Hiring and retaining an effective team of agents is essential for growing your insurance business. Agencies rely on their agents to find clients, match them with the right products, and sell them policies to produce revenue.
As a result, there’s a direct relationship between the quality of agents working for your business and the sales it can generate.
Let’s further explore the benefits of hiring insurance agents and the steps involved in a successful recruiting system.
Insurance agents are an integral part of your business’s sales process. They’re responsible for sourcing clients, answering client questions, and closing deals. As a result, the size and skill of your team directly impact your agency’s ability to generate revenue.
That makes hiring effective insurance agents essential to growing your business. A recruiting system that consistently attracts high-producing agents can transform your company over time, especially since the insurance industry generally has high turnover rates.
For example, an insurance agency employs 50 agents, each averaging $8,000 in monthly sales. One of these agents leaves the business every four months. Then, the agency implements a hiring program that attracts experienced agents to replace the ones they lose.
The hiring program turns out one loyal, high-producing agent every two months, each averaging $10,000 in monthly sales. Over three years, the team grows to 59 agents, and monthly revenues increase by $108,000.
Fortunately, digital technology makes it easier to build an efficient hiring system. Agencies that leverage tools like social media and automation software can simultaneously reduce time spent on hiring and produce more high-quality candidates.
A successful hiring system expands your agency’s sales team and grows your revenue. However, poor hiring plans drain your business’s capital, waste your current agents’ time, and generate candidates more likely to produce less or leave the company.
Here’s a five-step plan for hiring insurance agents and tips for optimizing each of them.
High-quality candidates are as essential to hiring insurance agents as high-quality client leads are to closing deals. Here are a few approaches to finding candidates:
Using diverse ways of finding candidates can produce the mix of young and experienced agents you need to grow your business. Be prepared to adapt your sourcing strategies as your company’s staffing needs shift.
Your initial application should balance capturing numerous candidate leads with filtering out unsuitable applicants. It should be structured so it's not overly intensive to complete, and you can quickly review each submission.
One effective way to review is to tailor your application to reveal candidates who demonstrate the high-level qualities of successful insurance agents. Here are a few of those traits and some ways to sort candidates:
When you’re reviewing initial applications, develop a list of red flags that suggest a candidate isn’t a good fit. Use it to identify unqualified candidates and to reduce the number of applications you need to review in depth.
Your initial application should weed out the most unqualified candidates. However, it can only do so much to reveal top talent. Remember, it can’t be so intensive that you scare off desirable applicants.
Fortunately, those who receive positive feedback upon clearing the first round of applications will become more invested. As a result, they will be eager to undergo more rigorous testing.
Pre-hire assessments capitalize on that increased interest. They can provide deeper insight into each candidate’s skills without requiring as much of your staff’s time as an interview.
Consider creating multiple assessment tiers. For example, you might create separate ones for young candidates fresh out of school, intermediate agents with a few years of experience, and highly-qualified agents who're already top producers.
The interview process is one of the most time-intensive aspects of the hiring process and can take your staff away from their day-to-day responsibilities for extended periods. As a result, you should only talk to qualified candidates.
In addition, each interview should be intentional. Do waste your staff’s or the candidate’s time. Eliminate any redundant rounds and connect candidates only with the most relevant parties, such as their prospective direct supervisors or would-be mentors.
It’s also beneficial to train your staff to conduct interviews and give them systems to follow. For example, consider providing them with a list of questions to ask and a standardized form for rating each interviewee.
There’s more to consider when making your final selections than applicant qualifications. For example, some candidates will turn your offer down or leave the company soon after joining. Factor these unknowns into your selection strategy.
For example, send offers to your top selections as soon as possible. Then, set an acceptance deadline that gives you time to send additional offers to your backup choices if necessary.
In addition, remember to consider your business’s current and future hiring needs. Company factors can change over an extended recruitment process, and the hiring quotas you had when finding candidates won’t necessarily apply anymore.
An effective hiring system is essential for long-term business growth. If you want to scale your insurance agency, invest time and capital into your recruiting process.
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