“You don't necessarily always have to have insurance experience for most of these roles. There's a lot of transferable skills. We value people who can problem solve, communicate and build relationships, who can lead inclusively”, says Neil.
“Most insurance companies have good training programmes. You can train on the processes and policies and regulations.”
Neil shares his insurance journey from a frontline claims role to HR and joining Progressive 33 years ago.
“Taking on a frontline role in claims or a call centre is a great opportunity to learn the business and have a really good foundation of what the business is about and who the customers are.”
Neil discusses leading a multi-faceted team of 200 with the aim of hiring for 20 - 25,000 roles across the business each year and highlights company culture, the CEO and the combination of growth & profitability as being key foundations for marketing the company's employer brand to candidates.
He talks about competing against other industries when hiring for more general roles and showcasing how an applicant’s skills fit in the organization.
Neil tells how the team manage and provide a meaningful experience to 700-800,000 applicants each year and how they can set themselves apart.
“If you have a job and there's 100 applicants and you're only going to hire one. 99 are going to be disappointed. That's a challenge that you face on a day to day basis. Feedback is critical.”
Neil shares his advice for senior executives looking to progress or coming for interview.
“The one thing I would gravitate them towards immediately is demonstrating how they have built an inclusive environment, how they help their teams think collaboratively, challenge the status quo and leverage different perspectives. That's the type of leader that's going to thrive here.”
Neil encourages HR leaders to look beyond the hire and focus on retention and highlights the tech tools that Progressive are using to support the high-volume hiring process.
Neil concludes by sharing a mantra of Progressive’s first CEO, Peter B Lewis, ‘Risk, learn grow’.
“It's about thinking outside the box and bringing new perspectives. As you learn, you're going to make mistakes, but move quickly to fix them and then grow.”
Connect with Neil Lenane on LinkedIn or find out more about Progressive
The Insurance Coffee House Podcast is hosted by Nick Hoadley, CEO, Insurance Search, the Executive Search Consultancy for growing Insurance and Insurtech businesses around the globe.
To discuss identifying & attracting the very best talent to your team or being a podcast guest, reach out to Nick via email@example.com
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