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Why Help Wanted Ads Fail: How to Identify the Skills Your Business Really Needs

Why Help Wanted Ads Fail: How to Identify the Skills Your Business Really Needs

Help Wanted But Not Received

Help wanted ads are often written by your HR team with some help from marketing, which typically means that you’re not advertising the most important skills your business needs. Job board ads not only sit among hundreds or thousands of others, but they deliver a flood of resumes for candidates that don’t fit.

But, you can’t blame these people for not being the right candidate. You see, the biggest error of help wanted ads is that they don’t address the right skills to help your business grow. They’re created in a bubble and just one of the many tasks your HR team is working on right now.

Here are a few ways you can break that cycle and hire right for your next position.

Update All Job Descriptions

Your company may change more often than your employees. Changing markets, products, and the emergence of new technology all tend to cause staff to change their daily activities and learn new skills. When you’re getting ready for a hire of any significance or leadership role, reach out to existing team members to learn what they do and get a feel for how much things have changed.

Test for Talent

Once you’ve put together a list of skills that your company needs to thrive, look internally to see what skills your employees have and at what level. Skills testing is a good benchmarking tool to help you understand both where you are and how far you need to go.

Testing can also assist you in determining where you need to hire and where you may benefit from broader investments in training and development.

Ask Your Teams What They Need

Your teams not only know what they need to do for their own positions, but they may see where gaps exist in their larger department. Discussing needs only with leadership or management can miss out on skills or opportunities.

For example, your Director of Commercial Underwriting may know that an Underwriting Manager needs the ability to develop strategies for company objectives. However, your underwriters may also identify the need for a manager who can help train them on advanced policies or balance the workload as it changes throughout the year.

Your team knows their frustration points, and these might be the gaps that are best to fill first to maximize your overall operational efficiency.

Demand Planning

How does your potential hire fit with where your company is today and where it is headed tomorrow?

The future is inherently uncertain, so workforce planning is moving to a demand planning mindset where you’re focused on staffing relative to work volumes and demand drivers, based on the market and how your normally staff positions.

If your past responses have been successful, future hiring — even during times of lower demand volumes — should match these practices. If you’ve struggled to respond appropriately to past demand spikes, then it’s time to identify where you understaff and how to shift to minimize risk and maximize your ability to capitalize on growth.

The Retirement Question

When it comes to workforce planning and demand planning, it’s also important to remember that people will retire. Retirement can feel like it throws a wrench into everything, especially here in the insurance business because those retirees often have a wealth of skills and industry knowledge.

The other steps we’ve recommended here can help you plan for a workforce that is retiring by keeping job titles and activities up-to-date, as well as creating a list of skills that are held by those reaching retirement age.

If you look at your upcoming wave of retirements as a significant increase in demand, then the practices you use for your demand planning will help you shore up the talent that you need. The only downside is that retirement often causes larger skill gaps in your workforce, so you need a smart solution to address valuable losses. That’s where outside help may be a lifesaver.

Turn to a Recruiter

Insurance carriers who work with recruiters for temporary and permanent hiring consistently see better candidates, higher offer acceptance rates, and a quicker process to hire those happy candidates. You can expect similar gains because every position is approached with an eye to its particular skill set, whether the right candidate is actively searching or potentially waiting to leave a competitor.

If you’re not working with a recruiter, you’re operating with a limited view of your business and your market, which may mean not correctly filling the skills gaps you’ve worked so hard to identify.

When you’re ready to not only fill your knowledge and skill gaps but find candidates who already live your core values, contact The James Allen Companies, Inc. and call me directly at (573) 334-3688.

Recruiting A-Players: Is Your HR Team Stretched Too Thin for Success?

The insurance industry is rapidly aging, and more than half of current professionals will retire within the next 15 years. Are you ready to replace half of your own workforce over that time?

If you’re relying on internal HR teams, you might be leaving yourself open to creating a significant gap in talent that could cost you growth opportunities.

HR Has a Lot on It’s Plate

Human resources professionals are critical to the health and viability, and they’re becoming some of the most overworked employees a company can have, according to recent studies.

HR teams have their time split between:

  • administrative tasks like payroll and benefits
  • employee retention and growth programs
  • maintaining statutory compliance for workplace safety, health, and other areas
  • providing support and job counseling for new or problem employees
  • and sustaining all your personnel processes

Adding the additional task of recruitment, especially for positions that require in-depth industry knowledge and the right background can be very daunting. It takes time to protect and grow your company, so splitting those duties between HR and recruiters can make both efforts more effective.

Insurance Carriers’ Talent Gap Puts a Focus on Retention

A major review from Deloitte has determined that insurance carriers are facing talent shortages at all levels, not only because of the retirement of Baby Boomers but also the rise in overlapping services offered by banks and investment firms, siphoning away some talent.

You’ve felt an increase in competition during recent years, but the industry as a whole hasn’t stepped up recruitment efforts, so there are more positions and fewer qualified candidates to fill them. So, your current team needs to focus a significant portion of their time on retaining your talent and stemming those losses.

HR, on a daily basis, must work to develop and grow existing talent by identifying their existing skills, promoting opportunities, expanding their knowledge, and creating the right conditions for them to thrive in their current position.

Recruitment firms don’t have any of those long-term requirements. We’re able to delve into the existing pool of talent to see who can fit your needs and your company’s culture as our main focus — instead of having to squeeze it in like an HR team. Plus, we have acquisition-focused skills that many traditional HR employees don’t have the time to foster because they play a broad role in your company’s health.

You Need to Reach Top Candidates Who Haven’t Raised Their Hands

The narrowing pool of talented professionals means you must look a lot harder to find the perfect fit. And, recruiters are perfectly positioned to look in all the nooks and crannies to unearth the talent you need.

Unlike HR professionals, we have the time and capability to reach out to talent already in the industry. We can cold call individuals who haven’t submitted a resume or look within your competitors to see if there is a top candidate and check to see if they’re interested in a move. We scour areas where talent is hiding and have built relationships with potential candidates over the past fourteen years that may be open to the right opportunity or lead us to other potential professionals.  .

Human resources essentially tries to recruit with a bucket: they must get as many people as possible in the first group of potential candidates and then work extremely hard to fish out that small drop of water that’s perfect for your job.

Recruiters like The James Allen Companies hire with a sieve. We already have the talent pool and start our process by sifting it until only the best options are left on top. That’s also why we’re able to send your team a handful of candidates, while HR struggles with a paper mountain of resumes.

HR Can’t Always Sell Opportunity

Recruiters know our market exceedingly well. We understand how multiple carriers fit and where your advantages are compared to other brands. That gives us a unique way to position your company as the right fit for a candidate who matches your needs and your culture.

For HR to tackle this, you’d need to add another responsibility of competitor analysis, which would only serve to reduce the time they have to find candidates, sort them, interview them, and then hire them.

We are able to see how you fit in the overall industry and what makes your offering unique. Our interactions allow us to discuss your advantages with prospects and show how your brand is a smart fit with their capabilities and career goals. This process builds your credibility and helps you get closer to having the right person say “yes.”

If you want to know how The James Allen Companies, Inc. can help you identify and fill your most pressing gaps, call me directly at (573) 334-3688.