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  • Rob Houghton

Three Big Surprises for WDC Insurance in 2021

There are three things that have taken owners and operators of DMV Insurance brokerages by

complete surprise just since the beginning of this year:


1. Salaries: DMV Insurance compensation levels have gone through the roof since the beginning of this year. We are putting the finishing touches on our DMV Insurance Annual Salary Report and we thought there was a mistake when my data guy handed me the report. The final numbers are not in, but it looks like compensation levels are up over last year about 15% for those switching jobs to another firm.


For those sticking it out with their existing employers, well…they are getting restless. Very restless. For the first time in many years, commercial lines professionals, in particular, are finally getting the annual increases they deserve.


2. Severe Talent Shortage: I have talked about the, “War on Talent” in the past, but this year, the shortage of talent is extraordinary. It is an insanely candidate-driven market now. There are a couple of drivers that I see:

a. Homeschooling: professionals are departing the workforce in large numbers to return home to provide schooling to their children. A lot of people are just fed up with the recent politicization of our public school system. Nationwide, the number is around 3 million leaving their jobs for home-schooling.

b. Early Retirement: Many pre-retirement professionals have seen their investment portfolios and real estate holdings (their home) skyrocket with inflation and are feeling confident enough now to retire early. I am seeing this a lot in that 50 – 60 year old segment. This particularly hits the insurance industry hard because of the older age demographic that is present in the insurance industry.

c. COVID Disabilities: I am seeing many professionals take long leaves of absences to take care of close family members hit with long term disabilities related to COVID. Yes. COVID is real.


3. Remote Work: This is the most fascinating dynamic in the marketplace. NEWS FLASH: your employees are NOT returning to your office to fight the daily commute and work full-time. Well…at least the A+ players are not.


I have written and podcasted about this until red in the face, but the clients that I represent that embrace remote work are ravaging their competition that is forcing their staff back to the office. Ravaging. I have taken seven senior professionals away from one such organization and now they all work for one client of mine.


What a turn of events for the balance of power between these two family-owned competitors. The easiest recruitments I ever made. They didn’t walk out on their last day. They ran.


I am not talking about newbies who have to be trained. I am talking about seasoned professionals who can get more work done in an eight-hour day working at home than working in an office after fighting traffic during their peak-performance part of the day. People have figured out that you don’t have to be in an office to be productive as an account manager.


Stay tuned for our Annual 2021 Insurance Salary Report to be released the first week of January. It is going to blow your mind.

rob

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