Q&A with Valorie Mulder, Senior Director at DW Simpson

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Valorie holds the role of Senior Director on a team with Senior Director, Dan Karrow. She joined DW Simpson in 2005 as an Assistant to the late Managing Partner & Founder, David Simpson. 

Valorie works with all levels of actuaries and analytics professionals, from students progressing through exams to designated individuals with extensive leadership experience, to provide them with as many suitable opportunities as possible during their job search. She also serves as the internal manager for several clients.

Prior to DW Simpson, Valorie worked as a Human Resources Generalist. She graduated from Michigan State University earning a bachelor’s degree in general management. Outside the office Valorie enjoys spending time with her three daughters (including identical twins), attending concerts, and traveling.

  • What are the top reasons that candidates give for seeking a new role?
    • They are seeking new challenges or looking to expand their skill set/product knowledge.
    • There was a recent reorganization at their firm making the future of their role uncertain.
    • They don’t see a future growth path within their organization.
  • How can a candidate ensure that they stand out from the competition?
    • Polish up your LinkedIn profile, clean up your social media footprint and create a game plan for your job search.
    • Be active within the actuarial community.
    • Stay on track with actuarial exams.
    • During the interview process, fully prepare and research the company of interest to ensure you are showing enthusiasm and excitement for joining the organization.
  • What are the common mistakes that candidates make during the job search process, and how can they avoid them?
    • Applying to every role that comes their way – narrow down your options to those you truly feel are the best match based on the company profile and job responsibilities.
    • Getting defeated after one unsuccessful interview – take the feedback as constructive criticism to better yourself.
    • Expecting things to move quickly – there are several layers to the interview process, be prepared that it can be time consuming.
  • What is your biggest challenge as a recruiter?
    • Getting potential candidates to respond – I have great jobs for you, please just give me 5 minutes of your time!
    • Getting timely feedback from clients to keep momentum high.
  • How has the current market for actuaries changed over the last year?
    • Several firms are moving away from full-time remote, to a hybrid work schedule, requiring individuals to be based in the local area.
    • There has been less flexibility on key job qualifications, applicants must meet every necessary requirement vs just hitting on a few.
    • Technical/programming skills are becoming more important.
  • What do you see as the biggest challenges for companies looking to hire top actuarial talent?
    • Convincing the applicant that they have a better opportunity than their current situation.
    • Competing with counter offers.
    • Finding candidates who meet all their requirements – there aren’t many unicorns out there!
  • What are the perks or benefits that can make an offer stand out?
    • Sign on bonus.
    • Relocation assistance.
    • PTO and 401K structure.
    • Paternity leave and health/wellness packages.
  • How important are remote/work opportunities in finding top talent?
    • VERY – since the pandemic this is the new norm. Everyone is expecting a flexible work-life balance and are willing to wait to find their next opportunity until that is offered to them.