Looking for work can be an exhausting, soul-draining endeavor during the best of economic times. It goes without saying that job searching is considerably more challenging these days, when the U.S. unemployment rate is still hovering above eight percent, with a long-term joblessness plaguing the employment market.
On the brighter side, the property/casualty insurance jobs outlook is slowly, gradually getting better — or at least not getting worse. A growing number of insurance businesses are hiring more workers this year, while many others are still making do with their current staff level, keeping an eye on the economic recovery and the gradually firming rates.
Liberty Mutual posted more than 500 U.S. job openings in the past month alone. The job vacancies for the Boston-based insurer include: actuarial analyst in Boston, actuary in Seattle and agricultural/farm underwriting manager in Portland. Ore. But the competition is fierce, “as we receive thousands of applications every month,” said Liberty Mutual spokesperson Adrianne Kaufmann.
At The Travelers Companies, there are some 360 U.S. job opportunities listed in its jobs section. These vacancies for the Hartford, Conn., carrier include: business center team manager in Houston, claim representative in Little Rock, Ark., and account manager in Colorado Springs, Colo.
At Allstate Corp., some 500 U.S. jobs listed online for the Northbrook, Ill.-based insurer include: theft claims service specialist in Hudson, Ohio, and financial analyst in Malvern, Penn.
State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Ill., posted more than 100 new U.S. jobs on its website in recent weeks. Farmers Insurance Group in Los Angeles has almost 200 jobs listed on its website. CNA Financial Corp. in Chicago has 170 vacancies listed online.
Advice From Pros
Job-seekers are advised to not get discouraged and remember that there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
“My advice to job-seekers is that if you are unemployed, you need to make finding a job your full-time job,” advised Todd Mitchell, who operates New York-based insurance recruiting firm Todd Mitchell Associates.
Kim McCauley, chief human resource officer at Narragansett Bay Insurance Co. in Pawtucket, R.I., added that job-seekers must reach out to contacts and continue to network, keeping in mind that only 20 percent of all job opportunities ever get advertised.
Savvy candidates are increasingly utilizing social media, such as LinkedIn, to directly contact and engage potential employers. “As an employer, we see that the social media have become more prevalent,” said Shawn Tubman, manager of corporate employment at Liberty Mutual. “Social media has given candidates a good avenue to connect directly with the company. That’s really different from years past.”
Around the Country
Employment prospects vary greatly by employer, region and job specialty. For a closer look, Insurance Journal editors interviewed property/casualty industry leaders in their respective regions and will be filing the following reports this week:
- National: Jobs Outlook Improving, Slowly
- National: 15 Trends in Insurance Employment
- East: Insurance Hiring Is ‘Slightly Elevated’ in 2012
- West: California Insurance Employment to Stay Soft
- Southeast: Agency, Carrier Plans Brighten Southeast Jobs Picture
- South Central: Oil, Economy Fuel Texas Hiring
- Midwest: Good Talent Always a Priority for Midwest
For insurance jobs listings on Insurance Journal, visit:www.insurancejournal.com/jobs/