Ensuring that your agency represents the diversity of society and your clients can be challenging. While your priority is to hire people with a depth of experience and a fit with your agency and your clients, you also want your agency to reflect society as a whole. How can you bring diversity to your insurance jobs?
Consider Many Elements of Diversity
According to Ideal, "the goal of diversity hiring is to identify and remove potential biases in sourcing, screening, and shortlisting candidates that may be ignoring, turning off, or accidentally discriminating against qualified, diverse candidates."
Diversity has many elements, including but not limited to:
Ask yourself: do our employees reflect the diversity of our community?
Diversifying your staff can bring new perspectives to the table and can make everyone in your community feel welcome at your agency, and this is beneficial for your agency and your clients.
Consider many aspects of diversity when hiring new employees.
Review Your Hiring Process
The idea behind diversity hiring is not to hire or fire people based on the diversities mentioned above. Instead, it's to ensure that your hiring process doesn't inadvertently overlook qualified diverse candidates. As you hire new employees, review your hiring process with an eye to biases.
For example, referrals can be an excellent source of new employees. However, according to the HR Examiner, "the reality is that most people like to hire people like themselves because it’s comfortable, and they think they know what to expect." That means that if you rely solely on referrals to expand your employee base, you could overlook excellent candidates because you never invite them to apply. This doesn't just apply to a specific element of diversity. It can also apply to personality. For instance, if you're an extrovert, you may be more inclined to hire more extroverts.
Overcoming Internal Biases in Hiring
How can you get better at hiring people who are reflective of the diversity in your community?
Consider how you word your job posting and frame your insurance jobs. For instance, if you're trying to attract more women who are entering the workforce again, then offering job opportunities that have flexible hours could be attractive. Highlight these in the job posting.
- Highlight the diversity of your existing employees, with their permission. This is something that new employees consider when they are looking at your website.
Work with new organizations, and specifically, advertise in diverse communities. As you seek new insurance employees, working with a networking organization can also help you branch out in new directions.
Be flexible in what traits and skills you need in your insurance jobs. You don't need to hire someone who has done the same job in the past. Hiring people who have exceptional skills and the personality traits that you need to run your business is a good idea. According to Inc, it's most important to hire for traits such as enthusiasm, follow-up, curiosity, listening skills, and productivity. You can always train the right person for the job.
At the American Agents Alliance, we're here to help your insurance agency grow through challenging times. Contact us today to see how we can help you create a stronger agency.