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Read the January cover story, “The Graying of America: Can Insurance Cope?” As agent and brokers grapple with the impending hiring challenge, consultants and associations are working on plans to address the problem. AA&B spoke with Bill Pierson, executive director of the IIABA InVEST program; Shirley Lukens, best practices consultant at Reagan Consulting; and Diane Fowler, executive director, PIA of Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York about the search for talent.

AA&B: What do agents and brokers tell you about recruitment and retention?

Bill Pierson

Pierson: Large agents and brokers see the problem more clearly than smaller agents because, like most carriers, when you have several hundred or more employees, you can more easily see the impact of attrition. We say the average agency has a staff of about 14 people and with a normal rate of attrition will lose one or two people about every 18 months–so this doesn’t seem like a hiring crisis. But if agents were to look at the combined numbers of their local association, for example, they’d find they their local insurance community employs hundreds of people. Looking at attrition that way, hiring becomes much more of a critical issue. With baby boomers retiring, agents are starting to see that the numbers are bleak; we will lose a million people over the next 10 years.

Shirley Lukens

Lukens: Our Best Practices agencies and our other clients are well aware of the problem and are proactively addressing the problem.

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