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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Best Practices to Hire Online in Insurance and Finance

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Finance and Insurance are highly regulated industries, which makes recruiting and hiring especially with social media and technology a challenge. In this four part series, we’ll help you navigate how to hire, recruit and work with the best.

Since 2011 companies have been frustrated over the lack of talent in the insurance and finance fields, which has led the recruiter’s job to being more difficult. Companies are searching high and low for those who match certain requirements to fill any vacant spot in order to fully staff critical positions.

Because the industry is highly regulated, there has been hesitancy with using social media and social recruiting platforms as part of a company’s overall recruiting strategy. On April 1, 2013, financial services companies in both the UK and the US had clearer regularly guidance on how to conduct social media activity for these finance industry. Recruiters avoided online communities only because of the imposed business regulation.

The regulations, which are available by clicking here, provide guidance and instruction around sharing earnings, investments and other financial information on social networks. This is a completely separate activity from recruiting and building pipelines of candidates.

Most candidates in the financial or insurance professions specialize in a specific marketable skill set instead of a more generalized focus that companies are looking to hire. In order to be efficient in hiring for the insurance and financial fields there are a few guidelines that would benefit recruiters.

Industry-Related Experience. When recruiters pick and choose from the vast pool of insurance and financial candidates there are several fields in which these candidates have experience. It’s important that recruiters are recruiting within specific field types in order to attract and retain the best talent. When recruiters try and hire outside the specific industry knowledge and procedure, they won’t follow the candidate because it’s an entirely different playing field.

Hire Good Sales People. When working within the insurance industry it’s customary that the agent has great selling skills. Their industry is built off networking. Just like in the finance industry, financial planners and advisors are usually working for a bigger company whose job is to not only push products and services, but to sell the client on all of them.

Create Appropriate Career Paths. Most insurance or financial agents work independently from their main company. Being able to provide career paths that will allow individual agents to grow into managers or even corporate is a benefit that most companies tend to overlook. If you’re a recruiter looking to hire within one of these professions, it’s essential that you sell the candidate on growth opportunities within your company. That will not only give them incentive to sell your product, but give them something to work for while working for your company.

So whether you’re looking for a good insurance or financial professional it’s important to not only look for those who are good sales people and have industry related experience, but be able to provide appropriate career paths for growth of each individual agent. Join us next Thursday as we look into compliance issues when hiring within these selected fields.

How do you hire within the insurance and financial fields?

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs


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