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The Insurance Talent Shortage: The Heat is On

The Insurance Talent Shortage: The Heat is On

We are in the midst of an insurance talent shortage. In 2017, we gave you a glimpse of what was to come: high turnover due to an aging workforce and a lack of interest from younger generations. Over the last two years, we’ve been watching the situation play out and creating strategies to make sure our clients aren’t victims of the declining workforce. Today, we’d like to provide an update and tell you how you can prepare your business for the future.

Fortunately, the insurance industry is doing well. Despite the estimated 400,000 insurance professionals expected to retire by 2020, the insurance industry’s unemployment rate is at 1.7 percent with certain parts of the industry growing while others are shrinking.

The virtually non-existent unemployment rate means filling positions is becoming increasingly difficult. People aren’t looking for jobs because they don’t have to and it can be a race against time to find the candidate you need. Positions in claims, sales, underwriting, marketing, account management and technology are expected to increase over the next year while available talent dwindles. Even when people are applying for these jobs, 21 percent of employers say the applicants they’re receiving aren’t qualified. On average, it can take 50 days to fill a non-exempt position and 97 to fill an executive position.

As you can see, the pressure to hire the right candidate is on and The James Allen Companies is the crew to help you find the talent you need. With over 15 years of experience in insurance recruiting under our belt and access to an expansive network of talent, we find candidates that for others would be unreachable. The candidates we find are top-performers, excelling in their current positions. They may not be currently looking for a career change, but with our help, they’ll be sold on an opportunity with your business.  

If you’re needing a temporary hire, a new executive or something between, we can find the candidate you need. We dedicate every resource at our disposal to your search so you can focus on running your business. By doing so, we expedite the search process so you find your ideal candidate faster. We advocate for your business from day one helping to search, interview and hire.

Don’t let the talent shortage get in the way of you running your business. Contact the team at The James Allen Companies to see how we can help your business win the race for talent today.

How to form a relationship with your recruiter

How to form a relationship with your recruiter

Hiring quality employees is essential to the growth of your organization, and hiring now is harder than ever. Unemployment in the insurance industry sits at just 1.7 percent meaning there aren’t as many people looking for jobs in the field as in the past. At the same time, the industry is facing one of the largest talent losses in history as thousands of people are set to retire in the next couple of years.

The market for talent is tight and with the odds stacked against you, it’s important that you hire creatively and efficiently. The best way to find the best candidates in a timely fashion is to turn it over to the professionals: the recruiting team at The James Allen Companies. As insurance industry recruiters, we specialize in finding the insurance professionals that will work for you to elevate your company to the next level.

When working with our recruiters, the best way to get the most bang for your buck is by developing a relationship with them. We value the relationships we form with our clients. It allows us to make more successful hires because we have a chance to better understand your business. Trying to hire and run your business can be overwhelming, and forming relationships might be the last thing on your mind. But, in the best interest of your business, there are a few things you should know about how to form a relationship with your recruiter.

Get your ducks in a row.

Make sure you know what you need. If you don’t, we won’t either. What position are you hiring for? What are the requirements for the position? What hard and soft skills are needed for the position? When do you need this person to start? By communicating your expectations, we will have a better understanding of what you need. Getting to know your business gets our relationship off on the right foot and minimizes confusion in the future.

Be flexible.

Passive candidates have so many options in this market and need a good reason to leave their current position to work with your company. While money is important and can be a major sticking point, passive candidates are often motivated by more than just a dollar figure. Other driving factors are benefits, positive workplace culture and, more importantly, opportunities for advancement and career growth. The key is creativity. Being open to candidates who can grow into the role will have a major impact on their decision to make the move. Our recruiters have the patience and persistence to discover what motivates these candidates and how they fit into the bigger picture of your business’s success.

Communicate directly and openly.

Do you remember the telephone game? Someone whispers something in someone’s ear, it goes around the circle and when it gets back to the beginning of the circle, you find out what you heard was far from what the original person said. This can happen in the hiring process if we aren’t working directly with the ultimate decision maker. Too many members of your hiring committee in the mix can result in miscommunication and confusion.

Make decisions in a timely manner.

When a candidate takes the time to meet with you and discuss your company, you owe them the courtesy of a quick decision. Establish a deadline for the decision to be made, make sure the recruiter is kept informed.

Trust the process.

Armed with the knowledge and expertise, our recruiters know how to identify and recruit qualified candidates for your company. Every step of the way, our efficient and attentive approach ensures you’ll find the right candidate at the right time. We share updates frequently so you know what’s going on and why we select the candidates we do. When given the opportunity to propel your business, we offer every resource available to serve your needs.

The James Allen Companies cherishes the relationships we form with our clients. We are dedicated to working with and for you. When you partner with the best name in insurance industry staffing, you know you’re getting the best candidate the industry has to offer. If you’re interested in developing a partnership that will last, contact us today to find the hiring solutions that work for you.

Burn-out: The Symptoms and the Treatment

Burn-out: The Symptoms and the Treatment

As the economy continues to churn, and despite experiencing five of the 15 costliest global catastrophes in the past two years, the outlook for the Property and Casualty Insurance industry has remained positive. With this favorable outlook, many insurance professionals are finding themselves with multiple career advancement opportunities. This candidate-driven market, combined with the newest workplace epidemic (burn-out) could be contributing to the increase in turnover rates

According to the Workplace Institute, one in four employees will quit this year, with one in three voluntarily leaving their jobs by 2020. One of the growing reasons for this exodus is burn-out.

We’ve all felt it. Those days when just the thought of going into work makes you exhausted or turns your good mood into a sour one. You experience a lack of motivation, feel overwhelmed, and make more mistakes than normal. The longer the feeling continues, the worse it gets until it becomes a major problem. You just feel…burned out.

You aren’t alone. The World Health Organization recently declared burn-out an official medical diagnosis. Scientists have been studying burn-out and its effects since the 1970s, and it’s time to start taking it seriously. By recognizing the symptoms and finding ways to prevent burn-out, you can better the mental health of your employees and have a positive impact on your bottom line.

The Symptoms of Burn-out

Burn-out is the result of a lack of balance between personal and work life. While the symptoms of burn-out can apply to other parts of your life, WHO advises burn-out refers “specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.” Symptoms include:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • Reduced professional efficacy

These symptoms can result in a lack of production, and increased fatigue, irritability, frustration, and errors. All of these can culminate in a lack of motivation for team members and can have a negative impact on your bottom line.

Treatment for Burn-out

Burn-out in the insurance industry affects more than the person facing it. When one member of your team feels overwhelmingly negative and is failing to succeed, your entire team suffers. Here are a few ways you can prevent burn-out in the insurance industry and keep it from becoming a chronic issue at your company:

  • Celebrate successes. No matter how small, every goal met makes a difference. By acknowledging daily accomplishments and recognizing successful team members, you increase team motivation. By counteracting negativity with positivity, you can boost the morale of the employees feeling burn-out.
  • Show employees the bigger picture. When setting goals for your team, make sure they see how those goals impact the goals to follow. When moving quickly from one goal to another, team members can feel like they aren’t making any progress. Connecting their performance to the company’s results makes team members feel like they are part of that larger picture.
  • Create a plan. If you’re noticing an uptick in unhappy employees, it’s time to find out what those problems are. Pay attention to who works from home, stays late at the office, or skips lunch. Analyze those workloads and find out why they feel the need to work after hours. Create a burn-out prevention plan that enforces work hours, encourages breaks, and sets goals to preserving mental health in the workplace. This plan will make it easier to prevent burn-out and confront it when it occurs.

Burn-out is a problem that plagues every industry and insurance is not immune. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of and finding ways to prevent burn-out is crucial to the success of your employees and your insurance business. For more than 15 years, The James Allen Companies have been partnering with insurance companies to identify and hire leaders who help inspire their workforce and keep them engaged. To learn more, contact us today.

Assessing Soft Skills

Assessing Soft Skills

As we discussed last week, soft skills are crucial when finding the best candidate for your insurance business. Ninety-two percent of talent professionals believe soft skills are just as important if not more than the technical skills needed for the job. At The James Allen Companies, we believe both are essential, but soft skills can mean the difference between a good hire and a bad one. In fact, one study found 89 percent of bad hires lack the necessary soft skills needed to succeed in their place of work.

Considering how essential soft skills are to choosing the right candidate, it might surprise you that only 41 percent of businesses have a formal process to evaluate those skills. It’s time to start a soft skills evaluation process that can result in more successful hires.

Determine what skills are needed: Decide and list the skills needed for the position you’re hiring for and the company culture. Do you have a collaborative culture or do people work on their own? Does this position require persuasion to sell a product? Identifying what skills are needed for the job will help you come up with the process of evaluation.

Engage with your candidate. Interviewing a candidate is a great way to get to know a person on a professional level, but if a candidate is going to be working with you, you need to know them personally too. Don’t just interview with them, interact with them. Set up a meeting in an informal setting. This is a much better way to pick up on those key social skills you need at your company.

Standardize your interviews. The questions you ask one candidate should be the same ones you ask every other candidate. When selecting questions to ask candidates, choose behavioral questions that ask the candidate to draw on their past experiences and situational questions to gauge how they might react in situations they may encounter on the job.

Challenge them. This is similar to situational questions except you’re actually watching them in action. Give them a task such as planning a campaign or selling a product. Watch them perform the task and let them walk you through their process. This is a great opportunity for you to observe their soft skills in action.

Consider tech-based analysis methods. There are a lot of online services that can help you systematically evaluate a candidate’s soft-skills. These are great for eliminating bias in the process but can add time to the candidate’s application process which can be a turnoff to some candidates.

Evaluating soft skills is a difficult task, but is incredibly important for the hiring process. If a candidate lacks the skills your business needs, they can have a negative impact on your business. Recruiters at The James Allen Companies identify candidates that have the necessary communication, persuasion and other soft skills your company needs. We find candidates that are already successful and can transfer their skills to your business for continued success. Give us a call today to see how we can help your company identify the candidates with the skills you need to help your business prosper.