I am a former 'recruiter' and I just felt like telling the story of what actually goes on inside combined insurance. This may be long but it will definitely offer some insight as to how this company works and what its like to work in the corporate side of combined.
I was hired on about 2 years ago after two interviews at the glenview office. I was semi happy to start, even though I actually had no idea what the job was about. During the interview with two of the managers they explained very little about the job and talked more about what they expected out of me. Being that I had gotten laid off from my previous job and I was running out of unemployment benefits, I took the job because they were the closest offer to what I needed to just barely sneak by with my bills (they offered me just over 30,000 per year for this position). I started a MONTH after i was officially hired, which was so odd..but anyway, and when I started I was introduced to the other 'recruiters', in total there was about 22 of us to start. by the time i quit (and about five people quit within the same month as me) there was probably 7 recruiters left. yeah pretty sad.
During the first two days of employment, I was basically given a training 'booklet' with a script and was told to read and practice what i was going to say to the people who I would be contacting. It was then that I realized my job would be to look up people's resume's online OR to 'email blast' which is basically the term that describes those random emails that everyone gets when they post their resume online (it will say something like..oh i read your resume on careerbuilder or monster and wanted to contact you about an open position that we have at our company...just an fyi WE DON'T READ YOUR RESUMES).
I would mostly be making outbound calls to people to proactively seek out people who were looking for employment(this is called 'cold calling' and i HATED it), but because of the email blasts I would also be responding to emails and phone calls of people who read the blast and were interested.
They gave me 2 days of practice and after that I was off and running on my own, aka I had no real training. Over the next year and a half I will say that the senior recruiters (our managers) finally had to step it up and actually do some work after the company realized that they were paying these people a lot for doing nothing, so a couple of them did work on developing some training programs for the new hires.
In the beginning, my manager managed me AND a girl who was working remotely from michigan (one of the things I will say is that I made some great friends and she is one of them). She was very helpful because my manager was NEVER around, and she kind of showed me the ropes on how this job was supposed to be performed. As I gained experience, I figured out a system that worked best for me and eventually I was sent around to work with 3 different managers and covered a 'territory' of FIVE states. That means that I was trying to get at least 30 people to show up to seminars a week. A WEEK. and this of course was always a 'goal' but man would they get on ur butt if you didn't get that 30!!! they tried to use incentives to get us to make certain numbers but after a while most of us really didnt even care because it was so hard to even set up 10 people for ONE seminar. after a while, we felt like we had literally talked to everyone and emailed every resume in the country that we could. That's when the accusations started to fly and the 20 million meetings a week were had because for SOME reason we were the ones that were blamed for the problems in the company..yeah WE were blamed...not their managers, or their sh*tty sales strategies or their inconsistencies but US..the recruiters...weee were the problem. so stupid.
This is probably the part that most of you are going to be interested in. The recruiting process. During any given week, I was given a list of about 10 different locations that my MDs would be interviewing at. Most of the time their preferred method of interview was what they liked to call a 'seminar' but in reality it was basically a hotel conference room, or even a hotel lobby, where they would give a presentation about the company and hopefully people would be interested enough to sign up for sales school.
The first gripe I have is with the MDs (market directors) I worked with. These guys were in charge of hiring the new sales people and giving the presentations at the seminars. these are the ones that most of these ripoff reports are about. I had a COUPLE nice and responsible MDs, but for the most part they had NO respect for me and what I did for them. Most of my MDs would let me know the day BEFORE or 2 days beforehand where they would be going to interview, so I would have to scramble to find 2-3 interested people and they would complain to me as if I was the one who wasn't doing my job correctly. OH and my divisional manager (the market director's boss) he was about 90 years old and did not even own a computer!! so he had no idea what was going on half the time and the other half he would go and talk the MDs into doing their job for about a week and then the MDs would go back to doing whatever it is they did (nothing) after he was gone.
ONE of them...he covers a certain state in the southeast (north carolina...maybe.. =-)), he was THE most irresponsible p***k i have ever met in my life. he would consistently not show up to interviews i set up for him and then make EXCUSES as to why he didnt show and try to turn it around on me like it was my fault!! one time i got so sick of it i had the hotel receptionist send the people over to the hotel that he was STAYING at because like 10 people showed up and he just didnt leave his hotel room! how irresponsible. The company stood behind HIM though because he was like the number 3 salesman in the country or something, but TRUST me i chewed his a** OUT. I am from chicago and people here have the respect enough to show up for interviews when theyre supposed to especially when THEY are the one running the interview!!! sorry, but i dont care WHAT kind of sales he does he is a jerk and he knows it.
Anyway, so these MDs would give me their lists of where they would be going to and MY job was to fill them with interested 'candidates' aka ANYONE who would show up to the interview. They USED to have it where it would count against me if people didn't show, but finally they realized that there was nothing i could do to make sure people would show up so they stopped griping about that. I would send out about 2500 emails a week on monster and careerbuilder and called the people that responded to the ad.
My script was edited a million times to where I just stopped using it and just started talking to people. I never purposely lied about what the job entailed and I focused on looking for people who were already in the sales or insurance field, but sometimes I would be lucky enough to talk someone into showing up who was just interested in doing something different. This is not to say that all the other recruiters and managers did the job like i did. Trust me I got in trouble A LOT for not filling my seminars up as much as other people did. Others would get 10 people to show up to a seminar, but maybe one or two would get hired and I would focus on talking to people who actually would LIKE to do this type of job so I would always have lower numbers than my coworkers.
The problem with some of the stuff we said on the phone was, I spent a YEAR talking about the benefits i thought they provided to the new salesmen and in reality the info we were originally provided was not the way it worked anymore so we were misguided. It wasnt until we had a recruiter move to a sales position and come back and do a presentation about it that we found out exactly what the offer was for these new hires. So, please dont blame the recruiters because we were just as blinded as everyone else was for a very long time. However, if anyone tells you that they offer salary then let me know because we have been specifically instructed numerous times to never even SAY the word salary at any point...h*ll WE didnt even get a salary...so why would u? anyway.
I was never a sales person and I couldnt 'sell' this job to everyone who i talked to so that's why i eventually got sick of doing this job. They wanted quality AND quantity out of the candidates that we were supposed to set and the bottom line is that just isn't possible, ESPECIALLY when you don't offer the candidates ANYTHING for this position.
These are the real facts about the insurance salesperson:
1. you need to be licensed when you are hired. this means that by the time you start 'sales school' you need to already have the license in hand, and WE DO NOT PAY FOR YOU TO GET LICENSED. that is your responsibility.
2. sales school is 2 weeks long. you get compensated maybe 500 bux if you finish sales school, but you do not get paid anything while you are there. they send you to one of the main sales school locations for 2 weeks and they do pay for airfare and room at a hyatt hotel. they do not pay for food but i have heard that they may give you a food stipend. still not sure if thats true or not.
3. after sales school, you are on your own. they say that the managers will escort you the first couple of weeks but i have heard from these reports and from people who have worked in the field that this is not true. so hopefully, by the time u get licensed and you go through sales school you are motivated enough to sell insurance on your own.
4. the compensation is purely commission and its based on a percentage of the yearly price of any one policy. Some policies are expensive and some are cheap so the point is you need to sell a lot to make any substantial money. The only way you get anything more consistently is when you have customers that renew their policies every year. Some people have built up a customer base to where they do get tons of money in renewals but as with starting any business, that can take YEARS.
5. the ardmore, traveling five hours to cover a territory, system was SUPPOSED to be banned in the company but I found out right before i quit that some of the MDs and DMs still use it behind the company's back. These guys are going AGAINST the company policy so if someone is doing that you can report it if u want but they rarely listen to anyone but the MDs and DMs. you are SUPPOSED to cover a territory of 20 miles in radius at the max and you are supposed to be hired LOCALLY in an area that we need someone. they should not be hiring you if you live in a place where the territory is already covered. however, because there's SUCH a push to get people hired in this company, some of the MDs will just hire you anyway so they make THEIR numbers and that's where the problem is.
6. they do offer full benefits but these benefits do NOT kick in until you have completed a YEAR of employment with them. This is probably because the turnover rate for salesmen is SO high within the first year.
our whole goal is to get sales people hired in this company because if you can get someone hired, you can get them to sell at least one policy. Even if they quit, the policy is still with the company which means the company still makes money. they do spend more time and money than most of their competitor companies on trying to find and develop good salesman, but the bottom line is insurance and insurance sales are cutthroat industries and you need to be a sneaky, savvy person to survive.
This is why i eventually quit. not only can you not afford to live in chicago with a pay thats just over 30 grand a year, but the guilt i felt for listening to some people's stories and just how pointless my job felt in general just made me realize that id rather quit than continue to work for a bunch of liars and thieves. plus, there was no where for me to move inside the company. they lied to all of us, including the sales people, when they said that after a certain amount of time u can get a different job within the company because it RARELY works out that way. there is absolutely nowhere to go in a recruiting position, there are people that have been in this position for 4 years and have never even been considered for a senior recruiter (manager) position. plus, they give us a raise of about 400 dollars a year, which is NOTHING.
quitting there was the best decision of my life. i have since moved to another state and even though i am still looking for work, i am happily engaged and i feel like my life is actually worth something. for all the days that those people did make me feel like s**t, i still do appreciate some of the people that i worked with and i miss the old days at combined when it was less stressful and more fun.
and fyi- most of the time the people who write responses on here with positive mention of combined insurance, ya its our recruiting managers or our MDs because ive heard them talk about it. they tell us we are not allowed to look at the ripoff report but we all do anyway, and i know for a FACT that they go on here and make up stories about how GREAT it is because this website does really keep people from going to our seminars.
anyway, i hope this gives an honest look into combined insurance. the good the bad and the fugly =-)