How to Recognize and Recruit Top Insurance Agency Talent

It’s not easy recruiting new insurance agents these days. Let’s face it, the industry has a bit of a bad reputation, especially among millennials. The industry’s reputation of being low-tech and not very diverse doesn’t make it a popular choice among the new generation entering the workforce. This leaves insurance companies struggling to find new recruits in a limited pool of talent. 

In reality, insurance is a great career! 

No, seriously. We aren’t just saying that. There are plenty of reasons to choose a career in insurance. 

For starters, people always need insurance. This makes a career in the field extremely stable and virtually recession-proof. No matter what challenges the economy faces (looking at you Coronavirus), the world will still need insurance and those who sell and service policies. 

Plus, while many industries scrambled to find a way for employees to continue working from home throughout the pandemic, those insurance professionals whose companies had already begun their digital transformation could easily switch to remote work. AgentSync even makes it easy to manage multi-state, multi-line licenses so producers can do business across the country all from the comfort of their home.

A career in insurance can also be quite lucrative. Overall, compensation in the insurance industry is higher than average. Entry level insurance professionals can expect to make around $50,000 annually, a number that will only increase as they gain experience. Depending on the position, company size, and the individual’s experience level, a six-figure salary is not out of the question for insurance professionals. Anecdotally, we know some of the top insurance producers in the field are bringing in multi-six-figure, maybe even seven-figure incomes. 

If money isn’t a key driver, there are still plenty of reasons for someone to work in insurance. Maybe they just want to help people. It may not be performing surgery or saving anyone from a burning building, but think about the relief insurance money brings to people, families, and businesses during their times of need. Or maybe they’re worried about choosing a career field with limited job options. There are so many different directions to choose from within the insurance industry. For example, someone may choose to work for a large brokerage, become a captive agent, be self-employed as an independent agent, work as a claims adjuster, or an actuarial scientist, just to name a few!

3 tips for recruiting insurance agents

Clearly, there are plenty of great reasons to choose a career in insurance, yet many insurance carriers and agencies are still having trouble recruiting producers. Here are some tips that can help.

1. Modernize your insurance technology

No one wants to work for a company that’s still using dinosaur age technology. In this day and age, there’s no reason not to upgrade your old tech tools for something a little more advanced. Insurance companies should consider updating their AMS, licensing and compliance system, comparative rate, and document storage technology just to name a few. As new generations enter the workforce, they’ll be more likely to take a job with a company that’s staying on top of the latest tech trends.

2. Modernize your ancillary technologies

It’s important to not only make sure your insurance technologies are up to date, but your auxiliary technologies are too. What’s the fun of working at a company with shiny new insurance gadgets when the rest of the tech tools needed to perform daily business tasks belong in a history museum? Updating your HR and project management systems along with all internal and remote collaboration tools will give your insurance business an advantage in recruiting new hires. 

3. Modernize your processes and procedures

Insurance is well known for the amount of busy work and manual entry its daily operations require. Removing the number of manual tasks from the producers’ lives makes the job much more appealing. One way to do that is by using technology to automate anything you can. Prioritize new hire training optimization with a learning management system and high-quality content to make onboarding new producers quicker and more convenient. 

Finding exceptional insurance talent 

Now that we’ve covered why someone should choose a career in insurance, let’s look at why you should consider these potential applications (or not). Insurance may be a great industry, but it does take a special person with the right skills to be successful in it. At every insurance agency, there are the top producers, and then there’s everyone else. 

What makes an exceptional insurance agent?  

Traditionally, insurance agents have been viewed as salespeople. They’ve gotten a bad rap for being overly pushy, purely motivated by money, and willing to sell policies that people don’t really need. The truly outstanding (and successful) insurance agents are the ones who recognize their role as key partners and advisors to their clients. 

Some common traits among the best insurance producers include:

  • Understanding people and demonstrating empathy
  • The desire to truly help and serve clients
  • Great problem solving skills
  • Honesty and integrity
  • The ability to listen to customers and assess their needs

And which candidates should you avoid? 

While we don’t want to help anyone lose out on their next job opportunity, there are a few red flags you should pay attention to: 

  • Any signs of dishonesty
  • High-pressure sales tactics
  • Questionable ethics 
  • Lapses in compliance
  • A producer who has jumped from agency to agency very quickly, multiple times

In a field where compliance with laws and regulations is vital, and where many licensed insurance producers have fiduciary responsibilities to their clients, any of these attributes could be a reason to question adding a person to your team. 

Recruiting talented producers: a needle in a haystack

Insurance agencies have historically spent immense time and effort seeking out new insurance agents to expand their distribution channel. They’ve also heavily invested in fresh talent with no industry experience and tried to grow and develop successful agents from scratch. This strategy can be costly in an industry that has high turnover for new recruits

By focusing on modern insurance infrastructure and providing an exceptional producer and employee experience, your independent agency has a great shot at standing out among the competition and attracting (and just as importantly, retaining) the new and seasoned insurance talent you need. 

If you’re looking to grow and don’t want to sacrifice compliance while doing it, see how AgentSync can simplify producer onboarding and ongoing license compliance.

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