understand how tech works to keep your agency up-to-speed.
3. Highlight opportunities to grow
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is
that new hires expect growth opportunities in any organization. The onus is on
you, the employer, to ensure these opportunities are made clear and fostered
from day one.
Along with highlighting growth opportunities, you
should foster them through one-on-one mentorship and by funding continuing
education or accreditation courses. The more you put into helping your
employees gain knowledge and experience, the better prepared you’ll be as more
seasoned team members retire.
4. Look outside typical hiring avenues
Many agencies post jobs and recruit directly to organizations that historically produce individuals with industry experience looking for insurance jobs. However, savvy agencies are now looking for specific skills in areas like data management rather than insurance experience or interest. Pay attention to what skills you need on your team (customer service, data, sales) and look for experience in those areas. With time, almost anyone can learn the specifics of the insurance industry, but some skills in service, technology, and sales cannot be taught.
5. Reframe the industry
Many of today’s workforce are Millennials and Gen
Z individuals interested in working for innovative organizations and creating a
positive impact in the world. The insurance industry does both, but it’s not
top of mind for many applicants. Work to position each job posting around what
your agency does to support communities, look out for individuals in need and advance
tech use and applications.
6. Model and support balance
Reasonable work/life balance is incredibly valuable to today’s workforce. Model that balance within your agency, especially as an owner or manager. Offering vacation days is one thing – encouraging your employees to take time off is another. Show potential new hires (and current staff) that mental and physical wellbeing matters to you as an agency. No more 6 am emails and 6 pm calls! Make hard lines between work and personal to keep your team happy, healthy, and productive.
Focusing on Growth for Years to Come
On the Partner Platform team, we also pay attention
to these changes in the industry. It’s part of our forward-thinking to keep our
Partner Agencies well equipped for whatever the future holds. And, we put the
same thought into who we hire and partner with to stay ahead of trends and
create innovative, collaborative environments in our office and beyond.
Mike Maranda has been in the insurance business for over 40
years. He’s guided his agency through many seasons, but his recent journey to
find the right agency management system for his team was one of the most
After many years with a system they loved, Quality Insurance Service was forced to make a change when one of the big-name providers acquired their original system. Mike and his business partner decided to pick one of the big-name systems to avoid needing to make a change again anytime soon.
Yet, after selecting one of the dominant providers, they were frustrated to move through a cumbersome system with unresponsive service. After four years, they’d had enough and started searching for a new system, eventually joining the Partner Platform community.
We asked Mike to share his journey, telling us how Quality
Insurance Service came to Partner Platform and how the partnership has grown
over the years.
In our conversation, we covered:
What Mike and his team looked for in an agency management system
How and why they chose Partner Platform
What their conversion experience was like
Where they see the industry going in the next five to ten years
InsureSign announces integration with Partner XE agency management system — Users of Strategic Insurance Software’s system can now simplify life and improve efficiency with the seamless use of InsureSign’s easy e-signature software —
CHARLESTON, S.C. (APRIL 19, 2018) — Starting this month, Strategic Insurance Software’s (SIS) Partner XE users can begin easily and seamlessly securing signatures.
InsureSign, the e-sign tool trusted by tens of thousands of insurance professionals, today announced the launch of its integration with the Partner XE agency management system.
“Both SIS and InsureSign align on our missions to make the lives of insurance professionals easier, saving them time and eliminating common hassles,” said Joe Floyd, founder and CEO of InsureSign. “For SIS customers already used to Partner XE’S life-simplifying features, we’re proud to offer an additional tool for improving processes and servicing business even faster.”
The integration’s debut is part of a larger rollout by SIS of its new Partner XE 2018.2 this month.
“It’s important to us to build alliances and identify resources for our users that improve their work processes,” said Bryce Lee, director of product management for SIS. “We’re committed to continually look for ways to make our users’ lives easier. Through this integration, agents can now eliminate unnecessary steps and time-draining manual processes through easy-to-use solutions.”
Partner XE users can service insureds by securing signatures the fastest and easiest way possible via InsureSIgn. Not only do InsureSign users enjoy unlimited signatures, documents and templates each month, they can also enjoy the benefits of audit trails, auto reminders, auto archival, company branding and more.
InsureSign also offers three new premium features to “InsureSign Pro” users, including signing via text message, Gmail/Outlook integrations and custom landing pages.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Strategic Insurance Software (SIS) is the team behind Partner XE, an innovative web-based insurance agency management system helping independent agents break free from the status quo. Partner XE is easy to use, streamlines workflows and enables agencies to run their business more affordably and effectively. Built on a foundation of strong technology and exceptional service, we’re moving forward with a constant eye on innovation that will make independent agents’ lives easier. For more information, please visit https://sispartnerplatform.com .
About Partner XE
Supporting downloads from over 360 carriers, real-time interaction, integrated agency accounting, and much more, Partner XE is a full-featured agency management system at an affordable cost for the independent insurance agency.
InsureSign is the simplest, fastest and most secure way to get documents signed electronically. Trusted by thousands of businesses of all sizes across North America, InsureSign lets your customers easily sign your documents from their laptops, tablets and mobile devices – and even via text message. Curious future customers can try InsureSign free for 14 days at www.insuresign.com.
What’s the secret to sales success? Easy: there is no secret. Successful prospecting requires the right tools and a well-thought-out plan. The good news is your agency management system is one tool already at your disposal. But are you using it efficiently? Ask yourself these five questions to find out. (more…)
Your insurance agency marketing goal is to stand out among the noise. Identifying and investing in serving a niche market is one of the most efficient and effective ways to achieve this challenging goal.
When you serve a niche market, you have less competition, making it easier to gain new customers in a specific arena. Your agency is set apart as providing “X” type of insurance, making you distinctive. PIA National’s 2022 Independent Agent Survey found that respondents devoted more than 20% of their book of business to a niche market. You, too, can capitalize on this valuable strategy.
Over the past few years, there has been a surge in insurance agency management transitions. Mergers and acquisitions specifically are on the rise, with an estimated 550 deals, up 12% from the previous year, in the first quarter of 2021. While these transitions can be profitable for owners, they can come with significant trepidation and worry from employees and customers.
As an owner, you need to start thinking ahead about how to prepare your agency for its eventual ownership transition. Whether you plan to perpetuate internally or externally, it’s essential that you prepare. That preparation includes setting your agency up for its highest valuation, prepping your team, and investing in tools and processes to bring your agency into the future.
Good partners and partnerships are critical to success in any business, but it’s crucial in technology where the pace of change and breadth of innovation is high. Insurance tech is growing fast, and it’s critical to look to progressive partners to keep up with the pace.
Why Partnerships Matter
Innovations happen everywhere, every day. Things like electric cars, an increase in IoT, the interconnectedness of tech systems in healthcare and our own homes, and other innovations significantly impact our industry. These tech advances inform how insurers can gain data to inform policies and process claims.