Capital One Expanding, Plans to Hire 150 New Agents

March 15, 2005

Capital One Insurance Services, formerly InsLogic, an insurance broker in Oak Ridge, Tenn. has put out a ‘Help Wanted’ sign and plans to triple its work force. Capital One Insurance was acquired in January by Capital One Financial Corp., and now the firm wants to hire 150 insurance agents by July. A spokesman also says it plans to hire another 150 sales people sometime later.

Capital One sells nearly a dozen lines of coverage, including Travelers, Hartford, AIG, and Safeco, for autos, homes, boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, campers as well as renters insurance.

Thomas Farrell, Capital One Insurance Services president and chief operating officer, told Knox News the company will hire 30 people a month through July to work as agents in its Oak Ridge operation. The addition of 300 jobs will boost Capital One Insurance’s Oak Ridge work force to 450. Farrell said the agents, who will work in the company’s call center, will market insurance to the parent company’s 50 million customers.

“This is a great market to recruit from, these are not traditional call center jobs,” Thomas Witt, chief marketing officer for Capital One Insurance Services told Knox News. “Capital One wants to take a big slice of the auto insurance market. This is a big step for us but it’s also a sure-footed step.”

Witt said newly-hired employees will complete six weeks of insurance training culminating with state licensing. The base salary will be $11 an hour plus benefits and Farrell said Capital One’s agents can earn $50,000 or more a year based on sales.
The company is advertising the positions, attending jobs fairs and recruiting at area colleges to fill the positions.

“What we’re really looking for is the underemployed,” Farrell said, referring to workers looking for a career change and advancement. Capital One Insurance isn’t requiring a college education, although Farrell said a degree is preferred. And the company isn’t focusing on hiring already-licensed insurance agents.

“We’re looking for people with people skills,” Farrell said. “We’re willing to overlook that (college degree) because of the training we require. This is not a specific discipline.”

He estimated the training cost per person at $25,000 to $30,000 based on the six-week instruction period and six months of on-the-job training. People should think of this as a career and not a job,” Witt said.

The mass hiring was motivated by the January acquisition of InsLogic by Capital One Financial, one of the top six U.S. credit card issuers. It also has mortgage lending and auto financing businesses. Capital One Financial posted $10.7 billion in 2004 sales, 2004 profits of $1.5 billion and has more than 17,000 employees.

Farrell said the Oak Ridge corporate office for Capital One Insurance Services will be at capacity with 450 employees. Any more than that and the company would need to consider larger space.

The next round of hiring after the initial 150 jobs are filled won’t be decided until the summer. “We’ll make our decision by July on whether to proceed. We’re confident we will. It’s just how good of a job we do digesting these folks. We’ll definitely add 150 more employees,” Farrell said, it’s just a matter of when.

Topics Agencies Talent Training Development

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