LIMRA reached out to U.S. and Canadian agency-building companies regarding their recruiting efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the challenges and strategies around it.
All of the companies surveyed are still recruiting agents. Despite the challenges with getting newer agents licensed, 65% of companies are not focusing on more experienced agents. To compensate for social distancing guidelines, most companies are using virtual platforms such as Zoom to engage with candidates.
Companies are training and sourcing candidates in both new and traditional ways. They’re currently using more virtual conferencing, telephone interviews, and virtual classrooms, while also continuing to use traditional methods like Zip Recruiter, LinkedIn, and Indeed.
In some cases, companies have had to delay the start dates for inexperienced agents who still needed to pass exams in order to sell insurance. Most companies, however, have continued to onboard new recruits.
“Some states have allowed for temporary licenses and companies are taking advantage of this,” says Margaret Honan, assistant research director, LIMRA. “Others are continuing to have non-licensed candidates focus on studying in order to be ready to test once it’s possible.”
When it comes to keeping business and recruiting going, many companies are looking at increasing the use of digital signatures for submission of business.
Even though they can’t meet face-to-face, companies are keeping candidates involved in the process through frequent check-ins, virtual meetings, and phone calls.
“Many companies have a dedicated support team that keeps in contact with candidates throughout the process,” Honan says.
With the health crisis of the pandemic, there is a heightened awareness around the financial services industry and the protection products they can provide for Americans. It’s important that insurance companies continue recruiting agents to be prepared to serve the needs of consumers both now and once the pandemic is over.