Four key observations on the candidate market as you start to build, or rebuild, your talent pipeline
Hiring and retaining talent over the last several years has been extremely difficult amid historic levels of economic growth and record low unemployment. In March, as the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread across the country, the landscape changed quickly and drastically. Hiring managers, HR professionals and recruiters now face a new set of challenges.
Although MarshBerry’s Talent Acquisition team saw roughly 50% of its active searches paused, there has still been active recruitment occurring across the country for insurance agencies and brokerages. Over the last 90 days, MarshBerry has had more than 1,000 candidate interactions and conducted hundreds of interviews on behalf of our clients.
As you start to build, or rebuild, your talent pipeline, there are four key observations on the candidate market that will benefit your efforts:
- The New [Virtual] Talent Pool – There is a wide, unemployed talent pool at your fingertips that’s ready to engage with your hiring managers – online. In 2018, 70% of the hires MarshBerry completed for firms were generated from LinkedIn. When creating your content, consider building keywords into your posts that resonate with potential candidates such as: outside sales, business-to-business and consultative selling, among others. This will broaden your reach to active (and passive) candidates that have the skillsets you’re looking to bring on board.
- Higher Unemployment Does Not Mean Discounted Talent – Unemployed individuals are eager to get back to work, but their expectations in terms of compensation, growth potential, and job responsibilities have not changed. Along with ensuring your budget for new hire compensation is competitive – don’t lose sight of the other benefits to working in the industry. Additional incentives can include autonomy (particularly in producer positions) that young professionals seek in employment. In addition, career development, ongoing training and professional development, as well as potential ownership are likely supported by firms as pathways to accelerate careers.
- The Best Talent Might Not Be in the Industry…Now – When searching for talent, target candidates who can bring transferable skills to your insurance firm. Use this time, and talent pool opportunity, to evaluate potential niches your firm wants to explore. You don’t need an insurance veteran if you’re looking to launch a transportation insurance division. Instead, you might gain a competitive edge if you recruited someone who had experience selling software to trucking companies or even semi-trucks to fleets. You can teach new hires about insurance, but professionals inside the industries you sell to have a subject matter expertise your prospects will respect.
- Show the Opportunity – The reality is an insurance career probably isn’t on the radar of most college students, recent graduates, or anyone else who is actively job seeking. As an industry, showcase the opportunity by connecting personally with potential candidates to illustrate what the insurance industry can provide. Leverage your social media channels and online tools to relay the success, work/life balance, independence and promotions professionals can earn when they go into insurance. If you haven’t posted something cool about your firm, or the industry within the last 30-days, put it on your to-do list to post today. And now is the perfect time to showcase that the insurance industry is virtually recession-proof.
If your firm is serious about making new hires, it is important to understand that vetting and attracting the right talent is still a full-time job. It is just as important now as it was four months ago to have a consistent, standardized hiring process and a well-defined value proposition in order to attract the right people. If your organization can commit the time & resources, now is a great time to hire.
If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint, or about how to build your talent strategy in today’s marketplace, please email or call Luke Bliss, Consultant, at 616.828.5993.
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