Accelerated hiring, growth initiatives, expansion, succession planning and momentum — are we still in early 2007 or is this the outlook for 2012? It is 2012 and we are off to a strong start! The insurance labor market has certainly had its share of ups and downs since the downturn in 2008. The unemployment rate wavered month-to-month and hiring slowed drastically. Fortunately, the insurance industry is well on its way to recovery and there is positive energy in the market. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a gain of 3,300 jobs for the industry in December. That is a 3.3 percent increase over November. According to The Semi-Annual Insurance Labor Outlook Study, conducted by The Jacobson Group and Ward Group, the insurance industry’s likelihood of hiring went up 14 percent from the beginning of 2011 to mid-year.
In late 2008, the tell-tale effects of a hard-hit economy became apparent within our industry’s labor market. Companies were taking on two very distinct behaviors—there were those who adopted the bunker mentality of “close your eyes and hold on until the worst is over” or those who faced the future head on with a bit of defiance. The Survivors took an opportunistic approach, with the vision and heart to see growth as a means to recovery. Rather than falling into Survival mode, the companies of the future acted as Survivors; and there is a difference!
Recruiting gets creative
When it is time to hire, organizations have to get creative with the outlets they use to tap into fresh talent. Building your talent pipeline means attracting candidates that will grow with the company. Sometimes inherent skills trump experience when it comes to selecting a long-term hire. Dig deep to find out what candidates have to offer along the lines of team work capabilities, leadership traits, reliability and work ethic. The resume won’t reveal it all!
Social media takes center stage
To stand out to potential employees, organizations must return to and revitalize their social branding strategy. Social media will only become more prevalent in 2012. Job seekers are using social media now more than ever to research potential employers. Having a large number of employees, including an executive presence, on LinkedIn is appealing to candidates and offers tremendous insight into company culture. A Twitter account increases your company’s brand awareness, which also appeals to job seekers. Take to Twitter to post company updates and use hash tags to help them stand out. Social networking puts thousands of industry professionals at your fingertips; take advantage of the opportunity to brand yourself!