Finding fresh, excited and motivated college graduates is a goal of every industry and company. The good news for graduates and early career brokers is that forward-thinking firms and technology companies are bringing the industry into the 21st century. These firms — and I’m happily employed by one — are “bringing sexy back” for brokers. We’re infusing the profession with a lot of new blood and interest from new quarters.

The broker industry, long described as a business where you “build your book and manage the residuals,” is morphing to a faster, value based, and technology-driven sales distribution channel. Software and benefits consulting have officially met, and entered a new marriage (happily, recognized in all states). 

The new breed of brokers will need to think differently to be successful.

Also see: "Top 10 technologies used by advisers."

Gone are the days of century-old insurance carriers’ dominance at conferences and expos. In are new products, new technology, new vendors and new partnerships. Unique ideas and models are thriving. Attention and investment are pouring into HR and insurance startups.

Adding to the excitement and no doubt a contributor to the industry’s transformation: costs, regulation and complexity continue to rise, and pressures continue to mount, on many levels.

Training

The industry will rise to the challenge. Brokers have always understood the value of information and education. As brokers, we know that we must get regular training to stay ahead of an ever-shifting landscape.

At Zenefits, we recognize how critical training is to our success. We have our own Brokers University to keep our team on top of the changes so that we can make it effortless for our customers to manage their company and employees. Like any school, the curriculum at Brokers University includes exams, certification, graduation and ongoing education. 

We implement internal testing, certification tracking and analytics on many levels of expertise — ranging from product and benefit strategies, funding arrangements, local market guidance and ongoing compliance (ACA, ERISA, IRS, etc.), to network analysis, access to care and actuarial research/benchmarking. All of this training ensures our brokers are well equipped to provide the consulting needed to navigate any employer’s benefit packages.

Also see: "30 benefit pros to follow on Twitter."

We see how the combination of the pressure-packed landscape and fast technology are bringing some sizzle into the broker community. It’s why we’re adding brokers as fast as any organization in the country, and became one of the largest members of the National Association of Health Underwriters upon joining the association recently.

For our brokers, we see their excitement at the prospect of becoming both a great insurance broker and an HR/benefits technology expert well before they become grizzled veterans.

It’s great to that new business models are not only allowing brokers to modernize and meet new challenges, but also that the industry makeover is attracting new folks to make a career in our business.

Cerimele, a benefit consultant who’s been in the business for 10 years, is insurance sales training manager at Zenefits. Reach him at tcerimele@zenefits.com.

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