They say good employees are any business’s greatest asset, and it’s especially true when it comes to insurance agencies. Unfortunately, insurance policies don’t usually sell themselves like the latest iPhone model or a candy bar in the checkout aisle. The success of an insurance agency depends on the skill of its employees; without knowledgeable, talented salespeople, the product will not sell.
That said, it’s imperative to hire the right people when assembling and adding to your agency’s team. You probably have a basic set of criteria in mind when hiring: hard-working, dedicated, personable, professional appearance, etc. But these basic standards are not enough to ensure that 1) the right kind of people are applying for the job to begin with, and 2) you’re hiring the best applicants.
The hiring process can be difficult, but selecting the right talent is fundamental to an insurance agency or any other small business alike. These are our tips for seeking out and hiring the best employees:
Get the word out in the right places
80% of people searching for jobs use online resources to locate opportunities and apply for positions. To begin your hunt for employees, make a hiring announcement on your website, post about it on social media, and add a listing to job search websites like Monster and Indeed. LinkedIn has become a great way to get the word out about open positions and network with potential candidates. Be wary of Craigslist; it used to be a go-to for those seeking and offering employment, but anymore has become associated with illegitimate people and business scams.
One of the biggest mistakes any employer can make is going into the hiring process with their mind already set on exactly who and what they want. Keep in mind that uber-extroverted people with long lists of experience don’t always make the best salespeople. (Check out this list of attributes found in successful salespeople). People with the right personality traits that have no sales experience or experience in another industry can often be trained and molded to become top insurance salespeople. When hiring, keep an open mind and give every applicant a chance to impress you.
Consider part-time and remote employees
It makes sense that some of the best employees are not available because they already have jobs. However, those people may be interested in picking up something else on the side for additional income. Hiring someone part-time allows them to get the ball rolling and prove themselves as an agent with the opportunity to become full-time in the future. The same principle applies to remote employees. Maybe the best salesperson you’ve ever had lives two hours away, or has other obligations that prevent him or her from coming to the office every day. Just as it’s important to be open about a person’s background and experience, be open to the type of employment they could provide.
Research applicants on social media
Everyone is warned to be mindful of what they post on social media because you never know who’s looking, and it’s true! There’s no shame in doing a quick Facebook search for someone applying to work for your agency. Interviews are very formal and nerve-wracking for most people, so it can be hard to get a good read on a candidate that way. By looking at the person’s social media profiles, you can get a clearer idea of who they are, how they work, and even what their online network is like by looking at their friends list.
The biggest thing to remember about the hiring process is that it doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t rush into anything or make decisions based on a hunch- it’ll end up costing you more time and resources in the end. Take your time, be thorough, and make sure you’ve found the person you’re confident can face the challenges of the industry each and every day before sealing the deal. Good luck and happy hiring!