Are you attracting good employees?

If You Brand It They Will Come: Five Tips for Attracting Top Talent to Your Insurance Company
by Jay D'Aprile on April 4, 2010

It is widely known that what separates good insurance companies from average companies are the people. It really is a no brainer: the higher the quality of talent, the more productivity and better results your company achieves. Everyone agrees that it is critical to attract top talent to their organizations. But like everything else in business, the issue comes down to dollars and cents. It has been estimated that replacing lost talent can be approximately 2.5 times the annual compensation of that employee, for senior level employees that number increases. The cost may be a shock to people outside of talent management and the executive search world. But the high cost of recruiting top shelf talent can be worth the expense if you put together a great team.

So how do you ensure that your organization is positioned to acquire the best available talent? The answer is simple: employment branding. If your company is considered best in breed you will create a destination company that the most talented employees in the insurance industry will seek out. To paraphrase Kevin Costner, “If you build it, they will come.”

Human Resources is the logical team to lead the employment branding charge and below are five things that your HR team can do today to create a dynamic employment brand and attract the best and brightest to your team.

1. Recruitment – Utilizing best practices during your recruitment strategy is crucial. This means executing a well-conceived sourcing strategy, combined with an in-depth candidate assessment. This will go a long way to ensuring that your team is making a great hire to add to a quality team of talented employees. Identifying the companies which your team feels produces top talent will allow you to understand your companies’ competitive advantages and the strategies it will take to attract those people to your organization. Do not hire by gut feeling; instead, hire individuals of integrity and character and only after they have been thoroughly vetted.

2. On-boarding – Hiring someone is just half the recruitment battle. Employee on-boarding is an area that can have a major impact on your employment brand. Keep in mind that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. On-boarding ensures that your company makes new employees feel welcome, valued and prepared for what lies ahead. Having a well-defined strategy to embrace new hires will result in smoother transitions and guarantee that your new hire will contribute to your company’s success as soon as possible.

3. Mentorship – Mentoring and leading by example means so much to current and potential employees. Creating a mentor program where junior-level employees are paired with more seasoned executives who can coach, troubleshoot, inspire, motivate and remove obstacles will allow your people to achieve success. It also demonstrates that your company is invested in your employees success and this is very attractive to potential employees.

4. Retention- The ability to retain your people is critical to ensuring the continued success of your organization. It will add value to your employment brand by demonstrating that your company is a business to which people are dedicated. It is critical to create a collaborative environment which thrives on breaking down barriers and sharing information across the enterprise. Also, having strong knowledge management and information technology systems will keep your talent base engaged and productive. Creating a positive culture will improve employee retention and will ensure your employees success by giving them the tools and support they need to allow them to thrive.

5. Commitment - One of the best ways to create a great employment brand rests in never settling for anything less than complete commitment to quality from the top down. Successfully attracting top talent stems from a dedication to retaining quality leadership which leads to assembling a talented staff. Great employees will produce an exceptional work product – which will attract quality clients, investors and partners. This quality-focused value chain will produce a great corporate culture which will result in creating a strong employment brand which contributes directly to attracting and retaining the highest quality employees.

Creating a great employment brand is challenging and requires commitment from all areas of your company. Senior leadership has the ability to empower the Human Resource team to create and implement strategies to build a strong employment brand. For those companies that are willing to make the commitment to creating a great employment brand, the return on this investment will be a thriving corporate culture made up of talented, productive and loyal employees. The greatest part of this philosophy is that they will also become evangelists, contributing to the success of attracting top talent to your company.

TurnersTips is grateful to Jay for continuing his sharing of many useful articles. Jay has a focus on the insurance industry but his articles relate to all business in many areas. Do look for more of this type of quality information at Jay's blog.