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.
Discover more about our team, our tech, and how you can find out about our robust, dynamic Partner Platform agency management system suite: contact us at 800.747.9273 or [email protected] to find out more.