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Best Hiring Practices for the Modern Agency

Posted on July 28, 2017 by Doug Mohr in Agency

By Doug Mohr

After seven years of insurance industry experience, the question I am still asked most often by small agency owners is: Where and how are other agencies finding new producers to hire? While the guidelines to locate candidates have mostly stayed the same, the level of talent and how to develop it has evolved in tandem with technology and its solutions.

Good hiring managers have tactics and techniques to flush out candidates merely embellishing on their resumes, from those with authentic experience that will add value to your business. It is important to have standardized hiring practices that keep your agency’s needs in mind.

What are your agency’s needs?

Identifying candidates who have domain experience and can leverage your existing agency management solutions is vital to having a competitive advantage. A tech-savvy producer is someone who has proficient ability to navigate modern technology. When vetting potential new producers, it is important to not only assess their ability to use your agency’s automation systems but also their desire to adapt and grow alongside innovative advances in technology. Insurance industry experience is a bonus.

Vertafore’s solutions are purpose-built specifically for the insurance industry. Each software solution offers its own features. Benefits include elevating your producer’s ability to identify opportunities for cross-selling, consistent renewal date notifications and constant tracking of conversations with clients in real-time. Hiring a producer who values automation will ultimately expand your book of business, retain existing customers and reduce your risk of errors and omissions.

Who should you hire?

The trend amongst small agencies has been to prioritize hiring younger employees due to their upbringing in the digital era or better known as being digital natives. However, digital natives are not the only candidates with the ability to effectively leverage technology. By shunning the aging segment of the workforce, you narrow your pool of qualified candidates. This could potentially hurt your chances of finding a new producer who is both tech-savvy and experienced. Many candidates over the age of 50 do have a propensity for embracing and leveraging innovative technology.  Therefore, your hiring profile should lend itself to appraise each individual’s ability to learn your agency’s various management systems and technological solutions.

What traits are critical in a new producer?

Establishing a standardized hiring process that includes a profile for a tech-savvy producer will empower your agency’s ability to take advantage of the full capabilities of the solutions your agency already has in place. Your new producer must understand the value of moving away from manual processes like tracking leads on a spreadsheet. An appreciation for your internal technology which was specifically built to monitor, measure and track the happenings in your sales funnel will improve your sales velocity and opportunity conversion.

How to enable new producers to be successful in their first 30 days

Technology should be a helper, not a hindrance. Vertafore can get your new producers up to speed with online learning content through our Vertafore University. Reducing onboarding time through proper coaching increases your new producer’s competency in your agency’s system, allowing them to bring in revenue even faster.

Who is responsible for the hiring process?

It is up to you to come up with your plan to bring in new, high performance producers. Next, get your new hire up to speed with the technologies you are using. Vertafore provides tools to support producer growth but selecting the "right" producer is personal to your agency. Collaborating with your team to create this unique producer profile is the best way to tailor it to your agency’s needs. Quality producers are an investment. However, there are key qualities that make up your perfect candidate.  Your job is to create the structure that lends itself to helping you identify the potential (or lack thereof) in each interviewee that will help complete your dream team. From my experience, a chief characteristic to look for in a person is someone who is enthusiastic about technology and willing to help drive your agency into the digital era.

For more education and detailed information on recruiting and developing producers from me, Doug Mohr, and Reagan Consulting, listen to this recorded a webinar titled "Top Growth Strategies for Insurance Agents"

Doug Mohr Career Bio

Doug is the vice president of solution consulting at Vertafore. He joined Vertafore seven years ago to lead a group of subject matter experts that provide presentations on the entire Vertafore suite of solutions to customers and prospects in support of the sales team.  Doug brings over 20 years of software experience having worked at companies that provide solutions to a variety of industries including insurance, healthcare, apparel, professional services, high-tech and manufacturing.  Doug currently resides in Mukilteo, WA with his wife and two children.




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