Q&A with Patty Kennelly Partner/Lead Recruiter at DW Simpson

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Patty Kennelly joined DW Simpson in 2018 with over 18 years of prior recruiting experience, specializing in the placement of actuaries. She is experienced in managing the recruiting process for all levels of candidates, from new graduates to C-Suite executives, and has expertise in developing training and interview materials, writing for industry publications, and managing website content. She graduated from The State University College at Oswego with a degree in Communications and Public Relations.

What are the top reasons that candidates give for seeking a new role? Reasons change based on the current market, but what I see more of currently is flexibility and remote or hybrid work. Candidates are focused on quality of life more than compensation.

How can a candidate ensure that they stand out from the competition? Preparation! Starting with a well-written resume and including being prepared for interviews. Successful candidates have researched the company and have prepared some thoughtful questions for the interviewers. They have also spent time reviewing the interview tips we send and reviewing the job description.

What are the common mistakes that candidates make during the job search process, and how can they avoid them? Candidates can make the mistake of concentrating on only one opportunity at a time. It can take over a month for an interview process to conclude and if you end up not getting the job, you are back to square one. Be open to interviewing for multiple opportunities and you may end up with more than one job to choose from!

What is your biggest challenge as a recruiter? Managing expectations for both candidates and client companies regarding compensation. This is where the DW Simpson Salary Survey is extremely helpful. You can find it at Actuarial Salary Surveys – DW Simpson

How has the current market for actuaries changed over the last year? Last year most of our roles allowed for remote work, and that is no longer the case. Many employers now want candidates in office at least 2-3 days a week. Overall, the market is still very strong with actuaries having almost a 0% unemployment rate.

What do you see as the biggest challenges for companies looking to hire top actuarial talent? Good candidates want flexible options for their work schedules. Being open to remote candidates or candidates who would come to the office for one week quarterly is a game changer when it comes to attracting top talent.

What are the perks or benefits that can make an offer stand out? Flexible schedules or remote work would be #1. Other perks and benefits would include strong exam support and a clear path to promotions.