Thursday, October 24, 2013

Current Insurance Jobs

Capstone Search Group works on a national basis exclusively within the insurance industry. Our professionals work across all lines of coverage and across all disciplines.

Commercial Lines Underwriting Manager

Brief Description:
For over a 100 years our client has come to stand for excellence through steady growth and financial stability. They have been rated A (Excellent) or better by A.M. Best. Their specialty division focuses on market segments and situations many other carriers don’t want to insure. These include child care centers, beauty salons, fitness centers, YMCAs, and pest control companies. This specialty division currently offers an opportunity to join their underwriting team in a leadership position.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Insurance or related field
  • Completion of Associate in Underwriting program and CPCU designation
  • 5 to7 or more years of experience in commercial middle market underwriting
  • 2 to 3 or more years in underwriting leadership with proven leadership skills, with the ability to coach, mentor and develop others
  • Analytical skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills

Capstone Insurance Search Group is a search firm dedicated to the insurance industry. We work nationally with expertise that spans top executives, middle management and technical level positions. We can provide assistance with a variety of product lines to include Property and Casualty, Life, Health, Disability, Annuity, Employee Benefits and Pension. Our services exclusive to the insurance industry: Traditional Contingency solutions, Contract Employees solutions, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Customized Retained solutions. We will provide you with a service that is of the highest degree of confidentiality, professionalism and integrity.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What is the Salary Range for this Position?

“What’s the salary range for this position? You won't tell me the top amount they're willing to offer?”

I've been doing this for a very long time, here is the reality of the scenario.  Some companies have very specific ranges. Some companies have a rough idea. Some companies simply let the market tell them what they should be paying for a job. Some companies ask me to help them arrive at a fair range. Some companies will flex to a degree on what they are targeting for the hire. So as you can see there are numerous scenarios. No two situations are exactly the same.

It always depends on a person’s experience and how directly applicable it is to a company’s needs. Is the person more junior in experience? Is the person more senior in experience? How does the person’s experience compare to other people already on staff?  And how is internal equity kept in line?

So there is never a real easy answer as there are so many variables. In the many years of doing this, my opinion of the best approach is to be certain that a company’s ideal number for the hire and a candidate’s ideal number on what they’d expect are in line. Do they have to be spot on? No. Sometimes there is flexibility on the company’s end, sometimes there is flexibility on the candidate’s end. Sometimes if the company feels the candidate is the person they want and the candidate feels that this is the opportunity for them there are creative ways of bridging possible gaps as well.

Last but not least, it is human tendency to always gravitate towards the top of a stated salary range. It never fails. The moment a range is thrown out in conversation the candidate will gravitate towards the top number. Right or wrong, consciously or unconsciously, I've seen it happen time and time again where a recruiter will tell a candidate a range, $65,000 to $80,000 for example, and when the offer comes and it is at $70,000 the candidate protests, “Hey Mr. Recruiter, you told me the job paid $80,000!”

The best way to avoid this, just be certain the candidate’s expectations and the company’s expectations fall within the “okay place.”

The bottom line:  If I do my job correctly and all parties are forthcoming with information, then the hiring manager has an idea where they want to hire in, and the candidate has an expectation of where they need to be.  Based on what I know from the candidate and from the hiring manager, if the situation were to move in a positive direction the candidate’s expectation will be met.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Will My Age Hurt Me in Landing a Job?

Yesterday I overheard one of my colleagues speaking with a candidate about their resume. He asks why they didn't include any dates of employment. The response from the candidate was that he was instructed to leave dates off in an attempt to mask his age.

Frequently I’m asked the question by candidates, “Do you think my age will hurt me?”

The reality is that there will always be age discrimination in hiring decisions. It’s is a shame, but there will always be those making hiring decisions using age as a decision-making factor in their process. That’s just never going to change. However, I truly believe the majority of hiring managers do the right thing and base their decisions strictly on skills and applicable experiences as well as other factors, but do not allow age to enter into their selection.

In fact I have to say that I have seen more of my clients specifically saying that they are looking for someone with seasoning. And I believe that is true because companies are doing more with less and they need an impact player immediately as they don’t have the luxury of time to train someone.  Budgets are tight and every hire has to make a difference as quickly as possible.

So what do you do with the resume? Don’t leave off dates. If you do, you will either be eliminated because you left them off, or you will be asked to include them on a revised resume. Instead simply include your last 10 to 15 years of experience and then include a section entitled previous work history to include…..and leave dates out in that section and just summarize the experience. Or you could even state, “Previous employment provided upon request.”

50 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 30 right?  Attitude and outlook play a huge part in a person’s perceived age. Other than nasty tricks mother nature plays on us, age to a degree is just a number. I often hear from people that they are a young “whatever the number may be.”  And I believe this as I feel the same about myself. I’d put my energy and stamina against any 20 something.  I start my day at 3:30AM and end it only when I have finished what I set out to do that day. People tell me I look ten years or more younger than I am. I’m no Dick Clark freak of nature so I know plenty of other folks out there are just like me.

So while age discrimination may never disappear, in this market I feel as though it is less of a factor than in years past. Instead it’s not about that for many job seekers. It’s not about you. It’s about the job market. Keep positive and stay focused. Do something every day that moves you towards your goal.