It Took an Agency How Long to Hire a Commercial Lines Manager?

September 3, 2018 by

The old saying, “Our agency is constantly recruiting,” used to make firms sound very progressive. That barely cuts the mustard these days.

Agencies must adopt a new philosophy: “We’re constantly talking to everyone.” Recruiting is worthless if you don’t talk to people.

Engagement is key to successful talent acquisition.

I have a great example to illustrate the importance of immediate, timely action on future openings. Below are specs of a project like yours that I just wrapped up for a national brokerage.

Commercial Lines Manager Profile:

  • 10+ years in property/casualty insurance; at least 5 years in leadership
  • Retail agency experience is required
  • Successful performance management (customer service and marketing divisions)
  • Employee development (teaching, training, mentoring, quality control)
  • Ability to unify the service delivery strategy for current staff of 50; includes future acquisitions/roll-ins
  • Project management: Infrastructure, technology, talent acquisition and vendor/carrier partnership
  • Relocation: necessary; Bachelor’s degree: highly preferred; Compensation:$100k-$140k.

Straightforward agency leadership profile, right? Here’s how the timing played out.

Recruiting Timeline:

  • August 2017- Agency began contemplating the role.
  • January 2018- Completed infrastructure changes; green lighted the position.
  • February 2018 – Four viable candidate referrals emerge in the first 30 days. Two are chosen for interviews.
  • March/April 2018 – First and second round interviews begin (face-to-face and in-person). No new applicants materialize. Agency management experience proves to be the biggest hurdle.
  • May 2018 – Offer extended early in the month (candidate is among the original two interviewees).
  • July 2018 – 10.5 months since the position’s inception,relocating from 1,000 miles away, the new Commercial Lines Manager begins their first day of employment.

Recruiting Time Management

Job boards are great for pipeline building.

FALSE: Advertisements on job boards refresh daily, sometimes as frequently as every six hours. Unless you pay to sponsor jobs, after a week, the shelf life has expired.

A quick interview process scares candidates.

FALSE: Properly communicated, applicants appreciate efficiency. People are busy and on to the next thing quickly, so a “to the point process” is well received.

Treat anticipated retirements the same as vacancies.

TRUE: Pre-retirees have started giving less advance notice. The norm used to be 6-12 months. Now, many agencies have to backfill retirements with only 30-45 days’ notice. Be proactive with roles vacated by anticipated retirements. Extra payroll expense for a few months is money well spent.