Employees Have the Upper Hand: Here’s How to Level the Playing Field


The job market now is tight all over and especially in the insurance industry, giving job seekers a good deal more leverage with employers than in the past. While the overall unemployment rate is just under 4 percent, it is under two percent in the insurance industry, creating a lot of competition among companies for talent.

Employers have had to change their hiring strategies, now focusing more on attracting people rather than winnowing them out. Employee satisfaction has become of paramount importance. While salary is definitely important in attracting and retaining talent, companies are also focusing on other factors that play heavily on employee engagement, such as company culture, benefits, and working environment.

Employees are looking for things other than salary as well – how the company recognizes employees, professional development programs, communication, and a supportive culture. What these things look like can vary from company to company. There is no standard formula.

Salary Expectations for Insurance Professionals

But, although other factors are important, money is also important to job seekers. They are demanding higher pay – it is what matters most in their decision to stay in a job or look elsewhere.

In the past, hiring managers looked at salary as an impediment, an obstacle that needed to be dealt with, and they looked at how they could minimize that obstacle as much as possible, looking at the minimum they could pay and still be competitive. But now salary is viewed as an incentive, the key to getting the talent that is needed.

And if they find someone who is a good fit, they are paying what it takes to hire the person, especially since it is taking longer to fill open slots. A few years ago, for example, agencies could fill an account manager job in a little more than a month. Now, it takes about four months or longer to fill similar positions that pay up to $65,000 a year.

Incentive Pay Options in Insurance Industry

Industry officials agree that the most effective pay structures include some form of incentive pay that is tied to company goals and that includes all employees. Incentive pay needs to be tied to the growth of the agency, but this type of arrangement still has not been adopted at many agencies, where incentives are purely discretionary.

If an agency is growing, the pay for employees should be growing as well, they say. Employers should also look at giving benefits that may be out of the ordinary – things that the employees themselves usually pay for – such as tolls, cell phone bills, and business attire expenses.

Need Help with Insurance Recruitment?

Insurance Relief is one of the most respected staffing agencies focusing on the insurance industry. We take a personalized approach toward each person we recruit, matching people with the right job, and treating everyone with respect and fairness. Our efforts have earned us a Best in Staffing award. So, if your company is looking for qualified insurance professionals, contact Insurance Relief today.