How to Mold Young People Into Your Agency Culture

It’s no secret that insurance agencies are starting to feel the brain drain as baby boomers retire.

To grow your business and fill talent holes, you need to consider who will make your organization stronger before you invest in hiring and training. There’s a lot to think about in a potential hire: selling skills, industry experience, personality, motivation and networking, for starters.

How do you make sure a candidate is the right fit? Use the ATM method:

Assess

  • LinkedIn is a great source for sales talent. When you have a slate of possible candidates, scope out their contacts—it will reveal a lot about their prospecting and relationship skills.
  • Online personality and performance tests can provide interesting insights into style and smarts.
  • When interviewing, have a plan! Leverage the information you already have, then dig deep. And remember: Recruiting is sales. Treat your candidates with as much respect as you would a prospect.

Train

  • For licensing and continuing education, consider online learning that offers pre-licensing training and accredited CE courses.
  • For sales, personal organization and interpersonal skills, consider nontraditional options like TED Talks and massive open online courses like Coursera or Udemy, which offer free content from top universities. 

Mentor

  • Besides bringing your new producer on sales calls and throwing them leads, simply spend time with them. Take them to lunch. Recount your battle stories and what you learned from them.
  • To supplement your own sage advice, consider online mentoring and coaching resources. For a nominal fee, they’ll pair your new salesperson with an experienced coach who can be there when you can’t to coach and counsel.

NFP’s talent management team strives to empower new recruits to be their best, from promoting learning opportunities to challenging each other and combining diverse talents.

Top 3 Recruitment Tips

Avoid “just like me” syndrome. It’s tempting to onboard a younger version of yourself. Instead, find someone who complements your weaknesses. If you’re an extroverted principal with a great network and relationship skills, for example, you’re probably weaker in areas like business operations. Strike a balance by hiring someone who’s more tactical than outgoing.

Hire someone who looks like your clients. Look at demographics. The oldest millennials are now 35 and starting to make buying decisions. They’re typically more ethnically diverse, more mobile and more digital.

Make the right match. If your goal is to find someone to take over the business eventually, it’s important to seek the right personality. Finding that person at another agency in your metro area may be dicey. Non-compete clauses may make early productivity difficult, and when you’re inheriting someone else’s protégé, it can be tough to forge a real bond. Consider recruiting sales talent from outside the industry, helping them obtain licenses and teaching them insurance sales.