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Insurance Interns Are Untapped Source For Future Employees

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Training Insurance Interns – Great Way To Hire Future Employees

Insurance interns are one of the more enjoyable ways to fill a company’s vacancies.  J&L has hired many college students over the years.  Many times, we knew the college interns were not going to stay and work for us.  The golden nugget for the worker’s comp insurance interns was two-fold.  Check out the last section below for that discussion.

Paying Insurance Interns A Fair Wage

Regardless of whether your company may want to only offer non-paid internships, an employee should be paid for their work.  Many times, the insurance interns were willing to work gratis.  Not only does that violate many states’ employment laws,  a “fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” should apply to apprenticeships and internships.

Do not go on the cheap.  Most states’ minimum wage levels are not that expensive.

Insurance Interns Are Desperately Needed Now

Last week, I wrote an article on adjuster turnover.

The response to the article was tremendous.  The article was republished by three major Workers Comp news sources.   The response from adjusters, agents, and insureds was amazing.

painting of boy asking for insurance intern job
Public Domain – zeller.de

To sum up the responses into one combined statement –

“Yes, we know there are shortages of insurance personnel, especially claims adjusters.  The employment market tends to make the insurance employees have a large amount of leverage.  Greener pastures are even greener now.  Employee turnover is spiking.”

Can one blame an adjuster, underwriter, premium auditor, or any other type of employee for moving on to a higher-paying position with possibly less stress? – No.

Where can an insurance agency, carrier, TPA, or ancillary services provider find these new employees that are very soon needed to fill positions?  If you do not have several insurance interns on staff by now, you are about to miss the boat.

Depaul University provides a good guide on how to recruit college interns including the internship listing.  Follow the link to see what is needed in the job listing.  Most colleges, universities, and some high schools provide guides such as this helpful one.

Colleges Are Great But Other Sources Exist

High school insurance interns students sitting and listening
Public Domain – NASA article

What is wrong with having High School Juniors or Seniors as interns or even adults that are looking for a change of professions?  Why would you hire insurance interns from High School?

  • Energy Level – can absorb a large amount of information quickly.
  • Trainable – training high school interns allows a company to train the intern from the ground up
  • Start at the bottom – a higher level of willingness to start with a lower position than college students where they can gain a large amount of basic knowledge – bottom line  a company can train them how to do it “the company’s way.”
  •  High level of loyalty – many studies have shown that interns tend to have a certain level of loyalty to the company that hired them “off the street.”
  • College attendance – if a prospective intern decides to attend college, that is a bonus if your company can work with their schedule – a win-win situation.  The intern may decide to pursue a degree or designation in an insurance-related field.
  • Even larger golden nugget if the insurance intern position is only temporary – see the last section

What College Interns Taught J&L

College insurance interns students seminar
Wikimedia Commons – Irina.stelea

Even though our goal was to train college insurance interns, the opposite was also true.  Once a company starts listening to an intern that has worked for the company for at least 60 days, good things happen quickly.

College interns tend to question business processes – “Why are we doing it this way?” or “There is an easier way to do that task.”

As an example, for many years we used an insurance intern’s method of converting claims review data into report graphs.  We used that method for years afterward.

The one area that I have seen insurance-based companies fail in over the years is by not realizing that training goes both ways if one will listen to their trainees and interns.

Golden Nugget For Insurance Interns

Even though the job market favors employees currently, there exists one area where interns rely heavily on current and former employers.  Whether the intern stays at the company that trained them or if the intern was hired only temporarily, the job reference can be a golden nugget for any type of intern or trainee.

How do I know about this nugget?  I still receive job reference requests for worker’s comp insurance interns that worked for J&L 15 years ago.  Prospective employers want to see a reference from the first company that hired the employee – an amazing but true fact.

 

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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