Keeping Knowledge and Experience On the Job
By Sharon Emek, Ph.D.
One of the largest issues companies face right now is brain drain – with over 70 million baby boomers retiring, their expertise, skills and relationships are about to disappear. For insurance agencies/brokerages, that loss could mean the difference between remaining competitive and losing business.
Often, the exit of a key employee comes as a surprise. Where agencies/brokerages need months to prepare for the transition, they’re often given mere weeks. How can an agency/brokerage find the talent they need today to replace the decades of experience walking out the door?
Fortunately for insurance agencies/brokerages, the answer is simple. Remote workers with the necessary experience are available, and they can be a smart, affordable and productive alternative to hiring and training a new employee.
How productive are remote workers? A study conducted by Stanford University professor Nicholas Bloom, graduate student James Liang and his company Ctrip (a Chinese travel website) revealed that the remote workers studied felt more productive and were more productive (by 13 percent) than their in-house counterparts. They were also working longer – 9.5 percent longer – than office-based employees. Not only that, employees working remotely were happier and less likely by half to leave their employer.
For agencies and brokerages looking to supplement their workforce, the benefits of remote workers are multiple. Some of the benefits your firm can expect to acquire are:
- Unlimited talent pool. Why limit your employee search to just your immediate area? The remote workforce is teeming with talent, and their experience could be your biggest asset. Your best employee could be 300 miles away.
- Specialization. No matter where you’re located, you can source the exact skills you need all within the remote workforce. Many remote workers are career veterans who are looking to supplement their retirement income.
- Measurable results. In a distraction-free environment, your remote workers can produce at a level that exceeds expectations. Plus, results are easier to evaluate since your remote worker is communicating regularly.
- Better communication. In fact, remote workers are more connected and less likely to miss your email or phone call due to other distractions. Because remote workers use chat, Skype and other online communication tools, you’re more likely to reach them quickly.
- Fewer days lost. Remote workers are used to scheduling their work time, which means you get fully engaged workers who are ready to work when they turn on their monitors.
- Mentoring potential. A remote worker with the experience you’re looking for can also be tapped for training and mentoring opportunities, transferring valuable knowledge, networking contacts, and on-the-job skills that help new employees become more productive more quickly.
- No overhead. You’re not paying benefits, sick time or disability with a remote worker. Remote talent is contracted help – not an employee. There’s no overhead, no onsite risks, and no training beyond simply familiarizing them with your systems and process.
When looking for talented, experienced workers who can deliver beyond expectations, consider the benefits that a remote worker can bring to your company. Today’s remote workforce is brimming with skilled professionals who can help redefine what success is in your business.
WAHVE is a proud Applied Client Network benefit partner. If you, a friend or an associate are getting ready to retire or if you are a hiring manager, check out wahve.com and learn more about retiring the WAHVE way.
About the author
Sharon Emek, Ph.D., CIC, is the CEO and founder of Work At Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE), an innovative contract staffing talent solution. WAHVE matches retiring insurance professionals leaving the regular workforce to insurance firms to meet their full- or part-time staffing needs. Insurance firms benefit by improving productivity and lowering costs. WAHVE’s unique qualifying process and technology platform match the right “pretirees” wherever they may live to the needs of insurance agencies/brokerages wherever they are located.
WAHVE bridges the gap between the staffing needs of insurance agencies/brokerages and seasoned professionals’ “work-life” balance preferences as they phase into retirement.