Hiring Toolkit

Agency principals consistently list hiring as one of the top challenges facing their agencies. Making good hiring decisions is critical in today’s increasingly competitive labor environment. This toolkit provides a step-by-step resource covering all aspects of the hiring process – recruiting, assessment and selection. 

For an overview, read “A Marketing Approach to Hiring.” For resources specific to hiring producers, check out the Sales Management Toolkit.

Step
1

Finding Candidates

Job Descriptions, Qualifications, Searching

Create the job description:

Whether you are filling a producer, CSR or support position, it will improve your effectiveness immensely if you develop a job description outlining the responsibilities required and the qualifications necessary. It will not only help you recognize the best candidate when you see him/her, it will also help you create postings for use with job boards or want ads.

"Your Hiring Tool Kit is a fantastic resource and full of helpful ideas! We’ve taken many of the templates available and customized them for our agency’s needs. The “Training Needs Checklist” has been particularly useful when training new hires who have different levels of experience. It helps our agency monitor individual training needs and insures our employees are given the skills they need to succeed. For maintaining consistency in training, it is invaluable!"
—Becky Malone, Trainer, Threlkeld & Company Insurance

 

Determine the qualifications:

Unless you are lucky enough to find a candidate already equipped to step into the role you need, you may need to hire for attitude and train for functionality. The Best of Class Studies conducted for IIAT by ZERORISK HR identify the attributes correlated with agency success. For training a green recruit, refer to the New Employee Training Guide in Step 4.

Initiate the search:

Good candidates can be found anywhere and, generally, the more sources you tap, the better your prospects. Get the word out, through your employees, insurance company personnel, local trade groups and even your customers. Post the job online on the IIAT Job Board.

Recruit graduating college seniors by participating in college job fairs. Graduating seniors are still in the habit of learning, open to new ideas and adaptable to change. They are tech friendly and learn new technology rapidly. Take a look at IIAT's recruiting video on YouTube and a pdf version of the recruiting brochure. Use the YouTube link at job fairs or order a copy on DVD along with printed recruiting brochures from the IIAT Career Center or by calling IIAT at 800.880.7428.

Step
2

Assessing Qualifications

Screening, Interviewing, Validating

Prescreen:

Require candidates to e-mail their resume and include a cover letter. Choose those who look promising and conduct a brief telephone interview. Schedule an in-person interview with those who sound promising.

Conduct initial interview:

Before conducting an initial interview have all candidates complete an application. Absolutely resist the temptation to sell the agency in the first interview. Ask open-ended questions where the entire emphasis is on understanding the candidate.

Validate through applicant testing and personality profile:

Once you are favorably impressed by an interview, validate your impressions with skills testing and personality profiles. Because there is a charge for personality profiles, use them only after otherwise pre-qualifying the candidate. Conduct a followup interview to clarify any issues identified through the validation process.

Step
3

Making the Offer

Company Values, Mission, Realistic Job Preview

Once you've identified the candidate you want, it's time to close the deal.

  • Share the agency's story – its history, accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Share the agency's aspirations – the vision, opportunities and challenges.
  • Disclose fully your expectations of employees – agency values, employment policies, evaluation criteria and process.
    • Don't sugarcoat any of the negatives associated with the job or the agency. It will only cost you turnover and the frankness will be attractive to most quality candidates. Create a realistic job preview that includes an office tour, a demonstration of the job function and an introduction to co-workers.
  • Emphasize the total value of working for your agency including the intangible and long-term benefits such as flexible work schedules and professional development opportunities.

Downloads & Links

 Offer Letter

Step
4

Orientation and Training

Getting Started, Insurance Basics, Career Development

The New Employee Training Guide includes two sections, each of which is comprised of eight parts: one is designed for mentors and the other for new employees. The mentor's guide includes an important introduction.

Employee's Guide

For New Employee Orientation

  Starting Right

  First Week Chores

  Insurance Basics

  Learning Procedures

  The Right Coverage

  Introduction to Customer Service

  Introduction to E&O

  Career Development

  Complete Guide

Downloads & Links

 Training Checklist