MassMutual Recruits Record Number of Financial Services Representatives in First Quarter
Offers list of five desired characteristics for potential recruits
Jun 18, 2009
(Springfield, MA) - Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has recruited more than 470 financial services professionals in the first quarter of 2009, a record unsurpassed in over a decade of the company’s history. As it steps-up its drive to attract new representatives, the company offers a list of five characteristics to help potential candidates determine whether a financial services career is right for them.
“Despite the down economy, job seekers with a passion for helping people and strong communications skills would be well served to look into opportunities in the insurance-based financial services industry,” said Jon Dressner, senior vice president of Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE).
“Our career sales force grew by 24 percent over the last three years,” said Scott Rich, vice president, US Insurance Group, MassMutual. “This shows that regardless of economic circumstances, clients need our services more than ever,” he added.
“We are seeing applicants for our financial representative roles coming in from literally hundreds of professions,” Rich continued, “and what really matters is not so much what someone’s background or college degree is, but that the individuals possess certain personality traits that we find are common drivers of success.” Some of the attributes MassMutual commonly sees in its most successful representatives include:
A commitment to lifelong learning
MassMutual looks for candidates who have a desire to improve through ongoing coaching, mentoring and education. From the start, new representatives are offered educational and training opportunities weekly, and in many instances daily, so they can reach a mastery level in their efforts. This takes individuals who are open to feedback, willing to evolve and looking to constantly increase their knowledge base.
A desire to help people
Most top representatives are passionate about their work. A strong belief in the value of the services they provide and the ability to make a difference through the strategies developed and implemented with clients are important determinants for those who will be successful over the long run. Financial representatives know their work has meaning when they implement strategies that help clients realize their most important life goals. This sense of purpose allows new representatives to overcome some of the more challenging aspects of starting their business.
Well developed business and social networks
One of the early ingredients of success is having a network of contacts from previous careers or social involvement that can provide new opportunities. For this reason, individuals from professional ranks, corporate America, or former business owners and sales people often excel, because they usually have extensive contacts to turn to. Meeting new prospects and getting referrals from existing contacts and associates remain the main drivers of success in a financial service career.
Candidates who have a strong desire to own their own business and are willing to invest three to four years to build their practice are generally more likely to succeed in the financial services industry. “We oftentimes find that successful financial services representatives view the initial years in their practice similarly to a graduate program or medical residency – a time to learn the habits and skills of success to support the rest of their career,” added Rich.
Candidates must be self-motivated to reach personal and professional goals. The financial representative role is multifaceted and requires prioritization of activities that are essential versus important. Time management capabilities and knowing when and how to invest in one’s business are essential drivers for results, as well. Applicants who have established track records of success and a well developed ability to develop and hone marketing strategies to ensure a constant flow of business are more likely to succeed.
In seeking out candidates who fit the profile above, MassMutual attempts to ensure that the financial representative role is a proper fit for the applicant, the company and the local office where he or she is interviewing. “Our interviewing process is quite rigorous,” explained Rich, “after completion of personality assessments, structured interviews and meetings with numerous local office representatives, selected candidates sample the career to ensure a proper fit for the position."
“This is a great opportunity for people who want to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves,” Rich continued. “You’re going to be investing in your business, but the majority of the investment comes from the local and corporate offices. You truly get the best of both worlds - being an entrepreneur and running your practice with the backing of a Fortune 500* company.”
For more information about a financial services career, to hear personal perspectives and career experiences from actual financial representatives and to find a MassMutual office that is expanding in your area, visit massmutual.com/mycareer.
*Fortune magazine, May 2009
Please Note: Agents are independent contractors - and not employees - of MassMutual or of the general agents with whom agents contract. MassMutual agencies are seeking financial services professionals in the market and eligible agents receive a compensation blend that includes commission and an income subsidy. Eligible agents may also receive benefits such as medical, 401(k) match and educational reimbursements; however, employment-related references such as “jobs” and ”hiring” would not be accurate, e.g. MassMutual agencies are "recruiting and contracting with", but not "hiring" agents.
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders every year since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company’s strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.