We all know fellow colleagues who have said insurance found them, instead of the other way around. Perhaps this describes you. Many times, an agency principal or recruiter sees the potential in an individual and introduces them to our industry.
After all, most agencies agree that insurance can be taught, but it is certain skill sets and intangibles ultimately determining an employee’s success. Your next hire could be closer than you think – if you know where to look and what to look for.
Five Skills New Employees Must Have
Insurance is often thought of as a large, lumbering industry. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Technology is constantly pushing, and new products are constantly being introduced. It is more important than ever to hire staff who can take on the challenges of this ever-changing industry. For your next hire, look for these five skill sets:
Analytical – Insurance is all about the numbers. Team members who can review exposures, evaluate potential solutions, and negotiate competitive premiums will give your agency an edge. It is not about obtaining the lowest premium, but rather finding the best coverage solutions first at the most competitive rates.
Technological – It is no longer a luxury to have employees with high technological IQ, it is a necessity. As more companies shift to online software, it is important new employees can learn dozens of websites and tools quickly.
Dependability – Considered more of a habit than a skill, dependability is an intangible that many agencies do not inquire enough about. Ask for references and talk to previous employers about tardiness and absenteeism. Even the best employee is not worth the trouble if they show up late or not at all.
Organizational – One day there is an urgent quote required and the next, a claim to be filed. Organizational skills are necessary to keep up with the demands of today’s client. Look for candidates who possess a strong sense of order and the ability to prioritize.
Communication – Your agency staff are often the first people your clients will speak to when a problem arises. How they respond to your clients and prospects will go a long way in determining your agency’s success. The skill set required is not limited to verbal communication. Make sure your employees are able to draft letters and emails that professionally represent your agency.
Five Roles that Help New Employees Succeed
You may have just met your next hire. The insurance industry consists of many different roles to fill. From producers and managers to claims advocates and service technicians, prior experience in various non-insurance roles can prove to be a match made in heaven for your agency.
Next time you are out in your community, take a moment to consider how one of these individuals may be a strong candidate for your open position:
Teachers – Insurance is a complicated product. If agency staff members are unable to answer questions in an easy to understand manner, not only do you risk losing business, but also the time and effort in training and feedback can be costly. Teachers who spent their carriers working with children can help educate your prospects and clients. And, educated clients often become the best clients.
Travel Agents – The number of full-time travel agents has dropped significantly in recent years, mostly due to the increase in online booking services. Similar to insurance, travel agents are tasked to work with multiple vendors, determine the best solutions based on client needs, and create professional presentations. These are all skills that translate well into an agency environment, especially those filling the client service representatives.
Former Military – Individuals who found success in the military have proven records of accomplishment when entering civilian service. Former military carry the intangible habit of dependability. Beyond hiring a reliable employee, service men and women also have been trained to critically analyze situations and make the right decision; a skill necessary for filling agency management positions.
Baseball Players – Are you looking for a new producer? Consider a former baseball player. There are few if any, other roles where failing seven times out of 10 would be considered a success. Striking out is as much a part of insurance as it is in baseball.
Restaurant Servers – Insurance agencies are in the business to serve their customers. Those in the hospitality industry, in particular, restaurant servers, know what it takes to make happy customers. If you come across a wonderful server who made you feel special during dinner, imagine how they could make your clients feel.
Growing Your Agency
Moving your agency to the next level in today’s hyper-competitive world requires high-quality employees. Too often businesses rely on the wrong strategies or look in the wrong place to find their next hire. Understand the qualities you need to grow your business and look for them in the individuals you interact with every day – your next employee superstar is out there.
Agentero helps independent insurance agents build client relationships in a digital age by providing mobile technologies and management tools that keep consumers and agents in touch. One of Agentero‘s main goals is to help independent insurance agents simplify customer service while enhancing their clients ́ experience and satisfaction.
We believe in the combination of technology and the trusted advisor. That means automate consumer-facing end of the business and free up time to spend with your clients and boost your revenues! Increase retention and leverage the power of digital technology with Agentero.