Filed Under:Your Practice, Practice Management

Desperately seeking young agents

The offers are ready to present, and Jim Schubert’s plan is to deliver them to the two prospective new members of his producer force as soon as he gets off the phone.

For the moment, however, Schubert, president of Southern States Insurance, an independent agency with offices in Georgia and Florida, is animatedly discussing how his courtship of the two potential new hires underscores the plight firms like his, and the financial and insurance segments as a whole, face as a result of the aging of the advisor and agent workforce, and the dearth of younger producers ready to step in to replace them.

Need and opportunity

The growth rate — that is, the public’s need — for financial advisors in the decade ending 2020 is projected to be 32 percent, compared with 14 percent for all occupations, according to TD Ameritrade, citing figures from the latest Occupational Outlook Handbook from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That translates to 66,000 new financial advisor jobs.

To attract young talent, “fish in their pond” — use social media sites as recruiting tools, as Schubert is doing with LinkedIn and CraigsList. “I have gotten a lot more conservations going that way than I ever thought I would,” he says. Fishing might also entail approaching local universities and asking them to allow you to talk with students about opportunities in the advisory/agent space, and by offering internships to college students.

Use youth to attract youth, suggests Schubert, 35. Young agents can be invaluable in helping attract young recruits, such as by involving them in the interview process. There’s comfort knowing “there are others like me here,” he says.

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Nichole Morford

Nichole Morford
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