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Monica Kielawa, Program Specialist, Talent Attraction and Acquisition
It’s not easy to be the Number One Recruiter at Combined Insurance! So when Mallory did just that two years in a row, we had to find out what drives her to be so successful. We learned a lot from Mallory in a recent Q&A about how she gets the job done, and about what she looks for in a potential Combined Insurance Agent.
Monica: Tell us a little bit about your past experience before Combined Insurance. Why did you decide to be a recruiter?
Mallory: Before coming to Combined, I was approached at my local church about a recruiting internship with another supplemental insurance company. At the time, I decided I may be a good fit, and before long I had a full time position and was doing very well. I felt fueled by my passion for the product, supplemental insurance, because I know it helps people in their time of need. I was also driven to work hard for financial security having learned the value of hard work from the good example of my parents.
Monica: Why do you choose to work at Combined Insurance?
Mallory: Combined appreciates its employees, offers products that can make a real difference in people’s lives and has a great company culture with a rich history. The company offers wonderful incentives like trips, bonuses and awards. My career here allows me to provide for my daughter, Zara. I had the opportunity to finish college and buy a house, and I can afford sending my daughter to private school.
Monica: Tell us a little bit about recruiting in the insurance industry.
Mallory: It’s just like sales! It’s clearly a numbers game. Not everyone you talk to is interested in starting an insurance career. You have to be able to effectively communicate the advantages to working in the supplemental insurance industry. For example, it’s important to help candidates understand that the insurance industry is extremely stable-as long as people have risk they will need insurance.
Monica: How do you present job opportunities to different generations? (i.e. Millennial and Baby Boomer job seekers)
Mallory: I mold my discussion to showcase different values in the career. Opportunities to Millennials may be different to those of Baby Boomers. We have so much to offer here at Combined, you just have to know who your audience is. When I interview someone, I really have to dig in and talk to them as authentically as possible. That way I can effectively see what they are looking for and can figure out if they could be a good match.
Monica: When you search for potential candidates outside of the insurance industry, is there a certain profession or industry you focus on?
Mallory: Teachers, coaches, and former athletes are usually excellent candidates. They are accustomed to educating students. As an agent at Combined they would be educating potential customers on why it’s important to fill the gaps in their major medical insurance coverage. Coaches and former athletes are used to a competitive environment, and Combined likes to award strong performance with a variety of incentives (like trips, bonuses, awards and incentive programs).
Monica: What do you think is the biggest advantages of working at Combined Insurance?
Mallory: Training is hands down what sets us apart from other organizations. The fact that we make the initial investment in our new-hires is a testament to how committed we are to helping them be successful. I came from a contract opportunity and not nearly enough was invested there in the development of new employees.
Monica: Lastly, when you are speaking to someone who is new to the insurance industry, what would you say is the biggest hurdle that they have to overcome in their own minds?
Mallory: I think the biggest hurdle is the fact that most of our sales positions are 100% uncapped commission.
Monica: How do you overcome this objection with candidates?
Mallory: I ask them if they have an entrepreneurial spirit. If I can succeed as a single mother, then in my opinion anyone who has the desire, skills, work ethic and drive can succeed. As a recruiter, you are your own boss. You have the flexibility to make your own schedule. We know our system works. If you are willing to follow it and work hard, you will succeed.
Thank you to Mallory for sharing these great insights with us and with our potential candidates. To learn more, check out our open positions today.
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Combined Insurance Company of America (Chicago, IL Illinois) is a leading provider of individual supplemental accident, disability, health, and life insurance products and a Chubb company. With a tradition of nearly 100 years of success, we have an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau and are one of Ward’s Top 50® Performing Life-Health Insurance Companies. Combined Insurance is also the number one Military Friendly® Employer in the over $1B revenue category for 2019 by VIQTORY. This is the company’s eighth consecutive year on the top 10 list and fifth consecutive year in the top 5—Combined Insurance was previously named the number one Military Friendly® Employer in the nation for 2015 and 2016. In New York, products are underwritten by Combined Life Insurance Company of New York (Latham, NY).
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