The economy seems to be slowly recovering, as demonstrated by an almost 50% jump in July hiring versus June. Like most Farmers agents, you’re developing a plan for growth, but a host of questions remain. First and foremost might be: Do I need to hire new staff and if so, when? Or, as importantly— how can I afford to pay new hires if they are not contributing to the growth of my agency for awhile?
Here are a few tips from your Credit Union and industry experts to help smooth the way.
Despite the best laid plans, one of the biggest barriers to hiring is finding the funds to pay new staff, especially during the time they are training and learning how to contribute to your agency’s bottom line. Our Agency Staffing Loan can help. Its low cost –about $200 a month for every $10,000 borrowed at our lowest rate—means your new hires will virtually pay for themselves almost immediately. And, with a 90-day payment deferral this loan won’t cost you anything until your new hire starts producing.
After you’ve worked out how to afford incremental staffing—you’d think securing top talent would be easy during the COVID recession. But, getting the right people is rarely simple. To attract the best, take advantage of social media to network with your contacts, solicit referrals and check out hiring leads. Visit industry job boards too.
Also think about an employee referral program: A small bonus could incentivize your own employees to use their networks to find quality referrals. Once you’ve hired and onboarded, you need to keep producers engaged. Lack of motivation is a common reason for leaving quickly—and wastes the precious time and effort invested in getting them up to speed. Nearly a third (31%) of employees leave their jobs within the first six months. To avoid this scenario, keep leads flowing in. This not only generates revenue, but keeps producers fresh and engaged.
Many agents and staff have already returned to the office at least in part. There are many sources of guidance about how to open safely, so we will not repeat most of these. But a couple of areas are sometimes overlooked. Not only will your workplace change in terms of hygiene measures–your office culture will need to change too. This means thinking hard about “normal” routine. Like attitudes to minor sickness. It’s common for people to come to work with a cold or even flu to show commitment or avoid using up a sick day. This mentality can put the team and their families in jeopardy. Reinforce the risk and keep people out of the office with fever, cough, or sore throat. Also, make sure to model the appropriate behavior yourself by not going to the office when sick!
Also, don’t just tell people to socially distance. Make it easy for them to do this. Remove furniture from common spaces, and ask your team not to eat lunch or gather in common areas. Eating lunch at their desk and not in the breakroom may seem antisocial—but it is actually a kindness given the risks.
In changing and uncertain times – good advice and support can be priceless. Your Credit Union family is here to support and advise, and our one mission is seeing you succeed. Don’t be a stranger and be sure to check in with a business consultant at any time for ways to bring your plans to life quickly and cost-effectively.