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A Need for a Different Approach

A Need for a Different Approach

Denise Johnson, of the Claims Journal recently wrote an article focused on the hiring practices of the insurance industry. The article was written January 27, 2017, so it is fresh. There were many comments in the article and we recommend that you read it if you are a hiring manager in the insurance industry. If you do not get around to reading it, here are our thoughts.

We are recruiters with over 50 years’ experience in hiring people, and in particular, hiring people to fill jobs in the Financial Services industry. Denise shared many things, but the quote from Dave Coons, VP of The Jacobsen Group, is the comment that got my attention. He said: “we are facing a talent shortage unlike anything we have ever seen in the past.”

As recruiters, with an Financial Services specialty, we talk to many people within the industry and what we find is a total lack of awareness, at almost all levels, of the challenge faced by the industry in attracting young people to careers in Financial Services. Many and even most are still hanging on the belief that a career in the Financial Services insurance industry is a good move and everyone should know it. In a micro snow globe setting that maybe right but in the macro real world setting the industry is considered boring and people are not attracted to it.

So, why then, would so many still be “screening out” when they should be “screening in” candidates? Look guys, the industry and its appeal need a serious facelift. The industry, on the surface, is not exciting. There is no real external push to the industry. Taking weeks to contact educated, skilled, and energetic people interested in a position spells only doom – we call that Screening out. Insisting that candidates live within an unreasonable radius of a job is deadly and another example of how we are Screening out. Taking weeks to get out an official offer is both disrespectful and self-destructive, also called Screening out.

Possibly the greatest of all mistakes hiring managers make is waiting to see if they can find someone better. Well, let me say that there is always someone better and you may just pass up an orchid while looking for that something better. I cannot tell you the number of great candidates to have been lost while the hiring manager is looking for something better. If you find someone you like and they fit most or many of your job criteria hire them. Don’t wait for something better to come along. Letting “perfect” get in the way of “good” is, I think a disease that most would want to avoid.

Candidates, at least those recently graduating from college or those being proactive about their future, are looking for opportunities that will add value to themselves and their careers. This industry is not the only one that can do that but it is not moving very swiftly to “ring its own bell.” Hiring managers, at all levels, would do well to consider a focus on hiring great people that fit the job.

Successful job fit is not a100 percent accurate tool, but it is a whole lot better than anything we have had available in the past.

Finally, the Financial Services industry has a lot to offer, it just needs a “new song.” A song that says: we have value to add and are willing to give it to you. If you are a CEO or a hiring manager, consider the “screen in” approach

 

MORE ON HIRING: mailto:sjb@gmstalent.com

The Target by Stephen J. Blakesley

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