More than two-thirds of customers highly value diversity in an agency when looking for an agent, according to a recent Nationwide Agency Forward Survey. Hiring diverse talent is imperative to the continued success of your agency. But currently, only 12% of the independent insurance agency workforce is Hispanic, Black or Asian American.
A commitment to fostering diversity within your agency begins by hiring diverse talent. It is important to consider that diversity not only includes gender identity, but also race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ability.
When pursuing diverse talent, taking new approaches to the recruiting process will help you be successful in finding candidates in places that you haven’t considered before. And leaning into a new way of thinking can have an extremely positive impact on your agency.
Here are three tips to help you think differently when recruiting diverse talent:
1) Recruit from different places. A panel of experts from Nationwide’s “How to Attract and Retain Diverse Talent” webinar emphasized the value of going outside your usual recruitment channels to find new and diverse talent.
While you may be comfortable fishing in the same pond, finding unique talent may require you to think outside the pond. There are a variety of places you can recruit from that you may have never used, such as local colleges or regional groups. Newly graduated college students can offer a unique perspective and bring fresh energy to your agency. Local chapters of organizations that are fostering diversity in the insurance industry such as the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) and the Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies (LAAIA) are fantastic resources to consult when recruiting and are open to everyone.
Building relationships within your community by hosting events and volunteering are also great ways to grow your network and begin recruiting outside your typical channels.
2) Conduct interviews with a diverse group of current employees. When interviewing candidates, Rochelle Rosatto, senior vice president of diversity & inclusion for Marsh, suggests being intentional with current employees and add them to interview panels. If your current team lacks gender, ethnic or racial diversity, prepare to bring in cross-functional key stakeholders, employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, and thought leaders who can speak to your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies and goals.
People are more inclined to want to work for a company where they feel they will be accepted and encouraged to show up to work as their authentic self—and an interview is a first impression that goes both ways. While you are considering if a candidate will be a good fit for your agency, the candidate is also considering if your agency is a place where they will be supported to thrive.
3) Work to acknowledge biases. We all carry implicit biases whether we realize it or not. Acknowledging that these biases exist is the first step to overcoming them to authentically foster a diverse work environment.
You may unintentionally be looking for a candidate who has the same qualities, whether professionally or personally, as the person who previously had a role you are backfilling. But someone else with completely different qualities can have the potential to be a highly effective employee as well. Working to disrupt your usual way of thinking allows diverse talent to shine.
Article By: Valencia Jones
Source: Big I Independent Agent