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Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication

You may already be behind if you haven’t maintained, or already restarted, your recruiting efforts

As insurance agents and brokers deal with the fallout of the pandemic most are focused on hiring freezes and managing expenses – not hiring new talent. However, talent experts anticipate there will be a rush to fill candidate pipelines for newly created or open positions when society ‘normalizes’ and the insurance industry emerges. MarshBerry believes you may already be behind if you haven’t maintained, or already restarted, your recruiting efforts.

According to a recent MarshBerry pulse survey, about 50% of firms have implemented a hiring freeze. More specifically, smaller firms (<$2.9M) and larger firms (>$20M) were the most likely to indicate they are not hiring at this time, and 63% of those participants cited “cash flow management” as a top concern as to why they are not hiring.

Many firms reported that implementing a hiring freeze was a proactive measure to manage expenses until there was a better understanding of the financial impact of COVID-19’s interruptions, which will likely not be until Q3-Q4 2020. Although, MarshBerry consultants have recently paused several recruiting projects because hiring managers simply do not feel comfortable vetting talent in a remote, work-from-home environment. Putting a search on hold results in a large step backwards and adds several weeks of candidate sourcing to a search once it reopens.

As a result, MarshBerry’s Talent Acquisition team has created a list of six best practices in building your talent pipeline during a pandemic:

  • Update your job ads. The last few months may have instigated changes in what you need from your next hire, or what they should expect. For example, does this position now work remotely a few days a week? Will the role not be required to travel as frequently? Are you looking to hire in Q4 instead of Q3? Include these updates in your job advertisements to set better expectations for your candidates.
  • Conduct interviews over a video platform. Phone interviews are a thing of the past. Get familiar with Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime as free options to connect with your candidates via video. Are you looking to hire for several new positions or remain remote long-term? Consider investing in a video interview-specific platform like HireVue, Spark Hire, or VidCruiter for more sophisticated talent management tools.
  • Keep your recruiting process. Just because we must practice social distancing does not mean we can skip the pleasantries. Continue to ensure your candidate is a good cultural fit for your team by including other interviewers in your video meetings just as you would if an interview took place at the office. Don’t forgo the personality assessments either – you’ll want to maintain consistency in your hiring practices (especially during a time of inconsistency!).
  • Look for talent internally. Your firm may have recently departed with employees that had performance or behavioral issues. Some firms have considered, or implemented, layoffs as a result of revenue re-forecasting activities. Before you post a job to replace staff, conduct a job analysis, and review your current staff to consider opportunities for promotion or top performers that are looking to take on more responsibilities.
  • Prepare for your return to the office. Identify a target return date for when your team can return to the office and properly comply with your firm’s local CDC safety recommendations. Prepare a plan around office safety and group meeting etiquette. Share this information with the candidates you’re vetting to set expectations.
  • Establish a rebound strategy. If you’re still in a hiring freeze, identify what positions will need to be filled first. Ensure your new hiring strategy is communicated to your staff so they can solicit candidates for your consideration when the timing is right.

If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint, or about how to build your talent strategy in today’s marketplace, please email or call Brooke Lugonjic, Director of Organic Growth at 616.828.0741.

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