Growing your insurance agency requires a team of high-quality producers who can help you win new customers and support your existing policyholders. But as anyone who’s worked in the insurance business can attest, coming up with insurance agent recruiting ideas that yield real results can be challenging.
For starters, it can be difficult just to find qualified job applicants. And even if you have enough candidates submitting resumes, it can be a challenge to sort the mediocre applicants from the real superstars who are going to take your agency to the next level. Finally, once you’ve found the right people, you still have to convince them to join your agency—and to retain them once they’re hired.
Here are 15 insurance agent recruiting ideas to help you find, recruit, and retain high-performing insurance agents:
Where to find potential hires
The first step to hiring great people is finding candidates who will apply to work for you. Our first six insurance agent recruiting ideas cover the places you can look to identify potential candidates:
1. Recruit at college campuses and insurance licensing schools
If you’re interested in hiring first-time agents, colleges and insurance licensing schools are a great place to look. If you reach out to a school’s career services department, they’ll work to publicize your position and identify students who might be a good fit—and they might invite you to attend a career fair.
2. Search on LinkedIn for existing agents
If you’re looking for someone a little more seasoned, you can search for insurance agents in your area by browsing LinkedIn for candidates whose job experience matches your desired credentials. Many agents will be happy where they are, but some will be willing to consider a move.
3. Recruit applicants via online job sites—and yes, Craigslist works
Searching for candidates on popular job sites like Careers.com and Monster.com is a given, but don’t sleep on Craigslist. Job postings on the site are fairly inexpensive (between $10 and $75, depending on the area), and plenty of agents have found high-performing producers there.
4. Ask current agents for referrals
Who knows what it takes to be an agent better than the star producers who are already on your team? They may direct you to past colleagues who are looking for a change of scenery, or they may just have people in their lives who they think have what it takes to make it in the insurance business.
5. Check in with your customers
Asking your customers for help is a great way to build relationships while you search for new agents. Your customers will be glad you thought of them, and you can reinforce your agency’s values when you share the traits you’re looking for in your job description. You can open up these conversations in one-on-one meetings or phone calls, or by using your agency’s website, social media, and email channels.
6. Use a specialized recruiting agency
If you have the money to spare and are hoping to save some time, it might be a good idea to try reaching out to a recruitment agency that specializes in finding people for insurance jobs. A good firm is sure to have plenty of insurance agent recruiting ideas that incorporate your specific business needs and the firm’s past hiring experience.
How to choose the best people
Once you’re able to find folks who are interested in working for you, the next step is to identify and hire the best candidates. Our next six insurance agent recruiting ideas take a look at how to figure out which potential agents will become high-level producers at your agency.
7. Look for someone with a sales background
New agents can learn about the insurance industry with the right training, but the most important skill they’ll need is the ability to sell. We’ve seen plenty of salespeople from other fields cross over into the insurance world with great success.
8. Make sure you’re hiring someone who is comfortable with rejection
If a new hire doesn’t have sales experience, you’ll at least want to make sure they’re comfortable with rejection. As any good agent knows, you’ll hear plenty of “no” for every time you get a “yes,” and your prospective producer will need to be able to continue pursuing new customers without letting rejection get to them.
9. Find someone honest
While a knack for sales is important in any insurance producer, it’s also important that your new hire doesn’t let their drive to close cloud their judgment. Remember, they’ll be representing your entire agency to your customers, so it’s crucial that you hire someone who will focus on building long-term relationships and avoid misleading consumers in pursuit of a one-off sale. You can get a gauge of a candidate’s honesty by asking interview questions about how they would respond in different ethical scenarios.
10. Keep in mind that good salespeople fall in the middle of the extroversion scale
A misconception about salespeople is that they are most often extremely extroverted, but research has found that the most successful ones fall somewhere between an introvert and an extrovert. After all, a good salesperson is a good listener who internalizes a consumer’s needs and works to meet them.
11. Do a panel interview with your best performers
Including your current team in the interview process adds a valuable perspective as you assess candidates, and it has the added bonus in giving your team members a stake in the success of whoever you ultimately hire. This way, they’ll be more likely to help support them once they’re onboard.
12. Sell your business to the insurance agents you’re recruiting
A common mistake people sometimes make during the hiring process is to focus solely on how a job candidate can improve their business. But talented, hard-working people are hard to find, and the right candidate will likely have other job offers within their reach. Make sure you’re taking time to pitch applicants on what makes your agency special, whether it’s your pay structure, perks, or internal culture.
How to retain top talent
Now that you’ve hired a great new producer or two, it’s time to make sure they succeed in their new jobs and deliver results for years to come.
Our next three insurance agent recruiting ideas provide some valuable advice about how to retain the best agents you’ve recruited:
13. Have leads ready for new recruits
If you want your new hires to start off on the right track, it’s helpful to have a bunch of leads for them to work right off the bat. This way, they can ring up some early sales and really settle into their new job.
And if you’re looking for high-quality leads that fit your agency’s target customer base, we recommend checking out our MediaAlpha for Agents online lead-buying platform. You can learn more about the platform and schedule a meeting with our client success team here.
14. Assign each new hire a mentor
Learning the ropes as an insurance agent can be difficult, so it’s useful to pair your new recruits with a high-performing member of your existing team for a mentorship relationship. By implementing this insurance agent recruiting idea, your new hire will have someone to help them troubleshoot problems and teach them about your agency’s internal culture.
15. Find new challenges for agents as they acclimate
If your producers aren’t engaged with their work, they’re not going to perform well—or worse, they’ll leave your agency altogether. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your producers’ professional development and make sure they always have new challenges to sink their teeth into. Maybe it’s giving them a more difficult, high-commission product to sell. Maybe it’s a financial bonus or vacation perk they’ll want to earn. The key is to ensure that each person at your agency has new skills to learn and new heights to reach for.
Go forth and recruit
Now that you have these insurance agent recruiting ideas in hand, you’ll be all set to start recruiting, hiring, and retaining high-producing insurance agents who will grow your business.
Just remember: if you ever run into any uncertainty in your recruitment or hiring process, you can always rely on your instincts to lead the way. After all, you’ve built an insurance agency business, and you know as well as anyone what it takes to succeed in the industry.