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Dear Candidates…

Dear Candidates…

All right, candidates, listen up. 

Lately, we at The James Allen Companies have noticed a troubling trend that is quickly becoming more and more rampant: ghosting. 

The reason we bring this up today is simple: ghosting has crept into the professional world. More than ever, we’re seeing candidates dropping out of the interview process without a word or even accepting positions only to not show up on the first day. As recruiters, we’ve seen it all and we know the consequences of these actions.

“Ghosting” refers to abruptly cutting off contact with someone. This term originated among millennials in reference to romantic interests virtually disappearing without a trace; however, the term has gained so much traction it’s made its way into the dictionary

So, if you’re thinking about ghosting us (or even another person, which is also uncool) give us a moment of your time to learn why this is not a good idea.

Give us a chance.

It is our guess a lot of our candidates who drop out of interview processes without a word do so because they’re concerned, either about the position or about the company. Again, this is a guess since these people aren’t telling us. 

The most important thing our candidates can do during this process is ask questions. Give us a chance to address your concerns, ease your anxieties and be your advocate. If you are at all uncomfortable during the hiring process, we want to know why so we can inform employers if they’re doing something wrong or if we are. Give us a chance to help you make a career move that can better your future.

Be professional. 

Leaving someone “on read” isn’t cool in the dating world, and it’s definitely not cool in the professional world. Not showing up to an interview you agreed to or not showing up on your first day of work is not just uncool, it’s unprofessional. 

In the insurance industry, professionalism and honesty are traits you need to have; if you’re not interested in taking a job, be honest and say so. If you don’t, you tarnish your own reputation and burn bridges you don’t want to burn. 

Don’t burn bridges. 

When you’ve expressed an interest in making a career change, we take that seriously. If you tell us a position or company isn’t right for you, it’s OK. We want you to make a decision that works best for you and your family. However, if you drop out of the interview process without a trace or fail to show up for your first day on the job, you not only make yourself look bad, but you damage our reputation as well. That’s not something we take lightly. 

If in the future, you find yourself once again in need of a career change or are interested in a different position at the company, the chances for you don’t look good. Employers don’t forget being burned and we will take that into consideration before helping you again. You can’t predict the future, so don’t burn the bridges you’ve built by engaging in the interview process. 

Save us all the time.

Recruiters are passionate about what we do. We dedicate every available resource we have advocating for our candidates and helping them find new opportunities that can drastically improve their lives. Even after you’ve gone through interviews or accepted a position, we are at your side running follow-ups to make sure the transition is going smoothly. 

If we don’t hear from you, we get concerned and, the more you ignore us, the more curious we get. Just like a romantic interest would want closure, we do too. When you give us closure, we leave you alone. Save yourself from having to ignore our endless phone calls and emails and save us the time of having to make those calls and send those emails. Save our clients from the frustration of waiting on a response from a candidate they found interesting.

Ghosting isn’t cool, especially in the business world. In the end, the only person you hurt is yourself. At The James Allen Companies, we are dedicated to helping skilled professionals make career moves that improve their lives, but without proper feedback, we can’t help you. By vanishing into thin air, you miss out on opportunities that could be truly life-changing. 

If you’re interested in partnering with a recruiter who will be your greatest advocate and answer your questions honestly, please contact The James Allen Companies today. 

Building an Effective Insurance Team

Building an Effective Insurance Team

An effective insurance team is the key to a successful insurance business. To create a strong team, you need to consider more than technical skills. Teams that succeed have a plethora of technical skills and personalities. These elements result in a positive team dynamic and can help your business be more successful. 

Personalities You Need for Your Team

Personality determines your position on a team and, since there are a lot of different roles, there should be different characters as well. Having a balance of different personalities will create a more cohesive team that is ultimately more successful. 

Results-oriented people are naturally organized, self-starters. These individuals are energetic and will likely take charge of a project, ensuring every team member is focused on the common goal.  

Relationship focused team members are attuned to the feelings of others in the group and want to create personal relationships within the team. These individuals are often diplomatic yet approachable and will help address emotional strains within the team. 

Rule followers have incredible attention to detail and like to stick to the book. These people are reliable and organized, keeping the team on track. 

Disruptive thinkers crave innovation. They enjoy finding new solutions to old problems and challenging traditional methods. 

Pragmatic individuals are the most prudent and emotionally stable members of a team. They are good at keeping teams focused but may resist change. 

While these types of individuals can sometimes clash, it is imperative each is represented on the team. Having a balance of personalities results in better communication, new ideas and a higher level of performance. 

What is a good team?

With the right combination of personalities, you can create a strong team with the essential traits of a good team dynamic:

Appreciation: Team members have to respect each other and the common goal. Recognizing each other’s strengths and reveling in each member’s successes helps everyone feel they really belong. This appreciation goes a long way in keeping team morale strong. 

Purpose: Every team has a goal and every member serves a role in accomplishing that goal. Strong teams recognize how each member plays into that end goal.

Respect: While having different personalities on a team leads to greater success, sometimes emotions run high and personalities can clash. Good teams must create ways to tackle disagreement in a respectful way.

Dependability: Team members need to be able to rely on each other. It can be distracting for other members when one isn’t pulling their weight. Unfulfilled responsibilities can put the entire team behind schedule and result in unnecessary conflict. 

Teams with these traits are happier and, therefore, achieve more. 

Effective insurance teams aren’t just technically successful, but also have complementing personalities and a strong team dynamic. When hiring individuals to join your team, it’s important to consider more than just experience and competence. The James Allen Companies specializes in finding candidates with personalities to complement your culture and a track record of being successful team members. If you’re interested in developing your team, contact The James Allen Companies today. 

What Does a Recruiter Do?

What Does a Recruiter Do?

Growing the right team is a crucial part of running a successful insurance organization. When it comes to hiring the right people, there are a lot of options—posting a job online and sorting through a flood of unqualified resumes, internal promotion, employee referral, or working with a recruiter. When it comes to choosing the right solution for your company, you may find yourself asking “what does a recruiter do?” We can’t speak for the other guys, but at The James Allen Companies, we know our recruiting process works. We’ve decided to give you a sneak peek into how we partner with insurance companies to source the best talent out there. 

What We Do

The recruiting process is extensive and, depending on the recruiter, can include up to 30 steps! We’re not going to go into every stage of our process, but want to give you an idea of the amount of dedication we put into every search we do. 

Understand the client and the position

When we receive a search assignment, our first priority is getting to know the client, their business, their goals and what the position entails. To fully understand what candidates we need to find, we need to know what the client’s expectations are, the requirements for the position and how it fits into the goals of the company. We also need to know what the positions offer the candidates we’re sourcing. 

Find the talent

Without giving away all of our secrets, we have quite a few different methods for finding the qualified talent insurance businesses need. Unlike the average talent acquisition manager, we don’t simply post a job online and hope the fish will bite. This often results in too many unqualified applicants wasting your time. Instead, we do the heavy lifting, reaching out directly to individuals who will advance your team, and reviewing their credentials, resumes and successes. We only find and deliver the individuals that meet our incredibly high standards. 

We’ve developed our advanced talent acquisition methods over more than 20 years in the recruiting business. Our team has developed relationships with a network of tens of thousands of insurance professionals from underwriters to claims adjusters. With this network, we are able to identify highly-qualified passive candidates who, while not actively searching for jobs, will be an excellent match for your business. 

Coordinating and conducting interviews

Before you ever see a candidate’s resume, we’ve already vetted them to make sure they meet the requirements you’re looking for. We interview each and every candidate to make sure their skills line up with their resume and experience and that they’ll fit into your company’s culture. Whatever questions you need to be answered about a candidate before an official interview, we will get them answered. 

We only deliver the candidates we know will help your business. Once we find the right one, we coordinate the interview times so you can focus on running your organization. 

Serve as your advocate

Overall, our job is to represent your business to the best of our ability. We serve as a liaison between you and the candidate, selling your company and the position you’re offering. We keep candidates in the loop so they feel connected to you throughout the process. No matter the outcome of an interview, we share the results and provide your feedback. If you choose to extend an offer, we can help negotiate a salary, always keeping your business needs in mind. 

Follow up post-hire

Our job isn’t done when the candidate accepts an offer. After the candidate has started their job with you, we keep in touch making sure they’re living up to your standards. We also make sure the candidate is satisfied with the new opportunity. If for some reason a new employee isn’t impressing you, we will do our best to find another solution. 

Hopefully, you never again have to ask yourself “what does a recruiter do?” With more than 20 years in service, The James Allen Companies recruiters have the expertise, skill and network you need to complete your hiring goals. We make your hiring process easier and faster, dedicating every resource in our inventory to ensure the candidates you see are the best ones for the job. Whether you need an executive, key hire, temporary or temporary-to-full-time search, we can find the best candidates faster. Contact The James Allen Companies today to see how our recruitment team can help strengthen your insurance business. 

Empathy an Essential in the Insurance Industry

Empathy an Essential in the Insurance Industry

Insurance professionals need to be a lot of things—experienced, detail-oriented, team players, patient, problem solvers…empathetic. Since policyholders are nearly always experiencing loss when filing a claim, the individual helping them must provide support beyond financial. And the numbers back this up: in fact, 91 percent of CEOs believe empathy in insurance has a positive effect on financial performance. 

With profitability as the main goal, it can be easy to get caught up in daily tasks, but at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that insurance is about people. Unless you insure robots, policyholders have feelings and it’s important to understand that. Empathy in insurance is essential for that reason. Everyone, from managers to adjusters, needs to have the ability to meet their employees and clients in a space where they feel their concerns are valid. 

How to Be Empathetic 

Insurance is a complicated business. While the ultimate goal is to make money, it is crucial you don’t forget this is a human industry. When you’re speaking with policyholders, it’s usually because they’re having one of the worst days of their lives. Maybe their home was destroyed by fire or natural disaster, or a pipe burst while they were on vacation—flooding their belongings, or maybe a car wreck has totaled the vehicle they need to get to work. Whatever the reason they have to talk to you, it’s imperative that you remain focused on them, and not just the policy. 

There are a lot of ways to express empathy in insurance: 

Listen: When a policyholder calls and is explaining their situation, don’t get caught up in efficiency. While they want to know what their settlement will be, they also need an ear to listen. Listen completely, don’t multitask. If you’re face-to-face, look them in the eye, keep your body language open and don’t interrupt them. 

Be genuine: Ask questions about how they are doing before getting into the nitty-gritty business; it will help you grasp just how they’re feeling so you can proceed in a way that makes the most sense. 

Explain, explain, explain: When it comes time to discuss the policy itself, it’s important to explain the claims process, what their policy states and make sure they understand completely before proceeding. 

Put yourself in their shoes: Remember, this person is facing a crisis. If you were in their situation, what would you want to hear? How would you want to be treated? What kind of support would you need? 

You probably learned about empathy from a young age, except you may have heard it in the form of the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. This is important to remember in the insurance industry. When it comes to hiring new employees, especially management, empathy needs to be—if not the highest priority— one of the first soft skills you look for. 

If you’re in need of individuals who can balance making a profit while taking care of people in a positive way, partner with The James Allen Companies. Our team of recruiters recognize talent and skill, but also recognize if someone has what it takes to treat policyholders and other team members with empathy and value. Don’t let your company’s reputation suffer from a lack of empathy—contact us today to see how we can help your business.