The Insurance Boom: Hiring in the insurance field has continued to climb – are you capitalizing?

The Insurance Boom
Hiring in the insurance field has continued to climb – are you capitalizing?

By Mike McDonough

2016 is the year of insurance hiring. 66% of insurance executives plan on hiring additional staff by the end of the year and over 80% expect an increase in revenue that will require additional employees to handle. That’s not surprising since the insurance industry has seen phenomenal growth over the past 4 years. So with hiring booming and one of the busiest hiring periods upon us, are you ready to take advantage of this talent gold rush? Whether you’re a company or a candidate, you need to make sure you’re prepared so the right people and positions don’t pass you by.

For Clients
Did you know that when more companies are hiring, it’s one of the best times to bring better applicants on board? It may seem like there will be less qualified candidates for your position, but when there’s a widespread hiring spike, currently employed professionals will often start surveying their options and applying for jobs that would mean a better position or a more desirable culture. The biggest reason for the hiring increase is employees entering retirement at an alarming rate. Roughly 78 million baby boomers are at, or approaching retirement age. One of the biggest sectors taking a hit is Underwriting, with more and more companies having to turn to other industries to find employees to fill their positions.

So how do you make your position stand out on a crowded job board? It might not be as simple as higher compensation. More and more baby boomers are seeking better benefits in lieu of higher pay. Boomers who are nearing retirement could be looking for more time with their families, so consider offering a flexible schedule and more work-from-home or half-day opportunities. You could also give them increased mentorship and partnership opportunities to provide renewed reasons to come into the office. For younger applicants, training can actually be a valuable incentive to join your organization. Many companies have moved away from instruction for younger employees, so offering learning opportunities will help them advance their careers and help you get the best people to lead your company into the future.

For Candidates
With a lot of companies hiring, this could be the perfect time to make a move, even if you weren’t originally considering it. Some things to look at when thinking about leaving your current employer – do you see a future with your company? Are their opportunities for growth and development? Do you feel challenged and that your skills are being used to the fullest? If you said no to one or most of these, this could be the perfect time to look into new opportunities.

But what do you look for when there are multiple job posts out there? First of all, make sure the position meets your current and long-term goals. If you think you’ll be looking again in 2-3 years, it’s probably best to pass on that opportunity. Ask specific questions about the role and where they see it going. Ask about the culture and whether that’s a priority to leadership. You may also be able to find better benefits in a competitive atmosphere. This isn’t the time to settle for a job, but you need to look beyond the dollar signs to see where you’ll truly be happy for the long term.

Don’t Go It Alone
In a competitive atmosphere, it’s important that both clients and candidates have help navigating the search process. An experienced search firm can give clients access to a larger job pool, and even find applicants who aren’t actively applying for jobs. When all of your competitors are looking for the same talent, this provides a distinctive edge, especially if you’re in a highly-sought-after field like Underwriting.

Candidates can work with a recruiter to help them sift through hiring companies and find a reputable organization who will align with their long-term goals. With multiple offers and interview requests coming in, it can be hard to sort through what each company offers and what will best match your skill set and cultural preferences. Working with a recruiting firm gives you insights into the company that you wouldn’t normally have and helps you make the best decision for your career.

The hiring boom is here. Whether you’re a company looking to bring on additional talent, or a candidate that might be looking to make a move, a little preparation and the right resources can make this a great time to shape your future. Make sure you’re prepared for the hiring rush and put yourself in the best position to outshine your competition.

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