The demand for actuaries and related analytics professionals continues to skyrocket. As a result, companies that hire this talent (insurers, reinsurers, consultancies, brokerages, et al) must put their best feet forward in attracting candidates. While a strong compensation package helps, of course, it doesn’t always come down to which company provides the highest offer. One element that can tip the scales to one company over another is the “courting” process of the candidate throughout his/her interview process. Potential employers who show the utmost in genuine interest and attention to the candidate from the day the resume is received until an offer is extended and positively negotiated, and the entire interview processes in-between, stand a better chance of transforming the candidate into an excited employee.
So, let’s review the scenario of a company that didn’t court a candidate properly – and you’ll see why it’s no surprise the candidate rejected the company from further consideration. Let’s call the candidate “Joe,” and the company “InsurAmerica” (IA, for short). Joe and the HR contact from IA had a successful phone interview for a senior-level reserving role. Joe was excited about the opportunity, and IA made quick arrangements to fly him from the East Coast to the Midwest for a day-long, onsite interview. When Joe gets to the airport, he notices that he is sitting in 38B – the middle seat in the last row of the plane, up against the wall of the washroom. Joe rolled with it – after all, he was on his way to interview for an intriguing senior-level role with a well- known, multinational insurance company. When Joe got to the company that morning, it was clear the people with whom he was interviewing were not prepared to meet with him. One of Joe’s first interviews was with the CFO, who picked up Joe’s resume, glanced at it, looked at Joe and said, “Do you have any reserving experience?” Joe thought this line of questioning a little odd, considering he currently was the Chief Reserving Actuary for the Personal Lines Division of a large, East Coast insurer! Clearly, the CFO had not taken the time to read Joe’s resume prior to the interview.
Joe had a couple of interviews after meeting with the CFO, and then it was lunchtime. However, the HR folks had not arranged for anyone to have lunch with Joe, even though he was to be there throughout the afternoon. So, one of the senior actuaries led Joe down to the cafeteria, where Joe enjoyed a hot lunch by himself. Joe had a few more interviews with folks who seemed either disinterested in interviewing someone or were, like the CFO, woefully unprepared. But Joe muscled through the day and was more than ready to jump into the limo that would take him back to the airport. One problem: The HR contact had not arranged for a car. The solution? The HR contact gave Joe the number to the car service company and asked him to make arrangements, which Joe did. Joe still scratches his head to this day as to why the HR rep couldn’t have made the limo arrangement for him. Joe was, as you might have guessed by now, pretty anxious to separate himself from the premises of this company and get on the plane that would take him back home… even if it meant sitting next to the bathroom in 38B. The limo came, scooped Joe up and took him to his airline departure entrance. Joe thanked the limo driver and began to exit the car. Not so fast. The limo driver informed Joe that he had to pay for the ride. Joe asked, “Didn’t the large, well-known, multinational insurance company with whom I just interviewed already pay for this?” “No,” the limo driver said, “they did not.” Joe settled up with his personal credit card and was on his way.
Joe never looked back.