2023 came to a close with a roaring stock market, slowing inflation, and a surprise drop in unemployment. Predictions for a long-feared recession appear to be easing in favor of new predictions for declining interest rates and a soft economic landing. All of this means it is likely the labor market will continue to be extremely competitive in 2024.
Finding talent in today’s job market requires a multitude of approaches to determine the best strategy. Meaning, agencies need to try a variety of tactics including using job boards, recruiters, networking, referral programs, and other approaches to find candidates.
Here are seven tips to help you find the talent your agency needs to thrive in 2024.
- Ramp up for Your Employment Brand. Today’s candidates can easily research potential employers online. What do prospective candidates see when they visit your website? Most agency websites rightly are focused on attracting clients, but I recommend using your website and social media to attract employees. Use your website to talk about your culture and values. Be sure to include pictures of the staff having fun and engaging with the community. Share videos of staff talking about what they love about the industry and the agency.
- Hire for Skills vs. Experience. In this labor market, the odds of finding an experienced licensed candidate are slim. And if you do, you will likely pay a premium to attract them away from their current job. Your best bet may be finding a person with the right skills and aptitude. If you can offer them a step up in pay and career potential the odds increase they will stick around long-term. Use good behavior-based interview questions to assess candidates. Use the Big I’s DIY Hiring Toolkits for competencies, interview guides, and onboarding plans. A paid Ideal Trait’s account offers unlimited assessments to help evaluate candidates.
- Ensure your pay is Competitive. Average salaries in Ohio have increased over 10% over the last two years due to inflation and a competitive labor market. Reach out to Brian Lawrence for a copy of OIA’s recently published Compensation Guide to determine if your current salaries are keeping pace with the market.
- Always Search for Talent. Smart companies are always open to hiring the right talent even if they don’t have a formal job opening. In this market, you never know when a good candidate may come along. Ideal Traits can help you keep job postings active year-round. If budget allows hire talent when it is available not just when you have a formal job opening.
- Post Your Job to the OIA Job Board. OIA will be running a paid social media campaign in February for Insurance Careers Month! We would love for your agency to be included. You can post your job to the OIA Job Board via an account with Ideal Traits. We have free and paid account options available.
- Consider Alternative Staffing Options. Do you need an extra pair of hands, but not necessarily a full-time employee to help your agency through the hard market? Many agencies are successfully using third-party staffing options like Edge and Cover Desk. WAHVE specializes in placing semi-retired insurance professionals into agencies. WAHVE employees typically work remotely from anywhere in the country. Also, consider local staffing agencies like Office Team or Manpower. They can be a great way to evaluate employees before hiring them full-time.
- Invest in Future Talent. No doubt finding time to train and develop new talent is difficult. But we all know the Insurance industry does not have enough experienced talent to meet demand. Consider investing in an intern by joining the OIA internship program. The Greater Cleveland Partnership just launched a new insurance apprenticeship program and is looking for sponsor agencies. Partner with a local high school or career center to hire a student looking for a work opportunity.
Please reach out to Brian Lawrence, Director of HR Solutions if you have any questions. Brian@ohioinsuranceagents.com | (614) 552-3048.