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The PIA Partnership Launches Winning@Talent Program

New Toolkit to Help Insurance Agencies Attract, Recruit and Retain Top Talent
March 18, 2020

WASHINGTON – The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) and its carrier council, The PIA Partnership, have unveiled a new agency hiring program for PIA members and agents appointed by carriers participating in The PIA Partnership.

The PIA Partnership’s new Winning@Talent program, available at www.winningattalent.com, is a 3-part toolkit featuring intuitive tools that take agency employers through a simple journey that starts with determining if their agency is well positioned to attract quality candidates and ends with a happy, productive employee contributing to the agency’s bottom line.

“Everyone in the insurance industry knows there is a looming talent shortage as baby boomers retire,” said PIA National President Dennis Kuhnke, CIC, CPIA, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “While there are programs in place to attract new entrants into our industry, few of those efforts are aimed at insurance agency personnel. As the sales arm of the independent agency channel, agents and carriers alike are affected when agencies have a talent shortage. PIA’s new program is going to reset the board by enabling agencies to demonstrate that they have a lot to offer people looking for a first, or a second, career.”

Part 1 of the Winning@Talent program, Are You Ready to Recruit?, focuses on helping agencies assess their employer brand so they can see their agency the way prospective employees see their agency. In this section, PIA helps agency owners and managers assess their employer brand, provides tools to help them build and strengthen their brand, and offers best practices on how to make their brand resonate across communication channels and social networks.

Part 2, Sourcing, Recruiting and Hiring, focuses on sourcing potential hiring prospects, recruiting them into your agency and ultimately hiring them. In this section, PIA offers resources and best practices to help agency owners and managers find, screen, interview and evaluate candidates in ways that will help them reduce their time to fill key positions, build their talent pipeline and meet long-term recruiting goals.

Part 3, Retaining Your Best Employees, focuses on how agencies can retain their best employees, so that hard won talent doesn’t walk out the door just as they begin to provide a return on the investment that their agency has made in them. This section provides best practices and resources that agency owners and managers can share with their employees to help those employees with their own career development.

“When most people think of hiring, they think of the actual process of placing an ad and then hiring the best applicant,” said 2020 PIA Partnership Chair Ryan Dawson of The Hanover. “As members of The PIA Partnership began designing Winning@Talent, we knew that many agencies have additional hills to climb in order to attract the best candidates and then to retain those employees once hired. That’s why we start by asking agency owners and managers to take a good, hard look at their agency so that they can see what outsiders see. Then we give them practical tips they can often implement quite easily in order to change the way potential employees view their agency. We call this their ‘employer brand.’ The best part is that by improving its employer brand, an agency will also improve the way it appears to potential clients.”

“Because employee retention is vital to all agencies, Winning@Talent places a great emphasis on post hire training and education as retention tools,” said PIA National CEO Mike Becker. “We have identified numerous carrier training programs that are available to agency personnel as well as designations they can be encouraged to pursue. Investing in advanced training and employee education beyond required CE are just a few of the suggestions we provide those looking to improve the retention of employees within their agency.”

“Probably the most exciting part of this program to me,” explained PIA National Senior Vice President of Products & Services Alexi Papandon, “is that we have created a program that tackles the agency talent shortage in such a comprehensive way, yet is extremely easy for any agency owner or manager to jump into and immediately find simple steps they can take that will have an immediate impact. Even better, many of the tips and tools we provide will help independent agencies improve in ways beyond their hiring process.”

The PIA Partnership is a joint effort of leading insurance carriers and PIA. PIA and the companies belonging to The PIA Partnership work together to develop hands-on tools for PIA members and agents appointed by Partnership carriers, specifically addressing areas of opportunity in the agency-company partnership.

The PIA Partnership was established in 1996. PIA would like to thank the PIA Partnership companies who helped to develop Winning@Talent: Encompass Insurance, Erie Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance, MetLife Auto & Home, National General Insurance, Progressive Insurance, Selective Insurance Group, State Auto Insurance Companies, The Hanover Insurance Group and West Bend Mutual Insurance Company. Learn more about The PIA Partnership at www.ThePIAPartnership.com.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA’s web address is www.pianet.com.

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