Back to the Future
When it’s difficult to recruit
and retain top talent, change how you conduct the business of
Are you losing sleep due to your firm’s persistent,
uninspired and ultimately unproductive efforts to hire and
retain seasoned, savvy and successful professionals? Does your
firm tirelessly seek, but can’t recruit, those bright
individuals able to hit the ground running and show almost
immediate positive results? Join the crowd. It’s an
Many firms with positions to fill—both sales and
non-sales—are in the same boat as you. All are looking
for a lifeline. Let me throw you one. But first, acknowledge
that the industry’s labor pool of experienced
professionals is at best limited and at worst diminishing.
Next, realize that clever firms are going back to basics to
achieve the staffing future they envision. You can do the same.
Instead of seeking the relatively few (and therefore
competitively courted) mid-career individuals looking for a new
position, turn back the clock and pursue those just starting
out. It won’t necessarily be easy. You’ll need to
change your hiring processes, tap into new recruitment sources,
increase your marketing efforts, set up training programs and
focus on developing long-term relationships. But if it is done
correctly, this work will result in your very own, pre-trained,
eager-to-get-started, unlimited labor pool.
Changing the way you recruit, by making connections early to
groom students for future professional positions, may seem
daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. Help is
here. In direct response to strong, member-firm feedback that
staffing and human capital issues are primary concerns now and
for the foreseeable future, in late 2006 The Council
commissioned the development of an industry-specific manual to
offer guidance to firms that are interested in tapping into new
and unlimited recruitment resources. Specifically, the manual
addresses the why, the how and the where of recruiting,
training and hiring the vast number of eager, educated and
emerging pre-professionals at the nation’s colleges and
The 2008 Guide to Developing and
Implementing an Effective Intern Program is hot off the
presses and ready for full distribution this month. Member
firms that attended the Employee Benefits Leadership Forum in
May received an advance copy of the manual and the opportunity
to attend an Executive Forum session on the program and program
implementation. Your firm’s copy of the guide may already
have arrived, and our Web-based version is now online for easy
reference at www.ciab.com.
The guide is both a comprehensive learning tool and an
implementation manual. It helps you think through the benefits
of an intern program—the benefits to you as the employer,
as well as benefits to the intern, to the learning institution
and to the future of our industry. The guide contains
step-by-step processes to achieve the results you desire,
including conducting a needs analysis and developing internship
goals and objectives, compensation and pay structure, and
program cost considerations. Implementation guidelines include
details on intern sourcing and recruitment, collaborating with
universities, marketing your firm and your intern position,
interviewing and selecting the right candidate.
The guide is a full-spectrum program that doesn’t stop
with the hire. It leads you through intern job and organization
orientation, managing the young intern, and evaluating the
success of the internship as it relates to increased hiring and
retention. It offers guidance on maintaining contact and
re-engaging exceptional interns.
Forms and templates are also included, such as sample intern
job descriptions and college-ready job postings, an orientation
checklist and training schedule, and intern evaluation forms.
The Resources section contains additional supportive
information. A listing of select colleges and universities with
risk management and insurance majors; the contact information,
job posting sites and links to those schools; sample rates of
pay; and online recruitment resources are included.
The increasing difficulty in industry recruiting and hiring,
the challenges of retaining key employees in a highly
competitive environment, and the associated needs to expand our
labor pool and get the word out that our industry offers both
challenging and lucrative career options necessitate a change
in how we conduct the business of staffing. Go back to basics
to ensure a profitable future with The Council’s 2008 Guide to Developing and Implementing an
Effective Intern Program. For more information and
support, contact me.
Kramer, an HR consultant, is a contributing writer.