The Eddy Group
Welcome to the Eddy Group. We are a new concept in pooling resources for the exclusive benefit of the financial services industry in Chicago. Our primary service line is a candidate referral service to expedite the identification and hiring of agency personnel. As the cliché goes, if you ignore history you are doomed to repeat it. The financial services industry has been challenged by an ever changing regulatory and talent supply environment over the years. Yet every attempt at creating a hiring support structure for Agents has followed the same tired staffing model. This model hasn’t worked because it can’t work. Below are some challenging truths.
As Independent Agency owners in the insurance industry you are very aware of the burden of regulation in operating your business. More cumbersome than existing regulation is the looming threat of new regulations that make planning for the future difficult. Whatever subsidized support Agents were provided in the past from Bloomington has been permanently ended due to employment regulations of the Federal government. Agents are more on their own than ever before. We at the Eddy Group want to help fill that void.
Recruiting Supply Challenges:
Small businesses are rarely serviced by the general recruiting industry because the pricing is usually deemed prohibitive by the agent. The recruiting industry is built to service medium and large companies with big budgets. The market rate for most positions is 20% - 25% of first year total compensation. That would mean placement fees between $8,000 and $12,000.
The Eddy Group is built to refer candidates at rates significantly below market rates. This is accomplished through a number of highly modified business practices that are proprietary. One of our strengths is concentrating on supporting State Farm agents in Chicagoland exclusively. We are not distracted by supporting other industries or other competitors in the insurance space. So, you can feel confident that 100% of your fee is going to support an infrastructure that will be there for your ongoing employment needs.
Talent Supply Challenges:
The biggest challenge to your acquisition of Talent is the supply. But talent supply shortages in Chicago isn’t caused by fewer potential candidates in the marketplace. It’s the increasing supply of other employment opportunities that is in direct competition for the entry level or 2nd level service and sales candidates that Agents tend to hire. There is a growing supply of service sector jobs that pay between $40,000 and $50,000 competing for the best talent available.
In the end, The Eddy Group is looking to support highly engaged Agents in Chicago to create a mutual group of services. Highly engaged, by our definition, are Agents that take great interest in the development of their staff. Many of our hires have some level of transferable experience and many have one or more current licenses. We want our referred candidates to thrive in high functioning environments.
Talent Matching and Managing Challenges:
As small business owners you have probably experienced talented people that, for whatever reason, don’t seem to find a productive rhythm in your office. When you interview a candidate you are essentially interviewing an actor. It usually takes a number of months to start understanding strengths, weaknesses and culture fit. At the Eddy group we pre-screen candidates behavioral profile. Then we use that deeper knowledge to determine which agency would be the best fit. If your team needs more focus on compliance and service support we will only refer you candidates that have a high degree of formality and extroversion which help concentrate attention to details.
At the Eddy Group we don’t just want to find you candidates but also to become a resource for the rest of your team. We can survey your entire office and give you some insight into how to better divide the labor in your office to increase performance. If you have team members that are B or C players but you feel stuck because they are better than nothing, give us a call and we’ll apply our methodology to suggested changes. Another benefit of The Eddy Group is since we are always recruiting in the area, we may call you out of the blue and offer a prequalified candidate that you may hire and give you the confidence about releasing a C player. In the competitive talent business you should always be recruiting and considering opportunities to upgrade your team.
Talent Offboarding Challenges:
As a natural course of business you will lose people or you will have people you want to terminate. The Eddy Group offers a free neutral 3rd party exit interview. We have found that most exiting employees only tell their employer part of why they are leaving. The fact is, there is a lack of candor in the employee employer relationship. That is just human nature. If you have an employee that has put in their notice, let us know. The Eddy group has years of experience getting past the surface level issues and have experience turning resignations into a retained employee. We will do it for free.
If you have an employee that you are ready to let go, give us a call. We can at least spend some time with you discussing the best approach or the path of least resistance if you have concerns about the termination conversation.