How To Recruit The Right People For Your Insurance Agency
Whether we’re talking about an upstart insurance agency or a massive national company, the only way that victories can be achieved in this industry is to recruit the right people. The fact that most insurance leads shop for insurance online yet continue to close through an agent is proof that this profession is as viable as it ever was. But the truly successful companies know how to get professionals capable of closing. Here’s how they do it.
- 1. By going where the insurance agents are
Of course, agents can be in a lot of different places — LinkedIn, online job boards, etc. — but the key is to know where they’re coming from and concentrate efforts in those areas. Any recruiting effort that fails to keep tabs on these metrics is setting itself up for a lot of inefficiency down the road. In other words, be aware of where your candidates are coming from and how successful those candidates are in the job. Try to notice patterns and then refocus your efforts to hone in on the hot spots.
- 2. By empowering and training existing staff on what to look for
You can’t be everywhere at once, and not every candidate you pull from an online job board is going to be a winner. That’s why it pays to train and empower your other staff to know what they should be looking for in a quality insurance agent. Consider sending your staff to meet-ups of industry professional associations and conferences. In an extension of item one — going where agents are — you can turn the people you already trust into recruiting machines.
- 3. By being slow to hire, and quick to fire
This one sounds a little harsh on the surface, and we suppose it can be if you fire without care and tact. Still, the sentiment behind the saying will keep you on the road to success. By being “slow to hire,” we mean that you should really take your time before bringing another agent on board to help. Develop stringent criteria in what you’re looking for. Start with your own work ethic, and make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. This will give you a good idea of whether you’ll be able to work with a candidate or not. Make the process rigorous so that you can lessen the chances of hiring someone who isn’t going to work out. By “quick to fire,” we don’t mean fire someone for the simplest mistake. We mean fire someone when it becomes clear they’re either not going to work out to your expectations or they’re going to take too long in getting there. While giving people the benefit of the doubt is noble, it can kill your business. Getting rid of someone who isn’t going to work out early also reduces the amount of wasted time, effort, and training, that you put in to the candidate.
- 4. By using social media to investigate a candidate
When you do have a client in mind, don’t hesitate to friend them on social media and browse through their posts and photos. Social media can be very telling when it comes to whether or not you’re hiring a pro, and since it’s your name and reputation on the line, you owe it to yourself to leave no stone unturned.
- 5. By rewarding top talent and being willing to negotiate
Finally, one of the best things that you can do for your recruitment efforts is to keep good people for as long as you can. This not only slows the amount of recruiting that you have to do, it teaches you more and more each day about what to look for when you have to make additions. Consequently, the only way to keep good people for the long haul is to make the job worth their time. Reward them through thank-you’s, financial- or time-based incentives, and trusting them with more of the business. If a good agent wants to renegotiate something to their benefit, don’t simply shut them down. Listen to what they have to say and weigh what they want against the best that you can do while still making it worth it to you. The old adage “good help is hard to find” couldn’t be truer in the 21st Century.
Recruiting good help for your insurance agency isn’t easy, but by sticking with the above tips, you’ll have a staff you can rely on, learn from, and grow into something special.