How to Build a Robust Talent Pipeline and Stay Competitive in the Marketplace
Operations | Mary McKenzie | Jan 31 2023
Why Focus on Building a Solid Pipeline?
The aging population has greatly affected the insurance industry. Baby Boomer retirements have caused a great deal of agencies to review hiring and candidate gathering processes. The loss of experienced talent can be hard on company operations and strategic goals. Agencies today must attract diverse and new talent in large numbers. A pool of potential candidates can only help an organization grow, maintain a healthy culture, and achieve its goals. Building a talent pool of potential employees is the solution to allow agencies to be resilient in a tough marketplace. The ability to hire qualified candidates based on company competencies and skills will only simplify company succession planning.
How Do You Build the Pipeline?
Building a robust talent pipeline begins with a thorough review of organizational strategies and defining competencies and skills gaps. Agencies can start by building a company brand and focus on their employees. It is important to create a culture where candidates want to work for your agency. Make sure current employees feel valued and promote from within. Offer mentorship opportunities to employees and training to improve skill gaps to build internal talent for promotions over time. Understand why employees leave and remediate the issues in your culture. Offer flexible work schedules and/or offer work from options. This alone could expand your talent pool to a broader pool of people.
Additionally, clearly, define roles and skills needed for the long term and find methods to post openings in the right places to attract the right talent. Find niche market posting boards, encourage referrals from internal employees. Work with professional organizations that may be able to refer candidates. Start internship programs to develop skills overtime. Rethink your hiring practices and internal coverage for walk-ins.
Feedback from those in the Market
A principle of a modest sized agency shared he was having a difficult time attracting younger talent. “We know they are out there, but they do not know about us?” He contacted Future Business Leaders of America to become a mentor in the local high school. Originally, his intent was to provide a community service. What ended up happening was the establishment of a pipeline of talented kids who got exposure to the insurance industry. “I could hire one every year or so, and just put them to work in clerical tasks. Some loved it and some didn’t but every few years I was able to add one who had the knack and the interest and begin feeding youth into the agency.” This was the beginning of a summer internship program.
Many agencies have put a simple employee referral incentive plan in pace so that after 90 days the employee who referred the new hire is paid a flat rate incentive. Regarding mentorship programs, a mid-sized agency owner found that young producers were having issues developing satisfactory books of business. With many retirements occurring the need to develop skills in young producers was a must. They created tiger teams pairing an experienced producer with one of the younger staff. This required a modification to the commission payouts but was successful in building skills in the young producers.
Staying competitive in the marketplace is critical when looking to attract and retain new talent. The building blocks of success come from within. Prioritizing a sustainable pipeline ensures longevity and prosperity for an agency.
Tags: Operations , Talent Retention