The number of independent agents and brokers has continued to grow, but an increased expectation of knowledge of the Affordable Care Act may hamper some hiring decisions going forward.
According to a new analysis from WANTED Analytics, hiring within the insurance sector will be difficult in the first few years of the advent of Obamacare, despite the relative lack of positions centered on knowledge of the ACA.
“Since the Affordable Care Act is new, employers are likely to experience difficulties finding candidates that meet their job requirements and may need to find innovative ways to fill jobs working with the ACA,” writes WANTED’s Abby Lombardi.
Lombardi noted that the number of insurance job openings at the US increased about 16%, though only about 100 of those new positions include any specific requirements with regard to knowledge of the ACA. Despite the low numbers, WANTED concludes that jobs in management analytics, as well as positions as sales agents and customer services representatives will need to have intimate knowledge of the ACA and experience working with healthcare exchange websites in order to be successful.
Unfortunately, there is a “very small pool of candidates” currently in the US qualified to answer that call For example, WANTED estimates that only about 100 people working in management analyst positions have the required skills. That may help to explain why management analyst jobs at insurance companies stay online for an average seven weeks.
The stakes in choosing the right employee are especially high for independent agencies. According to a November 2012 study from the Center for American Progress, the cost of firing and hiring a new employee earning less than $75,000—a range that includes many insurance producers—was 20% of that position’s salary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for insurance agents was $47,450 in 2011. That means replacing the average employee would cost an insurance agency roughly $9,490.
And unfortunately, new employees don’t always make up for those high turnover costs. According to a MarshBerry Analytics survey, 52% of employees terminated in 2012 were also hired in the previous three years.
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