As a small, independent insurance agency, how can you grow well? It's this wellness that's the key to sustained growth over time. If you grow too quickly or hire rashly, making the wrong decisions and hiring the wrong people, your business will suffer setbacks. If you hire well, you'll be able to ensure that quality and customer service remain priorities in your insurance agents' job description. Use these tips to ensure that you choose the best insurance agents for your business.
1. Avoid Getting Bogged Down By Resumes
While it's admirable to look at every resume by hand, it can be foolhardy too, depending on the number of applicants you have for a position. Choose to automate specific aspects of your application process. Have prospective employees apply online, and automate resume screening. This will give you more time to focus on those potential employees who actually have the qualifications for the position.
2. Look at Cultural Fit
Have you ever hired someone whose skills were outstanding, only to realize that they weren't the best fit with your organization? Your new employee might be able to complete technical tasks efficiently, but he doesn't communicate with customers and colleagues in a way that's conducive to business success. When you're hiring, don't get blown away by a prospective employee's work experience.
Look at the entire picture: how does she act during the interview, how does she answer questions related to workplace culture, and how do past employers rate her on the attributes that matter most to your organization? Consider adding more structured assessments to your hiring process to gauge what motivates your employees.
3. Be Specific
When you interview candidates, make sure that you ask for specific examples of the application of their skills. For example, if you want to know how well a prospective insurance agent would manage a situation with an angry customer, ask for an example from the past to see how your employees truly put those skills into action.
4. Understand Your Team
Before you hire, know what you're hiring for. You know that you have a position available, but what gaps are present in your current group of employees, and how can you fill those? What traits make your employees the best of the best, and how can you replicate those in future employees? You don't just have an insurance agent position available, you have a position for someone with specific aptitudes and traits. Hire that person.
5. Discuss the Pros and Cons of the Position and the Candidate
Is challenge part of your insurance agents' job description? What particular difficulties is your agency facing right now? When you're hiring someone new, be honest. Let them know about the most difficult problems you're facing or that you encounter regularly. Talk with them about their particular strengths and weaknesses that they may need to work on in order to address these challenges. Being realistic instead of relentlessly positive might seem like a way to turn off your candidates, but if you're up front with prospective employees, it's more likely that you'll find the candidate you hire is the right one to address those challenges.
At American Agents Alliance, we understand the challenges you face as a small, independent insurance agency. That's why we're here to support you with hiring services designed to help you find the best employees for your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your business growth.