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  • Rob Houghton

Salaries Come Roaring Back

Just a short note this month regarding the flip-flopping of hiring demand from Employee Benefits (Group Health & Welfare) to Commercial that took place in the first six months of this year continuing a trend that started a year ago.


Strangely enough, in the WDC metro region, compensation levels for commercial producers are now exceeding those of their employee benefits contemporaries according to our own placement information gathered since the beginning of this year.


This is a remarkable turnaround thinking back to just over a year ago when most left the side of the business for dead.


Well, a lot has changed in a year – most notably, the commercial market has hardened considerably while more and more uncertainty hangs over the group health & welfare market due to the Affordable Care Act and the detrimental effect it is having on the 1 – 50 employee life market segment size for brokers.


Whereas about a year ago, our search assignments were more employee benefits versus commercial now our commercial search assignments are now 5:1 over employee benefits search assignments.  Amazing.


Interestingly, while compensation levels for commercial producers have increased 12.09% for those candidates placed with more than two years’ experience, compensation levels for CSRs and account managers have stayed about the same.  Our clients are clearly investing in sales staff right now to take advantage of opportunities in the hardening market.


Since we can remember, compensation levels for employee benefits producers actually decreased since January 1, 2013.  We will be monitoring this trend through the rest of the year.  The consensus amongst our clients is that uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act is depressing demand for producers in this sector, particularly, for those focused on the small group segment.


We will continue to monitor the situation throughout the remainder of 2013.


As always, we welcome your feedback.


Rob Houghton

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