7 Insights on Talent in the Broker Channel

Brett Boadway, Chief Operating Officer, IBAO

We’ve made recruitment to the broker channel a high priority and a component of our strategic plan. As a result of this focus, we continue to learn and gather more information every day. Here are my top findings, based on comments from our members regarding talent recruitment to the broker channel:

1. Job Titles Matter

When conducting job fairs at the various Colleges across Ontario earlier this year, we observed some brokers offering positions with the title of Customer Service Representative (CSR) and others offering positions with the title, Account Manager. Comparing the two job descriptions, we noticed that the roles were interchangeable with job title being the only differentiator. College students were more likely to gravitate to the jobs offering the title of Account Manager and less likely to apply for the jobs with a title of CSR.  

2. Experienced Commercial Lines Brokers Are Hard To Find

Okay, that’s not going to be news to most of you. Yet we still get the calls from Members looking for the magical pool of Commercial Lines Broker unicorns that they can hire. Many brokerages are discovering that commercial lines talent must grow organically and an investment in training and in-house development is a more reliable path forward.

3. In-House Training Is Exploding in Popularity

In line with the above point—from RIBO licensing to commercial lines training, we’ve seen a surge of in-house training programs. There’s a myriad of materials available from IBAO Education that can be used to propel in-house training sessions.

4. Most Broker Launchpad Students Have Already Been Hired By Brokerages

About 60% of the students studying to obtain their RIBO Level I License in a Broker Launchpad course have already been hired by a brokerage. Many brokerages are now hiring unlicensed rock stars in their community for their soft skills and then training them in insurance. 

5. Career Switchers and Mature Students

Mature students looking for a second career make up the 40% who have yet to be hired in our Broker Launchpad courses. In fact, only 4% of our students are recent College/University graduates—consider this when looking for talent in your community. 

6. Most RIBO Brokers are Remote-Capable

Gallup (a global analytics and advice firm) defines Remote-Capable employees as those whose jobs can be done remotely at least part of the time. Like it or loath it, RIBO licensed brokers are remote-capable, which means that those who want to work remote or hybrid can find a job that supports this desire. Consider this when building your recruitment and retention strategies. 

7. You’re Not Alone—Everyone Is Looking For People

Rural or urban, remote or in-person, the urgency for good people is being felt by all types of brokerages. From my vantage point, the issue is not isolated so try to avoid feeling defeated and focus on what you can action. I’d recommend that retention of existing talent and knowledge transfer/mentorship/cross training from seasoned brokers to junior brokers be top priorities. 

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