Could the Great Resignation be an Opportunity for Independent Agents?

Could the Great Resignation become a great opportunity for Independent Agents to attract new talent to their agencies?

It has never been more difficult to fill job openings in Ohio. The State Unemployment rate was 4% in April and more than 50% of Ohio counties have a rate lower than 3.7%. The number of people on unemployment benefits is at a record low. Just about everyone who is looking for a job, has one. There are currently 100k more job openings than unemployed workers in Ohio.

But 4 million people across the country are still quitting their job every month. What are those people looking for in their next job?

According to a recent Gallup Study:

  • 64% are looking for better salary and benefits
  • 61% are looking for work/life balance
  • 58% the opportunity to do what they do best (Work they enjoy and find motivating)
  • 53% greater stability and job security
  • 42% an organization that values diversity and inclusion

A recent Deloitte study of millennials showed similar results:

  1. Work Life Balance/Flexible Work Schedules
  2. Learning & Development Opportunities/Career Growth
  3. Increase in Salary
  4. Positive Culture/Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
  5. Meaningful Work/Community Impact

I believe Independent Agencies have the ability to deliver many of the attributes today’s workforce is seeking. As you advertise your job openings, make sure your job description and job posting speaks to the above themes applicants are seeking.

Here are a few tips to consider as you search for your next team member:

  1. Highlight the WIIFM! (What’s in it for me?)
    • The advantage in this hyper competitive market has swung decidedly to employees over employers. It is not enough just to highlight the longevity of your agency. Your job posting should craft a compelling value proposition for working at your agency. Why is it a great career choice? How will the opportunity benefit someone in both the short and long term?
  1. Embrace Schedule Flexibility
    • It is the number one attribute job seekers from all generations are seeking, often over a higher salary. You are no longer competing with just the companies in your city, town or county.  Workers anywhere in the state can find a good paying customer service job that is 100% work from home. Most workers are looking for a hybrid schedule that combines some work from home days with time in the office.
  1. Post the Salary Range if Competitive
    • Gone are the days where salaries were kept confidential. Remember in this current market you likely have to attract someone away from their current job. Research suggest it takes a 10 – 20% pay increase for someone to change jobs. Just make sure you don’t cause issues with existing staff by posting a range higher than their current pay.
  1. Highlight Your Culture
    • Company culture is critically important to Millennials and Gen Z. Advertise the ways you give back to your community. If you prioritize family, highlight the ways your culture supports working parents. If your agency values diversity and inclusion be sure to highlight in your job posting and on your website.
  1. Use Social Media
    • Create videos with your staff to highlight what it is like to work at your agency. Consider purchasing targeted ads on Facebook or Instagram. They can be targeted by zip code, are relatively inexpensive, and guarantee a broader audience will see your job opening.
  1. Hire for Competencies vs Experience/Be Willing to Train & Develop
    • It is increasingly difficult to find the perfect candidate at your desired salary range. Take time to consider what jobs or life experiences help someone develop the skills it takes to be successful in insurance. Where can you find talent with the skill you need and offer them a step up in their career ambitions? Better hours, better benefits, better long-term earning potential?

The truth is there are no magic answers in this challenging job market. Even if we hit a mild recession, the unemployment rate is unlikely to change dramatically. You will likely need to try multiple strategies and dedicate as much time to your recruiting strategy as you do your sales strategy.

For more information on this topic you can view my webinar on the topic here.  If you have questions about recruiting or other HR related topics please don’t hesitate to reach out to Brian Lawrence

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