The Ghost Whisperer

The Ghost Whisperer

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Last year, I introduced a client of mine to a great candidate. After four interviews over the course of six weeks, an offer was extended and accepted. The start date was set for the first of the following month and everyone was happy. At least, that is, until the candidate never walked through the door. The candidate accepted a competing offer from another company. We were ghosted. The Labor Department in September 2018 reported that the unemployment rate had fallen to 3.7 percent, the lowest rate since 1969. The best candidates are being presented with more potential employment opportunities than they can handle.

Opportunities are so vast that ‘ghosting’ has been on the rise. The Federal Reserve expects the job market to remain extremely tight through 2019. Given the current economic climate, what actions are you taking to streamline your hiring process and ensure that your agency does not miss out on top talent?

The truth is, some of these issues are out of our control. However, MarshBerry recommends the following best practices to make sure your agency does not have the same experience:

  1. Creating a candidate scorecard
  2. Creating an interviewing committee
  3. A formal, expeditious interview process
  4. Quick decision making

A candidate scorecard should be created that reflects the characteristics that are being sought after from a prospective candidate.

Ideally, all stakeholders should have input on this scorecard. A scorecard helps take subjectivity out of the equation and allows for quick decision making. Some key things to include on a scorecard are: culture fit, technical ability, overall presentation and a breakdown of on-the-job responsibilities.

Once a scorecard has been created, an interviewing committee should be established. Each member of the team should have a clearly identified role in the process. To ensure that a candidate is still on the market by the time a decision is ready to be made, the interview process should be limited to two interviews. All decision makers and stakeholders should be involved in at least one of the interviews.

Lack of a streamlined, efficient and expeditious interview process will exacerbate issues hiring managers are facing. There should be no longer than a week between each interview to ensure that engagement remains high. If availability gets in the way, the candidate should be made aware and a check-in phone call should happen between meetings.

Finally, the interviewing committee must be able to decide quickly if a candidate is the right fit. It is natural to want to have multiple options to choose from when evaluating a potential new hire. However, the job market is not the supermarket, and waiting on ‘Candidate B’ for comparison will often lead to missing out on ‘Candidate A’. If you choose to wait, your competitors will be happy to extend an offer in the meantime. MarshBerry is confident that you will increase your chances of landing your dream candidate if your agency can formalize its process, move fast and make quick decisions.

Have you experienced a ghosting candidate and need help with finding a high-performing producer? Learn more about our recruiting services.


Specifically designed for the insurance industry, RevGen is a comprehensive training program designed to help new producers build a sustainable sales process. After kicking off the program with a two-day learning seminar, we continue the relationship with the producer, along with the mentor, to ensure results.

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