Increasing Your Candidates

Looking outside of the insurance industry to expand your candidate pool

Jeremy Mlynarek avatar
Written by Jeremy Mlynarek
Updated over a week ago

In the client success team here at IdealTraits, we continue to see the same question arise throughout the hiring process: how do agents get more candidates applying to their job ads? That's a great question! If this is the case with you and you would like to read a great in-depth article about when you should seek licensed and unlicensed individuals, feel free to click here. It does a fantastic job of breaking down the pros and cons of looking for only those candidates who have a license. 

But what I want to do in this article is give our clients a concise analogy using some images of what it's like trying to hire only licensed candidates and explain why it's our advice to expand the search for those who aren't licensed or don't have insurance specific experience yet. 

So let's start! Imagine that posting a job for an insurance sales representative or customer service representative without a license or industry experience is like trying to catch a fish out on a lake. 

You head out onto the lake and you see plenty of potential. The lake is vast and there's lots of room to throw out your line and catch fish. You're excited! That's the same for unlicensed candidates. There are candidates from different backgrounds such as retail, the foodservice industry, hospitality, non-insurance sales, or fresh out of school looking for a career to grow into!  These candidates can be trained and molded into the ideal candidate for your agency and its culture. They can apply their previous skills with the skills you will train them in, and they might become the top producer or service representative at your agency with time and guidance.

Now let's say your agency still wants only licensed insurance candidates. We understand, that's the dream hire. That's someone from another agency who wants a new opportunity or new fit and you're thinking "perfect, they don't need training". But candidates with licenses are usually content with where they are employed. And they generally want to stick with the agency owner who trained them and if they're the best, what agent would let them go to another office anyway? These agency owners saw the value in taking an untrained candidate and turning them into a professional producer or retention specialist; they've created that relationship. If you are willing to expand your search to candidates with no license or background, they could be trained to be your ideal staff member and grow for YOU and YOUR agency. For the analogy, trying to hire someone from another office is like fishing in a puddle. 

You might find a fish in that puddle, and it would be an incredible day of fishing, but the odds are smaller than fishing on that lake or even a pond. It's going to be an easier hiring process if you keep your list of candidates as broad as possible and commit to training job seekers to be the employee you know they can be. Think about it: how did the sales representatives you're looking for get licensed in the first place? An agency owner worked with them or gave them a chance. 

And if you're still on the fence about hiring unlicensed candidates, ask yourself this question instead of comparing the size of the lake or puddle. If you were to go fishing today, which area below looks more inviting?

Do you want the crowded lake where everyone is trying to catch the same fish, or do you want a portion of the lake all to yourself?

If you have any additional questions regarding this article please feel free to reach out, we are here to help.

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