Insurance Industry Rethinking Recruitment Strategies

By | January 27, 2017

  • January 30, 2017 at 1:20 pm
    V says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    Knew this article from inception was nonsense, with quote from the
    US Bureau of Lies. This is the same bureau that gives the nonsensical unemployment rate that no one believes. The truth of the matter is that some of the best senior talent remains and is not going anywhere, as they cannot afford to do otherwise with the costs of rent, taxes, medical care, education, etc. hitting double digits. They are also vital and have little to no interest in traditional retirement.
    The solution is not to cater to millennials, as described. Those companies that do will lose management control & focus{and profitability} & employees, they are hoping to keep will leave no matter what, always thinking that the grass is greener…
    The best senior talent is already mentoring their younger employees & by example instilling to them, out of the box/critical thinking skill sets, and the benefits of hard work by their years of demonstrated successful experience.

    • February 2, 2017 at 10:53 am
      V says:
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      It’s interesting that there are 7 dislikes, yet none of them know how to craft a response? Oh that’s right, in these times there is no need for rational debate and or argument, you just click!

    • February 2, 2017 at 12:02 pm
      M. Prankster says:
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      I remember calling a big carrier for a misc. E&O quote. The very young sounding-lady that was supposedly an underwriter listened to who I was and why I was calling and had the nerve to ask – “Why should I quote this for you?” I would have been out of a job if I ever asked an insured that question!

      • March 1, 2017 at 2:14 pm
        Melissa says:
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        There are something like EIGHTY THREE MILLION millennials. How is the response of one person relevant to 83 million people?

    • February 8, 2017 at 2:44 pm
      Agent says:
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      The Industry needs to look at veterans to hire in the coming years. They are disciplined, loyal, willing to learn and they show up for work on time.

    • March 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm
      Melissa says:
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      What do you base your facts on? The fact is that the largest generation, the Baby Boomers, are retired, retiring, or soon to consider retirement. Sure many need to work until the end but there WILL BE AN EVENTUAL END to that generation and they will need to be replaced.

  • February 2, 2017 at 11:15 am
    AnUnderwriter says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
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    Have been doing the recruitment dance on and off for three years, and I’m not seeing high quality positions with the budget to hire high quality talent. Carriers drag their feet for months, want to line up a big stable of potential candidates and are all looking for the “perfect fit.” >10 years progressive experience, excellent underwriting results, multiple industry designations, top flight degree etc, yet there is little interest once they hear current salary.

    Carriers all want more for less–bigger territories, more responsibility, longer hours but with less support and for a smaller budget, and don’t even think about a bonus.

    I don’t disagree with V. The only retirements I see come when the talent simply can no longer tolerate the deteriorating work environment and have the financial means to walk away. Those who don’t are working well past 65.

    • March 7, 2017 at 6:33 pm
      Max says:
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      You are right on target. I am 52 and have been in Claims for 28 years and cant wait to retire. The conditions have gradually gotten worse. I would never advise a Millennial to go into this business.

  • February 6, 2017 at 11:34 am
    Ammo says:
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    You hit the nail on the head with this. “Carriers all want more for less–bigger territories, more responsibility, longer hours but with less support and for a smaller budget, and don’t even think about a bonus.”

    Corporate greed is our problem. Not lack of talent, both mature and young.

  • February 6, 2017 at 4:05 pm
    lonestar says:
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    Not to mention the sales side of things. With carriers competing directly against their own agents, while at the same time requiring agents to produce more, for lower pay I might add… No wonder the carriers are having a hard time generating interest for new blood into the system.

  • February 8, 2017 at 9:20 am
    East Coast says:
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    My son has a degree in finance from a major university with a 3.5 GPA and has not been hired by two insurance companies he interviewed at for underwriting positions because he did not major in insurance. Granted that I am prejudice because he is my son but to continually hire insurance majors because they are seemingly more dedicated to the industry excludes people with new ideas and broader backgrounds.
    This article talks about attracting talent but there does not seem to be any real commitment from the industry to seek talent but rather to seek sheep that will fall in line. That attitude is what talented graduates see and feel when they are job seeking and thus pursue other options.

    • February 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm
      Agent says:
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      There will be a lot of quality jobs available for people with your son’s qualifications. Fine arts, not so much. They will just be going around saying how unfair life is and protesting.

      • February 18, 2017 at 5:48 pm
        BI Adjuster says:
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        Interesting. I have a bachelor’s in cello performance and I hired on with a major insurance carrier two and a half years ago and have been promoted twice. There is no one in my department who majored in insurance (though there are a few law graduates). My company hires millennials more often than not and they are usually hardworking, thoughtful individuals who are constantly seeking ways to improve themselves and their work. We are also encouraged to suggest ways to change the company for the better and I’ve seen three of my recommendations implemented. My experience with insurance has been very rewarding and I tell my peers all the time, as long as you’re willing to work insurance can provide a great career path.

  • February 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm
    Richard Bryan says:
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    Which of the large insurers still has an in-house training and development program? My understanding was that the new model for expanding the sales force was to offer existing producer groups incentives to jump ship from one company to another. Am I wrong about this?

  • February 24, 2017 at 4:33 pm
    Gary Miller says:
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    The solution to the challenge noted in this article is not mentioned. Step 1 of any “Decision Making” process is to Identify the problem first – CORRECTLY. If you don’t it is the same as charting a trip to a future destination and you do not even know your origin.

    The first step in our industry’s efforts to attract “top tier” talent into our industry is to understand that the need for our senior leaders to recognize that the financial and insurance consumer are very deficient in the fundamentals of risk and financial literacy. Thus, we need to make a different argument that the future of our industry must “reorient” our focus to an “educational mission” and not a mission of “growing market share.” Our industry is focused upon growing market share. We are excellent at gathering premium into the treasuries of insurance companies to perform our “risk financing mission.” We fail miserably in being transparent with what happens after the premium goes into the treasury and what happens next.

    Look at all the commercial advertising – the GEICO’s, Progressives, State Farm, Allstate, Farmers et.al….. Each one of these insurer attempts to “market to the insurance consumer” and prospective future employee, tells the story that our mission is the sale of a commodity, not a “sophisticated buying decision.” Folks, we sell a promise, that you cannot chew or consume. The consumer will never measure our value beyond the premium they pay, unless they have a loss, and even at the time of their loss, we fail to explain the expectations of how we value their loss or explain the principles of indemnity or insurable risk.

    Our industry continues to communicate the same old traditional message which is not “Education Based,” but rather “Marketing Based.” The consumer needs to understand what the nature of risk is, how risk is managed and why the insurance industry is just like the “parachute packer.” As long as the parachute opens, the parachutist safely lands on the target, the parachute worked and has performed as expected. When the parachute fails, then we start asking the question “What happened and why didn’t the parachute open properly.

    You see if we want to fill our ranks with competent talent we need to change our story, how we compensate our soldiers and get back to the business of education.

    For example, in the life insurance industry, we accept as a normal outcome, a “washout” rate of 80% of young financial advisors, assuming incorrectly that those 80% have no value. We assume that they have washed out because they can’t produce, when the real truth should be viewed is that our selection, education and training process continues to perpetuate that the correct way to demonstrate “value added,” is to compensate our youngsters on commission or some W-2 formula that is always linked to the “rising premium or underwriting profitability” of a “book of business.”

    I have the model for the future. I need to have the forum to share my vision for the correct recruiting strategy of the future. I can articulate to any senior leader of our insurance companies “how to fill” the delta that represents 400,000 employment opportunities. We need to look at this as an opportunity to become more relevant and valued, because if you look at history, there was only one industry that led our nation out of the depression, when we had no central bank or federal reserve. It was my grandfather’s life insurance industry, because people used their “whole life” insurance policies as their bank and the nation used these policies in the aggregate as the pre-cursor to “quantitative easing.”

    I am a P&C raised broker. I only had 2 employers, the US Army and the Miler Family. I always tell the story that I went from one “foxhole” to another “foxhole.” Brokers take “incoming all the time.” Brokers are the “foot soldiers” that are best positioned to tell the story… if only our senior corporate “risk bearing” enterprises would listen to us.

  • February 24, 2017 at 5:08 pm
    Gary Miller says:
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    There is a flaw in this challenge. Failure to ID the challenge is likened to navigating a pathway forward without correctly recognizing our origin. The challenge has not been articulated properly. Our industry senior leaders have failed to recognize the issue is fundamentally an “Educational” one. The solution has always been viewed from a marketing perspective. We do a great job at gathering premium for our treasury to “finance risks of financial loss.” We fail miserably because we have not raised the financial and risk literacy of our consumers and future employees to understand “the nature of risk, the risk spectrum, and how to manage risk.”

    We do well in gathering premium and filling our “risk bearing” treasuries. It is what we fail to do to share the story on what happens in the “risk bearing system” after the premium is received.

    We just need to look at history and recognize that our nation came out of the Great Depression because the life insurance industry was the central bank and the federal reserve that fulfilled the need for “quantitative easing.” The banks failed and our government failed.

    The real challenge is that we must recognize that we cannot continue to accept the recruiting model that accepts an “80% washout rate” for future financial advisors. We cannot continue to accept that our future insurance advisors, underwriters and producers are compensated on a formula that is perpetually linked to a formula of “growing market share and underwriting profitability.” Whether we use a W-2 model or a commission model, we need to recognize that the future financial security of our industry must rely upon the premise that the human resource talent needed to fill the shortfall of 400,00, must understand risk, how it is quantified, managed and financed.

    Risk is not a commodity. Insurance policies are representative of a “promise.” Consumers and future employees must be rewarded accordingly, because our nation’s future financial security is directly linked to understanding “the nature of risk,” not the nature of how much premium growth or underwriting profitability, or policies or insurance products are sold.

    Many of us are often maligned because the consumer measures our “value added” proposition by the only measure they know, the magnitude or size of the insurance premium reflected in their premium billing notice. They do “not know what they do not know,” until they have a loss. It is “at the time of loss” which truly is the real time the “value proposition” should be measured. We continue to perpetuate flawed expectations. We are likened to the parachute packers…. as long as the parachute opens, we don’t even think of how the parachute was packed. But if the parachute fails to open then all hell breaks loose.

    I have the vision and the solution to our recruiting challenge. If any senior leader wants to hear my vision, I am available anytime.



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