5 Signs You Need Help for Client Service Openings

By | December 16, 2019

In 2020 the average time it will take an insurance agency to hire an experienced Account Manager will be three and half to four months. When I tell clients this, one of three responses follow:

Surprise: “Wow, really? I never would have guessed.”

Confirmation: “Yep. I understand. It was the same way last year.”

Fear: “Oh no! I better figure out a plan.”

Experienced is the operative word. It will not take you as long to find CSRs, assistants and analysts with less than two years of career experience making less than $45,000. These candidates apply through job boards and attend career fairs. However, the more compensation and experience increases so does the challenge of finding qualified candidates because commercial P&C, employee benefits and high net worth personal lines account managers:

  • Do not apply as frequently through job boards.
  • Are categorized as passive job seekers.
  • Fall into a broad compensation range of $70,000-$175,000.
  • Job tenure is two to three times greater than CSRs and assistants.

5 Signs You Need a Recruiter’s Help for Client Service Openings

Unique: This account manager role feels set apart, unusual and more challenging than previous openings. Examples can include a) supports an executive producer’s book, b) the accounts are large and complicated, or c) there’s been retention or culture problems within your team.

Capacity: 40-80 open job requisitions isn’t unheard of with larger regional brokers and are typically managed by much smaller HR departments than alpha broker’s talent acquisition groups. It’s hard to keep up with application flow, find time to recruit on more difficult postings and manage each interview process to the fullest.

Location: The $150,000 account executive you need doesn’t exist in a 200-mile radius. Referral sources and your existing database are useless. You’re staring down the barrel of relocation candidates.

History: Your last two $85,000 account manager jobs took four months each to fill. Your LinkedIn connections are tapped out, and you’ve tried to recruit everyone at a competitor. You want a faster fill rate on the next opening with a more diverse candidate pool.

Structure: You’re not sure if the position requires a full-time employee. What if this turns out to be a 30 hour/week job or it’s on a new team that might not be stable enough for a permanent hire? Here comes contract and portfolio careers.

2020 Agency Client Service Recruiting Trends

Your 2020 motto should be: “If it requires insurance experience it requires recruiting.

  • Client Service openings account for 60% of an agency’s recruiting time and cost.
  • 3:1 employee benefits to P&C job opening ratio.
  • $70,000-plus salary roles; expect a 90-120 day fill timeline.
  • Job boards are weakened after 30 days of posting. The most successful methods of sourcing service candidates are: Employee referrals; Direct Solicitation from Competitors; and Social Media

Emerging Client Service Roles

Get ready for the migraines! If you have one of these openings on the horizon expect a more difficult search.

Account Executive Roles + One

  • Management/team leadership (the earth isn’t flat, but a lot of service teams are).
  • Consultants (leveling up the service team. The pivot from $100,000 AE to the $125,000-$175,000 earner)

Actuaries with a Personality

  • a.k.a. analytics/mathematical geniuses/Excel wizards who get out from behind a desk.
  • Most prevalent in benefits, agencies want highly technical employees in heavy client facing roles.

Non-Traditional or Vertical Product Lines

  • Commercial P&C risk management divisions want account managers/account executives with niche expertise (healthcare, construction, transportation, environmental, cyber, management liability, so on and so forth)

When You Need to Call a Recruiter

My first response is any time but that seems a little self-serving, right?! My advice is to evaluate each job instead of making a sweeping generalization like, “We do or not work with recruiters.” Look at what makes sense – the position, location, capacity and cost containment. Find a trusted partner; an advocate who knows how to tell your agency’s story and is committed to the process no matter how long it takes.

About Mary Newgard

Newgard is partner and senior search consultant for Capstone Search Group, a national recruiting firm dedicated to the insurance industry. For questions and comments, email: asktherecruiter@csgrecruiting.com. More from Mary Newgard

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Insurance Journal West December 16, 2019
December 16, 2019
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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