Insurance agents live and die by the quality of their employees.
Nothing is more important.
You need the best people.
Unfortunately many agents don’t think past the newspaper classified ads when it comes to getting the word out about their job openings and this is bad for a few reasons:
- It’s really expensive.
- You’ll mostly attract job needers.
- There are no filters for who applies.
- You’ll miss out on the best possible applicants.
Hiring amazing employees is like making sales – the more people you have to choose from the better your results will be.
But I’d hate to put out a message like this without ways to accomplish it that don’t drain your wallet so…
I put together a giant list of free ways to attract more job applicants for your next available position.
If you find it helpful, don’t forget to share.
Had to get this one out of the way since it’s probably the first thing people think of when it comes to free job advertising.
It’s also not bad because I know a decent number of people who can actually say they’ve hired someone or found a job through Craigslist.
It’s free, give it a shot.
2) Local Colleges
Most schools have some sort of placement department that specializes in helping their students find careers. They’re salespeople trying to hit numbers just like you so if you’ve got a job opening, they’ll be happy to hear from you.
Think outside the box of recruiting from the local major university and look at community colleges, vocational schools and other job training schools. There are a lot more than you think and the applicants might even be a better fit for your position.
Set your standards high and be very specific about what you’re seeking, otherwise the placement folks will waste your time with bad applicants.
3) State Government Online Job Boards
Almost every state has a workforce department charged with helping people find new jobs and many of them allow job postings.
Check out this page and click on your state to see for yourself:
Of course you can make a status update telling everyone that you’re hiring, but there’s other techniques you can use too.
Send personal messages to all your connections that might be in a position to refer someone.
You can also search for your own applicants based on job title, experience, and location to reach out to them directly.
5) Ask Your Facebook Friends
Make a status update that you’re hiring for all your friends to see.
Ask your friends to share it on their wall so you can get a much larger audience of people seeing it.
And don’t make the mistake of writing it up like you’re looking for a currently unemployed person.
If you don’t explain it well, most people will think of everyone they know who needs a job instead of everyone they know that could succeed with a better job and greater opportunity.
That’s what you want.
6) Ask Your Agency’s Facebook Fans
Make a post on your agency’s Facebook page that you’re looking for a high-achiever.
Since the majority of people reading this are going to be your clients, I’d probably shy away from writing anything like, “we want a hungry sales closer” and emphasize features that customers would value more instead.
By overemphasizing the importance of customer service, integrity, and honesty a post like this on your FB wall can actually be a “disguised” advertisement for the quality of service your agency provides.
Maybe you should run those posts even when you’re fully staffed.
7) Buy Facebook Ads
Okay, this isn’t a free technique is it?
Oh well, FB ads are still a drop in the bucket compared to a newspaper ad.
The cool thing about FB ads is you can target them to individuals based on all kinds of criteria that you could never get away with including in a job posting.
DISCLOSURE: Targeting job ads to people based on certain personal information might be illegal and I’m not an HR expert so maybe you should check with one first.
You can make some tweets about your job opening and if you’ve got a Twitter account it’s probably not a bad idea to do so when you’re hiring.
You might get a referral from one of your followers.
But you can also use Twitter as more of an outreach tool. You can send @ messages to local people and businesses who might be in a position to refer you a new employee.
9) Ask Your Sales Manager
Talk to your carrier reps about your hiring needs.
They might know another talented producer who recently left a poor performing agency or they may have access to job applicant databases from the carrier’s website.
They have other resources that can help you out too.
You won’t know if you don’t ask.
10) Get Your Staff Involved
This one should probably be higher up the list since your staff is intimately knowledgeable about the needs of your agency.
I’ve mentioned this before but I can’t say it enough:
When you tell people you’re looking for job candidates they immediately think of all the people who don’t have a job. This is not the applicant pool you want to be fishing in.
Tell your staff you’re open to an unemployed person but what you really want is the best person for the job.
11) Email Your Customers
Just another way to reach out to more people.
If you’ve got a big (or small) list of clients send them an email about your needs.
Believe it or not, clients will appreciate you reaching out to them asking for help.
Like I mentioned in #6, choose your job description wisely. You’re not looking for someone who “won’t take no for an answer”.
12) Call Commercial Clients
Call up your commercial clients.
In addition to the fact that you might actually get some applicants, you’re also accomplishing a couple other good things:
- You’re getting in another touch that isn’t about selling or servicing insurance.
- You’re strengthening the idea that the client is your friend.
- You’re showing the client you value their opinion.
13) Talk With Other Agents
Reach out to your agent buddies and see if they know of anyone.
They’re insurance agents like you, so obviously they’re going to have a decent understanding of what you’re looking for.
Ask if they have any high quality ex-employees that might be in the job market. If the answer is yes, see if you can get contact info.
(Or just get their name and information, you can pretty much find anyone nowadays online)
14) Unemployment Office
Sure this goes against what I’ve said earlier about hiring people who are looking for a job but you never know.
Just be sure to paint a very clear picture of what you’re looking for and your minimum qualifications.
Unfortunately a lot of folks at the unemployment office are just looking for interviews to keep collecting unemployment checks so you might want to be careful with this idea.
15) Free Job Boards
In addition to Craigslist there are a bunch of other online job boards that allow free listings.
I honestly don’t know if they’re worthwhile, but I’m trying to build a comprehensive list here.
Here’s a few that appear to have decent website traffic:
If nothing else you might be able to get a little SEO boost out of the listings.
16) Read Local Business News
Pay attention to businesses who are closing down and laying off lots of employees.
You could just call a company that’s going out of business or reach out to executives after the fact and explain what you’re looking for.
You could pick up some of their best employees before the rest of the job market talks to them.
If you know anyone in the company, reach out to them first.
17) Insurance Licensing Schools
Insurance licensing schools know it’s immensely important for their graduates to have jobs.
If nobody who goes to their school can get a job, it’s not too favorable for business.
Reach out to them and put them on notice you’re looking.
18) Create a Careers Page on Your Website
Did you know many of the websites with “we’re hiring” pages aren’t currently hiring?
Companies do this to present an image of growth and build a database of prospects for when they are hiring.
You can do it too.
19) Car Lots
Car salesmen usually have pretty good sales skills and many of them hate their jobs.
If your agency really needs a smooth-talking closer there aren’t many better places to find someone like that.
If you find someone that’s good, they’re probably already making decent money selling cars. Sell them on how insurance is a more respectable career with long-term career opportunities.
20) Go to the Mall
The mall is full of great customer service employees and an occasional sales superstar.
Where else could you go and literally meet 50-100 retail/sales employees in an hour who deserve a more respectable job?
Other than a GEICO call center, of course.
21) Talk to Your Customers
Of course you can plan to talk to your customers, but I mean really do it.
Get your staff involved and make it a point to ask every customer that walks in the door.
You’ll need to paint a very clear picture because, again, you don’t want people sending you all their deadbeat relatives.
Just think of how many potential people you could find out about if you just brought it up to every customer!
22) Talk to Everyone You Know
Finding good employees is a lot like selling insurance. The more people you talk to about it, the more likely you’ll be to find success.
Talk to your neighbors, friends, relatives, acquaintances, everyone.
Basically, you can’t walk around wearing a T-Shirt that says, “I’m hiring” so use your voice and all your interactions instead.
23) Reception Desk Sign
A simple desk sign that people will see when they walk into your office that says “We’re Hiring” can touch a lot of people without you needing to remember anything.
You could place a sign in the window too, although you might find that brings in the wrong crowd.
It’s often more efficient to talk to potential referrers than to go after the applicants themselves.
A Few More Thoughts…
I understand that it’s time consuming and difficult to try to get as many applicants as you an for a job opening.
But remember that nothing is more important to your success than the people you surround yourself with.
If you know an agent who’s hiring or an HR person you like would you share the love and send them a link to this article?
And if you value resources like this please click the Like Button since I use “likes” as a gauge for what agents want more of.
Hope this helps!