Sunday, March 30, 2008

Turn your employees into headhunters

Last week I attended a four-day Society of Insurance Trainers & Educators conference. The class size was small, about eight, but what was exciting was the level of young talent in the training.

If we are reading the trade journals, we know that our industry talent is disappearing, in part due to the current and pending Baby Boomer retirements, and in part because of our seeming inability as an industry to attract new candidates. When was the last time you heard a young person, when asked his or her career plans, say, "I'm planning an exciting career in insurance!"

But the reality is, the insurance industry offers exciting career opportunities. Here are just a few of the advantages I've found during my two-decade plus career:
  • Wonderful and supportive coworkers.
  • Ample training opportunities, whether at the workplace or self-directed.
  • Interesting dilemmas to solve, whether during my years in claims, my years working with agents and MGAs, or my years in risk management.
  • A fairly lucrative wage.

But as an industry, we don't convey these benefits. As I watched the younger participants at this training workshop, I kept thinking, "Some headhunter is missing a great opportunity here." I would have hired any of the participants in a heartbeat.

If you are having trouble attracting great talent, why not turn your employees into headhunters? As they attend seminars and networking events, ask them to exchange business cards with people they think would be a fit for your company.

While these attendees may not be in the job market right now and you may not even have a current opening, a year down the road, with growth, mergers and acquisitions and downsizing, the story may be entirely different.

When I talk with other young people, particularly women, I encourage them to think about insurance as a career path. You may want to do the same.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Performance appraisals can limit liablility

I've been very busy with my new column in

Click here to read the latest entry.