8 strategies insurance agency owners can use to attract new talent

The youngest and brightest talent aren’t necessarily coming from within the industry. Hire the person based on their skills and train for the role. (Photo: iStock)

For the last 10 years we’ve been hearing the same thing: The P&C insurance industry is aging and a large percent of employees will be retiring in the next decade.

There is no youth and the industry needs to attract the next wave of insurance agents.

How are we going to do it? How do we, as an industry, usher in the new guard?”

It’s up to you, the agency owner

We hate to break it to you, but it’s not the industry’s responsibility. It’s up to you, the agency owner. If you’re waiting for Safeco or Progressive to wave a wand and create opportunities for the next generation, it’ll be a long wait. As in, longer than the line at the Apple store when the new iPhone drops. 

Related: Attract talent to your insurance agency with core values

It’s time to stop labeling this as a macro issue and correctly identify the micro problem. Many independent agents are resistant to change and not willing to make the necessary investments to attract youth. It’s not about what “we need to do” but more of what “I need to do” that is going to make a difference. 

We recently heard a statistic that by 2020 the industry will need to fill over 295,000 positions. We’ve got good news for you though, there are over 3.5 million graduates in the U.S. alone each calendar year! 

Related: 5 ways you can help recurit the next generation of insurance professionals

It’s time to create an environment those graduates will want to be a part of. We’ve found a ton of success in the past 8 years hiring amazing younger talent and we’ve listed 8 of the many strategies that we’ve used to accomplish this:

1. Create a fun and vibrant culture.

  • Throw Champagne Friday’s from 2:30–3 p.m. each week and have everyone participate in bonding exercises.
  • Make your employees in to their own bobbleheads and present to them on their 1-year anniversary.
  • Throw scavenger hunts, holiday parties, charity events and monthly socials.
  • Regularly hand out sports and concert tickets to your team members.

2. Highlight your people.

  • Every week, film a team member and broadcast what they do and what makes them special all over social media.
  • Leverage Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn to promote the wins and successes of your team.

3. Freedom and flexibility.

  • Be open to varying working hours, remote employees and don’t be afraid to offer young mothers flex options.

4. Invest in technology.

  • Ensure your team can move at the speed of life. Make sure you have the fastest internet connection and the latest tools to let them win in their respective roles

5. Create new departments and roles.

  • Content creation and social media distribution is not the future, it’s now. Hire content creators, videographers, graphic artists and social media experts to help build an/or broadcast your brand.

6. Don’t be afraid to train.

  • The youngest and brightest aren’t necessarily coming from within the industry. Hire the person based on their skills and train for the role.

7. Personal, not just professional.

  • Conduct personal goal setting sessions with your employees. Care and invest, don’t just focus on how they’ll perform when they’re at work. Do they have savings or investment plans, dreams of travel or health and wellness goals? Make those a reality!

8. Beyond all else, grow!

  • Uess you’re the owner, the annuity game isn’t attractive. If you’re young and hungry, you want to be part of an organization with growth opportunity that you feel is headed somewhere. Slam the organic growth pedal and create new opportunities.

We will be speaking on this topic, among others, at Agent 2021, a Gary Vaynerchuk conference held in Miami on January 24th. We hope our industry counterparts attend and engage! Thank you for reading.

Related: 6 ways insurance agents can build winning teams

Matt Naimoli (matt@insurewithgn.com) and Zack Gould (zack@insurewithgn.com) are co-founders of Southborough, Massachusetts-based G&N Insurance.