That question has been asked thousands of times and tons of articles have been written on this topic.
It is one of the greatest challenges in growing your business.
As long as there are independent insurance agencies, principals will struggle with this issue.
Finding producer talent is a complicated proposition and there is no consistent pathway, science or equation as to how agencies do it successfully.
And every agency seems to have their own unique process and secret sauce.
Why is this so important?
Independent agency owners need to do a lot of hiring over the next 5-7 years.
They will need to fill approximately 7,000 sales jobs in Ohio by 2024, due to pending retirements from the baby boomer generation and new business growth.
The upside is that Ohio has experienced a revitalization of risk management and insurance programs in state universities, colleges and community colleges.
With 12 higher education programs currently in place across the state, this effort will likely help raise awareness for opportunity in the insurance industry.
It will certainly provide a better educated talent base for insurance carriers.
Independent agencies may get some of the spillover from this effort, however, it is unlikely to replenish the 7,000 IA sales positions needed by 2024.
We are going to have to fill the producer talent gap the same we have filled the ranks thus far – with grittiness, intuition and relentless pursuit of growing the IA system.
There is no proven method that will guarantee your success in recruiting a producer that will thrive.
Depending on whose data you believe regarding producer validation, the success rates range from 80 percent to 0, with many trending toward a 20 – 30 percent success rate.
There are several non-negotiables that could help increase the success rate of your next new producer.
4 non-negotiables when recruiting and hiring your next producer
Always be recruiting.This is an ongoing quest if you want to grow your agency. You must treat this the same way as prospecting for new clients.
Agency principals should always be recruiting new talent to join the agency, whether it is at your church, bank, restaurant, community events or cocktail parties.
Know your culture.What kind of personality is needed for your open position and how will that personality fit best in your agency’s culture?
Remember that attitude is everything.
You can teach someone insurance, but you cannot teach someone to have a great attitude or to be a supportive team member and loyal employee.
Utilize personality and aptitude testing early in the process.While these are not perfect tools, many have been specifically designed for identifying the character traits that will make a successful producer.
OIA members have access to discounts on candidate profile tests designed specifically for producers and staff in independent insurance agencies.
You may like your niece, nephew or club pro and want them to work in your agency, but you should test to determine whether or not they have the right personality traits to make a successful producer.
Using an objective tool to disqualify candidates or confirm your intuition could save you a lot of headaches and preserve valued relationships.
Implement non-compete, non-piracy and non-solicitation agreements.These agreements should be a condition of employment for every producer that you hire.
You’ve poured your heart and soul into building your business, these simple and proven tools will help protect it. Contact us about the templates available to OIA members.
No matter what stage of the hiring process you’re in, remember that OIA is here to help.