Three steps to hiring valuable employees: An inside look at the Byars|Wright hiring strategy

Three steps to hiring valuable employees: An inside look at the Byars|Wright hiring strategy

June 15th, 2019 By Amee Donald, Agency Relations Manager

At Byars|Wright, we take on a different hiring philosophy than most businesses. While most companies hire employees based solely on skills and previous experience, we believe that if we can find the right people, we can teach them the insurance business. 

Our primary goal is finding candidates who align with the Byars|Wright culture and have a strong desire to build and nurture meaningful relationships every single day.

Inside tips for the Byars|Wright hiring strategy 

In order to find those candidates who fit within our culture, we’ve developed a process that has proven to be extremely successful when it comes to selecting those who will add the most value to our team, and thus to our clients. 

Step 1: Create a culture where people really want to join

It all starts with the workplace culture we’ve strived so hard to create; a culture in which people and relationships are valued, and employees are appreciated. And employees are not only encouraged, but required to maintain a healthy work-life balance.  

Our motto is “Relationships Matter” and when we say this, we really mean it. While we often apply this philosophy externally to our clients, it’s just as true when it comes to the relationships within our agency. Every relationship is important, and they’re all connected.

I would encourage everyone to remember what Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  This is exactly why relationships matter. People matter and they need to feel like they are heard.

Step 2: Birds of a feather flock together: the value of employee referrals

We’ve found great applicants by visiting career fairs, posting new positions on social media, and also through the ongoing application process on our website; which are some really effective ways to discover potential candidates. 

However, as an agency, we’ve found that we receive more word-of-mouth referrals than anything, and we believe this is truly a testament to the culture and environment that we’ve created. 

The simple fact is that people wouldn’t encourage their peers to join a company where they’d be unhappy. 

This is another way to utilize the power of relationships and demonstrates how those relationships connect in all aspects of our agency operations.

Step 3: Prioritize the qualifications of the position 

We believe that insurance can be taught and industry knowledge learned over time, but you can’t teach someone to value others and those relationships. This is something that’s ingrained, and a skill that candidates must already embody naturally.

Because we’ve identified that this important quality is more important than any skillset, we can ask not only the candidate but ourselves the right questions throughout the interview process. 

Do they already exhibit some of our agency fundamentals? Do they value the relationships they have? Do they strive to nurture them in everything they do? 

We know that the answers to these questions are going to take priority over any previous experience that they may or may not have.

Will this hiring strategy benefit your business?

The first step is to take a look at your culture and make sure you’ve created one in which people want to be a part. Are your employees happy and productive? Do they enjoy a good work-life balance? Or are they stressed and disconnected from their role and responsibilities?

If you can “sell” your culture and how you do business to potential employees, I’d definitely recommend this strategy to any organization looking to bring on valuable members to their team.

We’ve seen the value of this hiring strategy time and time again, and our agency wouldn’t be what it is today without the people we’ve carefully chosen to be a part of our team. 


Learn more about the Byars|Wright hiring strategy in Birmingham, AL 

Byars|Wright, Inc.. is a locally owned and operated independent insurance agency with four offices in the greater Birmingham area that has developed into a major provider of commercial and personal insurance. Since 1946, the agency has made acquisitions to expand its scope of business and delivers a wide range of insurance products with quality coverage at competitive prices. Byars|Wright has been designated a Best Practices Agency by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and was also named “Best Companies to Work For in Alabama” by Business Alabama in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Byars|Wright, Where Relationships Matter. www.byarswright.com.