The insurance industry is full of great jobs. Jobs in claims, underwriting, loss control, customer service, actuarial, technology and many other areas are available. Today, the insurance industry employs more people than it has ever had in its past history (2,594,400 - BLS May 2016). With the retiring workforce (average age of an insurance worker is 57 years old) you would think hiring in the insurance industry would be fast and furious.
So why is it that the number one complaint from insurance candidates who apply to jobs is that they never hear back from the employer. To find out, we surveyed insurance employers and used our internal technology to try to uncover some answers that should help you understand why this may be happening.
Insurance companies come in all sizes and hiring styles. Smaller companies allow you to send your resume directly to the company via email. Larger companies use applicant tracking systems that require you to log in, create a profile, answer a bunch of questions and then submit your resume. This process could take up to an hour to complete and must be repeated at each company that has an ATS. If you apply directly, your resume is very important to the human resource department. If you apply through an ATS, the way you answer questions is also very important because it is your first impression. (Read about the resume and ATS issues here.) Job seekers in our survey were very clear that the application process is cumbersome and in some cases, they don’t even know if their application/resume even was ever reviewed.
Employers want to hire for their open positions. In our survey, we asked them why they don’t get back with all the job seekers that apply to their open positions and this is what we found out:
- You are not qualified
On average, over 70% of the candidates that apply to their open job are not qualified. Our internal matching technology found the same thing. Job seekers apply to jobs they think they can do but their resume doesn’t have the firepower needed to get the interview. If you are in claims and want to move to an underwriting trainee position, applying with your claims resume will not work unless it is an internal move and you can talk directly to the human resource department. Employers stated that many of the resumes they receive for any of their jobs at all levels are not even close to what they are looking for and therefore they will not contact the job seeker.
- Too Many Applicants
Employers stated they don’t have the time to get back to every applicant. Once they get a few strong candidates for their job, they begin the interview process. Most of the time, this may take between two and four weeks. If the job stays posted and more people apply, they have a very hard time keeping up with the influx of candidates if they feel they have enough already. Most employers say they try to get back with everyone, but it may take up to two months before they do. Lack of time and internal resources are the culprit.
- Someone May Already Be Lined Up For The Job
It’s the insurance industry. Many employers have to post jobs even if they have someone lined up for the position so it is possible a few of the jobs you apply to fall into this category. There is also a lack of communication in some instances between the human resource department and the hiring manager. The hiring manager may have a person they are going to hire at the same time the human resource department is recruiting. Finally, employers mentioned that some positions get put on hold and many of the job seekers are never notified.
As a job seeker, the big takeaway is that many factors decide if you get an interview are completely out of your hands. The thing that you can control is to make sure your resume is optimized. Also, knowing someone in the company to help you get noticed is still (and always has been) a great strategy.