At EverQuote, we work with insurance agencies every single day. We hear so many stories of how the process of hiring new agents is fraught with pitfalls even under the best circumstances—and how it’s only getting harder in the current economy.
In many cases, an insurance recruiting service can make things easier. Find out more about this option from expert recruiter Gary Inzana of Top Tier Recruiting and Consulting.
All About Using Insurance Recruiting Services To Hire New Agents
In Inzana’s experience, agencies that hire a recruiter have several advantages over those that try to handle hiring in-house.
3 Reasons To Use A Recruiter Instead Of Going It Alone
1. Insurance recruiting specialists are an objective third-party.
Business leaders often have trouble removing their own emotions and biases from the hiring process.
A skilled recruiter will be able to tell you whether your job description and requirements are realistic, if your compensation package is appropriate for the position, and whether your job listing is likely to attract the type of candidate you are looking for.
Without that expert knowledge, Inzana says, many insurance agency owners struggle to attract the right person for the job.
2. P&C insurance recruiters know the job market inside and out.
An experienced recruiter—someone who has spent more than a year or two on the job—has typically interviewed thousands of people for similar positions. They’ve had plenty of opportunities to develop an expert sense of whether a candidate would be the perfect fit for a specific role. In other words, a great recruiter will be able to objectively pick the most fitting candidates based on well-honed intuition.
In contrast, most agents trying to hire for their own agencies tend to get caught up in the endless comparisons of on-paper qualifications and make a poor choice or hire someone new despite some less-than-confident feelings creeping in.
3. Using insurance recruiting agencies frees up your time.
Between writing and revising job listings, reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, and actually conducting those interviews, hiring someone new can feel like a full-time job. When your agency is already understaffed and overworked, the last thing you want to do is split your time even further.
Inzana says you can expect to spend 20 minutes on a call with each of your top candidates to set up interviews, and then only about 20% of those people will show up to the interview itself. That’s a huge timesuck when you’re feeling the pressure to find someone quickly.
To make matters worse, he adds: “Every agent needs to interview at least ten people to make one decent hire. Factor in a 50% turnover rate, and that’s twenty people you need to interview before you find someone that sticks. Do you have time to source twenty people and talk to them one at a time when you know about 75-80% will ghost you before the interview?”
In other words, hiring a professional recruiter takes an immense load off your plate while helping to guarantee the best results possible.
How To Hire A Great Recruiter
The following are Inzana’s tips to make sure your experience using a recruiter goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Look for a recruiter with a solid track record in the insurance industry.
Some recruiters help find job candidates within a number of different industries. What you want is an expert who works exclusively with insurance agencies, because that’s the kind of person who will know the job market like the back of their hand.
When you hire a recruiter, you give up some control over your hiring process. Make sure the person who takes over for you can demonstrate a long history of success with hiring insurance agents.
2. Be wary of recruiters that have just started interviewing candidates.
Brand new recruiters can be naturally skilled, but it’s unlikely they’ll innately have the industry and job market knowledge that usually comes from years of experience. They won’t have developed that sixth sense that tells them when to pass a candidate along to your agency or not.
Be especially careful with recruiting agencies that advertise that they’re “now doing interviews,” especially if those recruiters claim to have been in business for several years. Bizarrely, this is a relatively common thing, and it leaves a lot of questions about what services they might have offered before they started doing interviews. Those services might be relevant to your needs, or they could be completely unrelated.
3. Reach out to a recruiter’s past clients.
Many recruiters will provide a handful of contacts they’re currently working with. However, it’s one thing to catch someone in the middle of the hiring process and judge that they’re a happy customer. It’s quite another to reach out to multiple past clients and ask how the job candidates the recruiter found worked out in the long term.
4. Look for overall patterns. Try not to judge a recruiter based on one bad review.
Though this tip might seem contradictory to the last, Inzana emphasizes that recruiters only have control over the outcome of a hire to a certain extent. Beyond the point where an agency chooses to officially extend an offer, a number of factors could potentially impact how that new hire performs.
As you reach out to the recruiter’s past clients, keep in mind that it’s not necessarily the fault of the recruiter if a new hire didn’t work out. Perhaps the job was not as advertised, the workplace culture was terrible, or an emergency came up that prevented the employee from continuing to work.
It’s a good idea to reach out to multiple former clients so you can form a more complete picture of the recruiter’s skills.
5. Prioritize convenience.
One of the most important reasons you’d want to work with a recruiter instead of hiring people yourself is to make your life easier. With that in mind, opt for a recruiter who offers services in a way that is most convenient for you.
As an example, Top Tier Recruiting and Consulting has recently launched a new service that allows insurance agencies to search and browse for qualified candidates right on the Top Tier website. Features like this can reduce the stress around hiring a new agent and turn it into more of an online shopping experience that should feel familiar, comfortable, and quick.
Found your perfect new hire? Start them off strong with leads from Everquote.
Your new hire will want to hit the ground running and start bringing in value to your agency right off the bat. The best way to help them accomplish that is to serve up fresh, hot leads from Everquote on a silver platter and let them make some quick sales.