By Kellie Lail
Between the current state of unemployment and the competitive hiring market, you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to have the most successful hiring experience possible. There are many factors that go into hiring including making sure you have accurate expectations for things like the timeline of making hires, how much it costs to make a hire, how much it costs when you make the wrong hiring decision, how much you should dedicate to a sponsorship budget, what salary you’ll offer your candidates, and how and where you expect them to work. These things are just the beginning. It can be incredibly overwhelming and even frustrating when searching for the right candidate, but having the right information to point you in the right direction can make all the difference.
Today we are going to introduce you to a few things that you should be considering in the first steps of your hiring process: setting expectations and building an ad with a high quality score.
Knowing What You’re Looking For
While the job ad itself is a very important part of your hiring strategy, the most important step in finding a good employee is knowing what you are looking for. This means starting out by identifying the role that you need more help with. If you have multiple seats open in your office, determine what specific roles you need. Account Managers, Customer Service Representatives, Insurance Sales Reps, all of the above? Each ad that you post should be direct and specific. You should know what the role is that you are looking to fill, what exact job responsibilities your employee will have, and what your absolutely non-negotiable requirements are.
Once you have identified these things, you’re ready to start to build your ad. Remember, I did say that the ad itself is very important when it comes to hiring. You are using your job ad to tell candidates a story, showing them exactly what you are looking for in a new employee. You want to be clear about your expectations and what you will offer in return to have the best chance of attracting the unicorn that you are looking for. This means making sure you are transparent about salary and the benefits that you offer.
When it comes to salary transparency, you want to make sure that you are giving candidates the best idea possible of what they can expect to bring home in their first year with your agency, while making sure you are meeting the job board guidelines. For example, Indeed requires that the high end of your salary be no more than 1.5x the low end of the salary. That means you can’t list an ad with a salary from $30,000-$100,000 because that just isn’t specific enough. Identify your base salary and identify an average, minimum commission rate for your current employees to find a good range, no more than about a $20,000 difference from low to high, to show candidates what you think is a realistic salary. Don’t forget to use the benefits section to show them how they can get from the low end to the high end by noting the position is base salary plus commission, or base salary based on experience!
As I’m sure you already know, the current hiring market is tough. We continue to slowly creep closer to the pre-pandemic, record low unemployment rate each month, leading us to a candidate-controlled job market. This means to have the best chance at attracting your ideal candidates, your ad needs more than just a good quality score (we’ll talk about that in a moment), but your ad needs to be competitive.
To be competitive, you first need to know what your personal hiring budget is. Think about how much time it will take to fill the seat with the right candidate, how much you might need to sponsor the ad to get the best visibility on the boards, and how much it will cost to train the right candidate and get them up and running. This can vary based on the requirements you are looking for. If you want a licensed candidate with 2+ years of insurance experience, you’re going to have to pay them a salary that is significantly higher than the competition around you to give you the best chance of snagging that experience. It also takes an average of 16 weeks or more to find a licensed candidate in the current market. If you hope to speed that time frame up at all, you’re going to have to sponsor and make sure you are dedicating time every single day to your recruiting efforts. On the flip side, if you’re willing to train someone and willing to help them get their license, consider how much the licensing fees and training courses are. You’ll have to factor this into your hiring budget if you offer things like licensing assistance or reimbursement.
Remember, hiring is expensive, but what’s even more expensive is making the wrong hiring decision. Knowing exactly what you are looking for and making that clear in your job ad is going to give you the best chance of finding the right candidate the first time.
When you’re looking to add a new employee to your team, you want to make sure you’re showing off all of the great things you have to offer and getting your ad in front of the best candidates possible. But how do you know you’re giving your ad the best odds of showing up in your unicorn’s search results? Quality Score.
So what is the Quality Score of an Ad, and why is it important? Quality Score is a ranking given to your ad on a scale from 1-10, signaling how user friendly your ad is for candidates and how likely it is to perform well on the boards. It’s very simple, the higher your Quality Score, the more people will see your ad, and the better chance you have of finding your perfect new employee.
The most important things to remember when thinking about Quality Score are showing off the things you have to offer, using the right keywords, and ensuring your ad is relevant.This all comes down to building your ad with the keywords candidates are searching for while ensuring that you’re accurately representing the position.You should be ensuring that the keywords you use in your ad are specific and relevant.
To improve your Quality Score you want to make sure that you are sprinkling your keywords throughout the job ad. For example, if your title is Insurance Sales Representative, your job description should start by stating that you are looking for “a Full-Time Remote Insurance Sales Representative” You also want to repeat these keywords at least three times in the ad, so try saying “As a Full-Time Remote Sales Representative you will be…” “Join our team as a Remote Insurance Sales Representative today.”
When it comes to including more searchable keywords in your ad, the Benefits section is your best friend. Think about it this way, candidates aren’t just searching for the jobs they want, they’re also searching for the things they want to get from their jobs. This is where your benefits come in handy for including keywords. Make sure you’re including everything you offer from Base Salary plus Commissions, to Bonuses, Weekends Off, Supplemental Insurance, 401k, and everything in between. Candidates are searching for specific benefits when they are looking for jobs, and they’ll never know you offer something if it isn’t listed in your job ad. If you need a little bit of inspiration when it comes to formulating your perfect benefits section, check out this article for some helpful tips.
Don’t forget about the importance of offering Remote work. Remember when I said you need to make sure your ad is relevant? This means offering a Fully Remote position. Over 85% of candidates are looking for a remote opportunity. If you don’t offer Remote, you’re immediately excluding yourself from 85% of potential future employees.
If you aren’t quite ready to offer fully remote, consider work from home flexibility to ease into it and test the waters. Check out this interview with one of our founders and former Allstate agent Kevin Mlynarek to hear more about the ways his view of remote work has changed.