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Human Resources

This section of the VU offers tips, techniques and legal caveats that you can follow during the hiring process. Also discussed employee relations, licensing and more.

Be sure to visit the Talent Recruitment and Development area for additional related resources.

If you are looking to hire new staff visit Big 'I" Hires.

Join us Thursdays throughout 2021 as we discuss agent development programs that can help your agency. Each Facebook live session offers a unique opportunity to listen and engage.
It’s hard to find and keep great employees. Just when you relax a bit, thinking you’re fully staffed and everyone’s happy, someone gives notice. Or perhaps an applicant you’ve offered to hire ghosts you. Virtually every agency owner we talk to struggles to recruit and retain top talent. Statistics about flight-risk employees are all over the map, from 25% of your workforce looking for new opportunities to much higher predictions.
Beginning January 1, 2020, the Department of Labor enacted new rules regarding exempt and non-exempt employees; has your agency complied with the new rules? IIABA’s Government Affairs teamed with Big I Hires to make key information available to members.
As agents and broker scramble to hire, whether hiring the right fit or promoting from within, is easier if you test knowledge before making that employment offer.
Is there a Sales Personality? Yes. That’s why it takes a charismatic person to become a good salesperson. And, unfortunately, some sales personalities don’t end up in sales roles in their lives. What that means is that most of the salespeople we encounter do not have the unique set of traits that would only make 14% of them successful.
You’ve heard the statistics, right? Not only do we face a “silver tsunami” of retirements, now we have employee flight and a shortage of qualified applicants. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, in 2021 almost 48 million workers quit their employment, or about 4 million workers monthly. A growing number of agents, adjusters and other insurance personnel are retiring, as well. What is the best antidote to slowing the flood of employee flight? It’s a simple technique known as the “stay” interview.
A risk management student asks: What agent education options do you believe are best?
Two decades of research from the fields of psychology, neuroscience and economics have finally converged, giving us a broader and more detailed picture than ever before about the power of emotions - how feelings trigger specific responses in the brain and impact what a person values. Wouldn't you know, the collective results of years of studies now definitively link a happy thriving work culture to better business performance.
Many agency owners try to make producers out of employees simply by giving them the title “producer.” Even if these employees are not producing, they are given the title “producer” –– and voila! they are magically producers! Once that title has been bestowed, agency owners will often go to great lengths to rationalize their producers’ lack of success.
According to a 2021 survey from the Workplace Bullying Institute, about 30% of people experience bullying at work, and another 19% witness it. That means half of the workforce is affected by bullying at work, and 66% know it happens. People in industries such as insurance --- where competition is high, or rewards are driven by results – might be even more prone to experiencing or witnessing bullying, as these risk factors can facilitate and perpetuate a culture of bullying.
In my state, a manicurist has to complete 600 hours of classroom and supervised work experience to get licensed. An insurance agent? Put in 40 hours and you could be licensed to bid on General Motors’ account in the morning and Microsoft’s in the afternoon.
When I first started in this business, my employer required not only a coat and tie, but also a HAT! My how times have changed. In many organizations now, 'business casual' is the order of the day. However, what constitutes 'business casual,' like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As a result, without some guidelines, things can get out of hand.
We've been hearing about it for months now, about the allegedly very real possibility of a worldwide pandemic. Is the threat for real? And, if so, what have you done to prepare your agency to continue to operate in a highly infectious environment? If such an event occurs and impacts your business clients, are they insured for what could be a catastrophic loss of income?
We were recently asked our opinion about whether personal lines CSRs could also handle small business accounts written on BOPs. While some CSRs can make the transition, it is fraught with perils. Find out what the VU experts think about the realistic expectations of such a change.
Experienced employees gravitate to those areas for which their talents are best suited. Forcing CSR's to sell, forcing salespeople to adhere to detail oriented efforts, and forcing management responsibilities on stockholders who have never been inclined to manage are counterproductive efforts. In this article, I'll explain why you should not force a round peg into a square hole.
An agency receptionist transfers phone calls, takes messages, opens mail, directs clients to CSRs, and accepts direct bill payments from clients. She allegedly does not discuss coverage with clients. Does she need to be licensed?
Is it an E&O exposure for a licensed agent/CSR to review and sign applications for an unlicensed CSR? If you have a CSR who is not licensed mailing out endorsements to an insured, can he/she sign his or her name on the endorsement's cover sheet? Or, is it better to be signed by a licensed employee? These are common questions we get, with the bottom line question being, 'Who needs to be licensed in the agency?'

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Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

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