Seasoned broker accuses recruiters of discrimination

Seasoned broker accuses recruiters of discrimination

Seasoned broker accuses recruiters of discrimination

A senior insurance broker, who has been looking for work for the past seven months, has accused recruitment agencies of discriminating against him because of his age.

Sydney-based Lester Levin has sent more than 200 job applications but, despite having more than 15 years’ experience in insurance broking, he hasn’t received a single offer of employment.

Last week, Insurance Business reported that some agencies are failing to find to the right candidates for the roles advertised.

Levin, 60, says candidates also have serious problems working with recruitment agencies. He suggests some have discriminated against him due to his age.

Levin left his most recent job at an insurance brokerage in Parramatta in March 2010 after two years in search of a new challenge, and to look after his mother.

He began seriously applying for job seven months ago through at least six major recruitment agencies, which Insurance Business has chosen not identify, but with little success. He believes age is a major factor.

With the average age of an insurance broker being in his mid-forties and a national retirement age of 65, recruiters could be turning away highly-skilled candidates in favour of applicants with little experience.

 “They would never say it but I cannot think what else it could be. I’m a senior so they automatically write me off. As far as the Financial Services Reforms go, I believe there is an element of age discrimination. “I may be 60 but I’m not dead yet. I have no plans to retire.”

Levin also believes he has missed out on roles because recruiters lack the appropriate skills to properly vet resumes.

“Brokers need tier one or tier two qualifications but most recruiters do not have expertise or experience in general insurance to identify whether the appropriate candidate meets the criteria. Under Financial Services Reforms, employers can. They should be the ones who vet resumes. They know what to look for.”

Over the past seven months, Levin has noticed a pattern forming: Not only are various recruitment agencies advertising the same jobs, once a position has been filled, it is re-advertised some weeks later, indicating that agencies are failing to source the appropriate candidates.

“Clearly recruiters don’t know how to get the right employee for the client. It’s all very frustrating. It seems brokers have a hard time getting decent applicants through the door but here I am ready, willing and able.

 “I’m a senior but I would start at the bottom and work my way to account executive. I can show them what I can do. Broking is in my DNA.”

14 Comments
  • Broker in Melbourne 10/10/2013 10:21:54 AM
    The difficultly I find here is that it has not been reported by either this publication, nor the broker Mr Levin the number of roles the recruiters have put him forward for.
    Unfortunately, within the recruitment of employees there is an additional layer of an employer - who tends to have quite the ultimate say more frequently than a recruiter. If there is a senior person applying for more junior roles, there comes in the question of how long is that person intending on staying in that role? I do not mean disrespect, but this is definitely a thought process of many employers - the longevity of a placement.
    Secondly, there are some very speciliased recruitment agencies out there - with ex insurance people working within the recruitment side of their businesses, wh would know as well as any broker the technical requirements.
    And finally - is the job market not rather tricksy at the moment? with downturn everywhere, there are many people up for roles, qualified or not.
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  • Former International Broker 10/10/2013 10:27:04 AM
    I don't know Lester or his circumstances but I was told whilst employed by an international that "the gold dust in the place was the 25-30's" and that at 52, I was "past it". Needless to say I moved on to somewhere where experience was a bonus not a set back. The industry seems to be moving toward a call center model where solid technical knowledge is not required. More fool them.
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  • Employing Broker 10/10/2013 10:47:02 AM
    I must say I am highly dissappointed in the recruitment agancies. I currently have 3 positions vacant - assistant brokers. You would think recruitment agencies would be out there looking. But my feeling is they sit on their backsides and wait for prospects to come in the door. They definately do not earn their 10 or 15 or higher percentage. I am about to offer 2 of the persons I interviewed and reference checked positions. Recuitment Agencies get your acts together. Of 9 interviews only 1 was from an agency!
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