Key Steps to Consider When Reevaluating Your Human Resource Costs

shutterstock_226614253_webReevaluating and improving human resource efficiency is vital to the success of any Property Casualty insurance company, especially when employee turnover can be so costly. An article by Insurance Business America stated, “…a November 2012 study from the Center for American Progress found that for positions earning less than $75,000—including most insurance producers—the cost of firing and hiring a new employee was roughly 20% of that position’s salary.” This means that a bigger emphasis is being placed on getting the hiring process right, making it even more important for every human resource department to take a closer look at their company’s candidate recruitment strategies and expenses.

When reevaluating human resource costs:

1. Determine if your organization has a ‘spend’ or ‘invest’ mindset. When asking human capital questions to hiring leaders, pay close attention to their responses. If the overwhelming responses to your questions are “how much is it going to cost?”, then you are likely part of a ‘spend’ culture. Conversely, if you are consistently asked “what is the expected return if we do this?”, then you are probably working in an ‘invest’ culture. These are two very different environments and understanding how to best deliver services to support the organization can drive everything including culture, attracting, hiring and retention strategies, metrics and recognition programs.   

2. Continually assess your hiring strategies, processes and budget. If you are spending or investing most of your time and money on recruiting and hiring whether internally or via third party, is it paying off? Make sure you are evaluating and measuring the right human resource strategies to really know if they are functioning in the most efficient way for your company. Items like reducing recruitment expenses or improving your investment return are key items to take into consideration. Should you insource or outsource recruitment efforts? If you decide to insource, you must develop processes that ensure your internal recruiters are solely working on recruiting needs. If you outsource, selecting the right recruitment firm for your company must be a priority to ensure human resource efficiency.

3. Find the most qualified insurance recruitment firm/recruiter for your company’s needs. When outsourcing your hiring efforts, your company must decide if hiring a recruitment firm or a specific recruiter will work best for your hiring needs. There is a big difference. When you hire a recruitment firm, you aren’t guaranteed to get the same recruiter every time. If you hire a specific recruiter, this means you are intentionally hiring a specific person to be the only one to conduct your searches. In either scenario, your company must seek out firms and recruiters that have a proven track record, impeccable referrals, large networks and are experts in all aspects of your industry. These are a few key qualities that will produce a qualified candidate in a timely manner; saving your human resource department time and money.

4. Ensure you are utilizing your internal/external recruitment strategies efficiently. If you decide to keep recruitment efforts as an internal responsibility through an in-house recruiter, make sure processes are in place to minimize distractions so that recruiting efforts are their sole focus. Often times, internal recruiters can get pulled into the other realms of human resources for various reasons. If your company decides to outsource through recruitment firms, be sure you are comfortable with their recruiting process, expertise and the type of search being conducted. Consider initially hiring only one or two firms or recruiters if you are conducting a contingent search to source potential candidates. Some companies think that using more recruiters to find employees will result in a larger pool of qualified candidates to choose from. This is not always true. In most cases, firms use many of the same methodologies to identify candidates; therefore you essentially end up with multiple companies contacting the same candidates.  This creates marketplace confusion and sometimes lessens a candidate’s desire to pursue your opportunity. Keep in mind, candidate identification is only part of the process, the best recruiters are also able to access and influence candidates based on their deep relationships, industry knowledge and personal experience.  

5. Implement the most effective type of search. When using a recruitment firm, you should be able to match your position and budget with one of the firm’s search options.  For example, if a company is looking to attract exceptional executive level leaders while learning about passive executive talent across the nation, a retained search may be the best option.  If a company is looking to hire key individual contributors and/or maximize their candidate pool, perhaps a contingent search should be utilized.  Or, if hiring high quality, management level candidates is necessary, consider using a customized blend of retained and contingent search features.

How to Pick the Star Candidate

By: Iwalani De Los Santos

This summer, we encouraged candidates and job seekers to take actionable steps to sharpen their skills and gave advice on how to set themselves apart from the competition. But how can hiring managers best prepare themselves and their team to make the best selection for a new hire?

recruitmentRecruitment Strategy

First, define the job you are looking to fill. A well-crafted job description will serve as a great reference when you begin to sift through applicants. It will provide a clear outline for what you desire in a new hire as well as keep you focused on requirements and preferences. This is an advantageous occasion to critically analyze the duties, responsibilities, necessary skills and education that you seek in a new hire.  To go deeper than the basic job requirements, consider the individual attributes of a person who excelled in that role in the past. Contemplate and identify what kinds of individual strengths you need to add to your team.

Next, create a panel of team leaders, human resources personnel, or others whom you respect to have good, professional judgment. Assemble a team of people who represent your company’s values and are skilled at identifying those values in others. This team will provide support and balance throughout the hiring process. They may be integral to an interview panel or a post-interview meeting.

Tap into your Network

You may be more connected than you think! Utilize word-of-mouth to spread information about position availability to your industry contacts, employee referrals, social media outlets, and industry leaders. Even if someone within your company is not ready to shift into the open position, they may know of someone who is ready. Reach out to your college buddies or professional organization members who are in a similar industry and can help you source for potential candidates. Professional recruiters can offer a highly-specialized approach with their own industry contacts and pool of quality candidates.  Recruiters can be an invaluable resource in finding passive candidates who are not actively searching for a new role, but whose skills may be a perfect fit for your hiring need.

Interview Strategy

Ask behaviorally-based questions to get a sense of how the candidate would respond in different situations. Some of the best indicators of future behavior is shown through examples of how someone handled themselves in the past. Ask for specific examples of how they handled a confrontation in the workplace or how they solved a difficult challenge with a customer. Preparing questions ahead of time is just as important in this process as it is for a candidate to come to the interview with questions prepared to ask of you.

How do you determine if the interviewee is the right fit for the job? At this point in the process you should already have a good idea if a candidate is capable of executing the job duties and has the necessary skills to be effective. However, you still need to consider their presence and personality to see if they will be a good match for your existing team. A top-notch candidate will present themselves with confidence and will clearly convey their interest in the position. Assess whether they are comfortable discussing their strengths and have a keen knowledge of the expected performance. Now you need to tune into your sharp, discerning executive mind to accurately read the candidate for compatibility with your team.

There are many options and new approaches you can try as you make your hiring decisions. The best piece of advice we can give is to continue nurturing your professional relationships. As you continue hiring top-quality talent, you reinforce your team’s success and gain a reputation for acquiring the best.


How to Gain a Competitive Edge During Summer

By: Iwalani De Los Santos

In the coming weeks the World Cup will bring competition into the global spotlight and has us considering how individual coordination, energy, and teamwork can yield victory when it comes to a job search.  soccerCandidates come to us for résumé development, interview preparation, and ultimately how to score their desired career opportunity.  How can you be positioned ahead of the pack to score that goal?

Pre-Season Conditioning: Enhance Your Skills

Players expecting to make the cut for their nation’s World Cup team can’t take a break in their off-season.  Top competitors continue to hone their skills, advance their moves, and stay in peak physical condition.  Why shouldn’t you do the same?  How are you enhancing your skills?  How are you staying in peak condition?  Have you ever considered that you are in a very unique situation when searching for that next opportunity?  You may ask “how is that unique?” quite simply; YOU are the product that is being marketed.   As such, how are you enhancing yourself and your value?  Have you strengthened your resume, sharpened your interviewing skills, enrolled in continuing education or licensing courses?  Have you differentiated yourself by volunteering in the community?  These are simply a few suggestions that will help condition you to be the star-player when it’s time to compete.

Play Offense: You Have the Ball

Historically speaking, summer time is usually a slower period when it comes to interviewing and hiring.  Many companies bring on new hires in the spring or fall and most have already filled their openings with new college graduates before summer.  Don’t let this deter you from applying or sending your resume to a hiring authority.  In fact, you can get a jump on the competition while there are fewer contenders in the game.  Be proactive by submitting your resume, use social media to remain well connected, and work alongside an industry insider, when necessary.  After years of the ‘Great Recession’ hiring drought, employers are identifying and hiring great candidates, sometimes before posting roles on their career board.  If a hiring manager is looking for talent, make your moves count and be on offense.

Be a Midfielder: Expand Your Chances to Score a Goal

Soccer players always keep an eye out for any opportunity to score a goal.  They must capitalize on a variety of vantage points on the field for success.   Likewise, approach your job search with an open-mind, continuously update your perspective, and modernize your target job.  Have you considered widening your scope of possible relocation regions, exploring a lateral opportunity to broaden your skills and qualifications, or taking a calculated risk to go for that next position on the corporate ladder?  We believe it’s important to remember that you aren’t looking for a ‘job’; you are looking for the right career opportunity for your skill set and experience.  You never know, taking a shot from an unlikely angle could lead you to score a life changing opportunity for you and your family.

Teamwork: Strategize Your Strengths & Weaknesses

Every great team has their rising stars, veterans, support staff, and coaches.  Each part of the team must work together to develop their individual talents and provide support in areas that need improvement. How each team handles their unique combination of strengths and weaknesses will determine their success.  From our perspective as recruiters, it’s essentially  the same game plan: a candidate who seeks a new role should know their individual strengths, find out how to limit their weaknesses, network with “veterans” in your area of interest, and rely on “coaches” like Coleman Search Group (CSG) to help you navigate the field.

Set yourself apart from the pack and attract prospective companies by taking an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.  There are many resources and methods to assess your strengths and learn about your personal attributes.  Knowing how to advance a player’s strengths and how to reduce weakness creates a healthy balance for any winning team.  Once you assess your abilities, seek out professionals with a solid reputation in your business – they will provide sound advice to help you advance in your field.  Next, you may consider using a “coach” to help you prepare and provide strategies for your job search.  Coaching makes a difference and the right “coach” can help you succeed and give you a personalized training plan.  Last, but not least, lean on your family and friends as you consider new responsibilities, relocation options and your career dreams.  Carefully consider their feedback because they know you well and can be some of your biggest fans!

The Dog Days of Summer: Tips to enhance your Work-Life Balance

work life balanceSwimming pools, beach umbrellas, barbeques, and long-days spent soaking up the summer sun.  The Dog Days of Summer are upon us and though school is out until autumn, the learning should continue.  June, July, and August should become the months to make sure that balancing your work life and maintaining a mental equilibrium soar to the top of your to-do list.  While the effects of a high stress work environment and long hours are evident to each employee, employers are dedicating more time and energy to address employee-wellness issues.  According to a report on the importance of work-life balance by Business Improvement Architects, “Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the cost implications associated with over-worked employees such as: operating and productivity costs, absenteeism, punctuality, commitment and performance. [Consequently,] there are five main reasons why companies participate in work life balance programs: high return on investment, recruitment and retention of employees, legislation, costs, and union regulations.”

“Companies that have implemented work-life balance programs recognize that employee welfare affects the “bottom line” of the business.” – Business Improvement Architects

Here are some ways to develop your own homeostasis in your daily work-life balance:

A fresh perspective
It is human nature to veer off your chosen path, losing oneself to the many distractions of life.  We often have moments during a task or process where we stop and realize that we’ve been wasting valuable time instead of being efficient.  We also realize when we get so wrapped up in an effort that went poorly or a meeting that was far from perfect, we lose sight of the big picture.  As The Telegraph’s Hazel Davis points out, “You can’t control everything that happens in your life, so try and create processes, scheduling and timekeeping for those aspects you can control.  Then release the aspects you can’t control so they don’t make you crazy.”  Remembering to step back and objectively analyze a situation or series of events will help you maintain a clear perspective not only for yourself, but also for fellow employees.

Organize, Manage, and Prioritize
So much can be lost amongst the hustle and bustle of daily work.  What was once a tidy, well-oiled machine can quickly morph into the haystack of all haystacks.  Having a well-organized and properly maintained work area can have a positive impact on how you feel about your work place, being well structured also extends to your personal priorities.  The Mood Disorder Society of Canada suggests you “Identify your priorities and adjust your life to make time for things important to you.”  So often, we lose sight of what is important and instead of being excited for new challenges, we resent the burden of unwanted problems.

“Finding a manageable work-life balance is crucial for long-term business success.” –Hazel Davis, The Telegraph

Consider How You Spend Your Time
Ask yourself this question:  On a daily basis, how do you spend your time?  If you are putting in long hours at the office, are you giving the same focus and effort to your personal wellbeing at home?  Amy Rees  Anderson of Forbes explains that, “In all the talk about work/life balance we forget that part of balance is taking time for you.” Taking time for personal activities such as exercising, reading, or simply getting out of the house can do wonders for an overworked psyche.

Sleep.  Sleep.  And more sleep.  As time, energy, and inevitably stress increases, the need for extended periods of sleep rises as well.  Martin Bjergegaard of The Huffington Post writes “When you’re sleep deprived, research shows that you make the wrong calls, focus on the wrong tasks and fall into the trap of working longer but less efficiently.”  Remembering that you will be a more efficient and well-balanced employee with a steady amount of sleep can help you set aside the time, regardless of work-load, to achieved a well-rested body and mind.

It’s Not Who You Know. It’s Who We Know.

shutterstock_137793371If your organization lacks succession candidates or is struggling to identify up and coming talent, choosing the right recruiter is key. Coleman Search Group works closely with you to understand your organization and your immediate, mid-range and long range hiring objectives.

Having worked in and served the property/casualty industry for more than twenty-five years, we understand the talent gap you are facing. We can provide the right candidate(s) for you to interview, because sometimes it’s not who you know, it’s who we know.

We save you time. Our years of experience go to work for each of our clients. Before “networking” was a term in the 21st century, we’ve been doing just that, networking and relationship building. Establishing relationships with clients and candidates IS the key to providing you with a successful candidate pool, so you can select the most qualified person to better your company.

We’re in the age where succession planning is the key to future success of all companies. Maybe you’re not looking to fill a position in the immediate future, but your long term goals may indicate that a closer look at the talent pool now will better secure your company’s future for tomorrow.

We know who has the know-how. Our talent pool grows by the day because we’re constantly searching and networking to find talented, top-notch people. Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll put our experience to work for you. We connect the right talent with the right company to produce results quickly.

We’re Different. We’re Flexible To Meet Your Needs.

shutterstock_160713830Is your company looking to fill a position, but haven’t been able to identify the perfect candidate for the job? Not every company is the same, and consequently, not all needs are the same; Coleman Search Group understands that. We invite you to learn more about how we can help your organization identify the right candidate for your position.

We excel at resolving those hard to fill positions like Agribusiness Underwriting, and with our customized fee structure, we will meet both your talent needs while remaining cost effective. We’re different than other firms in that our search fee is based on a proprietary process rather than historical fee structures that can be disproportionate to your position requirements.

We are also flexible by offering more than one type of search option to better suit your needs. If your organization is looking to attract exceptional executive level leaders while learning about passive talent available across the nation, a Retained Search is the right option. A Retained Search is an exclusive contractual search agreement resulting in a thorough, exhaustive national search process and top-notch candidate presentations.

Time is money, and if hiring high quality, senior level candidates quickly is paramount, an Exclusive Search is the right option. An excellent alternative to a retained search, an Exclusive Search is a customized, engaged search agreement utilizing a consistent, rigorous process resulting in talented candidate placement.

If you are seeking line managers, individual contributors and/or wish to maximize your potential candidate pool, a Priority Search is the right option. A Priority Search is a contingent search utilizing sound, time-tested processes resulting in qualified candidate placement.

More than 25 property casualty insurance companies, including some of the world’s largest, utilize us to fill needed positions because they know that a candidate from CSG is the best candidate for their job. We are here to help you achieve the results you need in your search.