Q:My agency’s 2019 producer recruiting plans are under way and one thing is clear. We are definitely going to make substantial investments. In years past, we’ve relied on newbies and college grads to fill the ranks. We’ve sprinkled in some mature acquisitions, too. The result is a big gap in the middle. I need a producer experienced enough to hit the ground running but with plenty of production years ahead of them. I’m having a terrible time finding candidates. What should I do? – CEO in Houston
A:: I’d like to tell you a story. I think a Golden Girls’ reference works here. Picture it, Des Moines, 2006. A 26-year-old who spent two and half years as a transportation producer searches for a new job but agencies turn her away saying she doesn’t really know insurance (only truck insurance). She makes the switch to insurance recruiting, unfamiliar territory to say the least. Fast forward 12 years and that woman is now 38 years old and a partner in the recruiting firm with a practice that recruits producers for the type of agencies that once questioned her sales ability.