Tips for Recruiting Great People

By on May 17, 2012

Agencies will have to replace 75% of their current staff over the next 10 years – at least according to several presentations I have listened to over the last few months.

Finding, recruiting, hiring, and training new staff is perhaps one of the biggest strategic issues facing insurance agencies. Younger generations don’t seem to have a career in insurance at the top of their list of “fun” jobs.

When the news broke that some companies were demanding Facebook logins from job applicants, people everywhere were horrified. Those who were employed, those who weren’t employed – even employers themselves – were antsy at the thought of corporate America demanding passwords to personal accounts.

This example simply highlights how expectations of job applicants as well as employers have changed. Competition will become fierce for talented employees, making it more important than ever that you not scare away a great future employee by allowing preconceived notions to cloud your hiring judgment.

Following are a few tips to help you find and attract the best and brightest to your organization:

  • Don’t make unreasonable demands. 
Most of today’s job seekers will find your demanding personal account passwords unreasonable. Just as you wouldn’t want existing employees to provide passwords to work accounts to those outside the workplace, you shouldn’t demand that your employees hand over passwords to personal accounts either, including Facebook.
  • Don’t make snap judgments. 
For several years employers have been searching social platforms for information on potential new employees. Job seekers were warned not to post wild party pictures or other inappropriate personal data publicly. Why? Because employers were making snap judgments about employees who might otherwise be dedicated, hard-working, career-minded individuals. But one bachelor party or a few old college pictures ruined it. Think about the decisions you make and ensure they are based on all information and not some assumption you’ve made based on past experience.
  • Give them a chance. 
Over the past few years, many great employees have become unemployed. Don’t assume they are not good candidate material. In any job market, good employees are subject to layoffs, sudden termination, and even voluntary termination. Don’t assume if a candidate is not currently employed they are not a good fit for the agency.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. 
So your last job ad received 100 resumes and you’re limited on time. It’s easy to immediately delete any resume that doesn’t have the font you like or comes via snail mail instead of email. At least glance over those resumes, and make sure you aren’t missing out on a great potential hire who simply hasn’t quite mastered the art of job hunting. Not everyone is great at searching for employment. Besides, young, eager people can bring fresh energy to your agency.
  • Do background checks. 
While it’s important to avoid generalizations, every employee should be subjected to a thorough background check. This includes checking references and doing criminal background checks. Be sure to require proof of education. Anyone can say they have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Make this a part of your pre-employment process to avoid unpleasant surprises down the line.

You likely know how crucial good employees are to an agency’s success. If you’re seeking qualified candidates, keep in mind that you need good employees as much as they need a great career opportunity. By approaching the employment process with a positive attitude and open mind, you’ll find the best employee for your small business.

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