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iiStaffing: Filling the Staffing Needs of the Independent Agent with a Consultative Approach

Featuring Toni Washington, CMO, Independent Insurance Staffing Services

Posted on 28 Nov 12 by Annie George

This week we’re featuring one of our more recent Storefront additions, iiStaffing, which was established to provide staffing services specifically for the insurance industry. iiStaffing’s services are available in Texas and include retainer, direct hire project recruiting, outplacement services, and temporary/contract staffing.

We spoke with Toni Washington, Chief Marketing Officer of iiStaffing about the company and their success. Toni began her career in 1984 with pioneer staffing company Kelly Services. During her 18-year tenure with Kelly Services she learned a great deal and helped grow their central division. In 2005 she became involved in insurance staffing managing the temp side for a company. In June of this year, she became instrumental in starting iiStaffing.

“We’ve been very successful right out the gate,” said Toni. “Our focus is serving the staffing needs of the independent agency for the state of Texas. Plans for 2013 include providing our services in Florida and Georgia. We provide staffing for every position throughout the independent agency – from account managers, customer service reps, producers, benefit employees, and claims coordinators to executive-level positions.”                                                            

One of the key benefits of iiStaffing for independent agents is working with a company that understands both the candidate and the client. “I consider myself an advocate for the client and for the candidate. Some may think this is not possible, that you can’t be both. But in being an advocate for both our client and the candidate, you ultimately benefit both parties. I help the candidate put his or her best foot forward in obtaining a position and becoming successful. I don’t want him or her to just get a job and then leave after 60 or 90 days. I want to do  a placement that sticks, because it’s a life choice. I want to know why a candidate moves around so much, are there commitment issues, have wrong choices been consistently made. Let’s understand why this is a pattern so the candidate can get somewhere he or she wants to be. By doing so, not only does the candidate benefit, but the agency gets a good, long-term match, not just someone that is employable, but an individual who will fit well in the environment. Additionally, I am consistently looking on behalf of the client, whether they have a position or not. If I come across someone who will be a good fit for the organization, I will let the client know.”

Toni also stresses the fact that she will not place anyone just to do the placement. “I really want a candidate to be successful because I want my client to be happy.”

iiStaffing provides a 70-day guarantee, with an option to discuss a longer guarantee period. Pricing for their services are very competitive and fair in the industry. When an agency needs a candidate they contact iiStaffing and discuss what they are looking for, their environment, and what has been successful for them. “We take a consultative approach to staffing. We go into the whole history of the agency to get a real understanding of their culture, how they operate and the type of individual that will best fit within the organization. We also evaluate where the agency is so we can satisfy that need – whether they need to fill a position because someone is retiring or taking some time off – if it’s a direct hire or a temporary staff. The position itself is also important, whether it’s Commercial Lines, Personal Lines, E&S, wholesale. We also discuss the agency management system they employ so we can have someone who requires a minimum learning curve.”

In addition to serving the staffing needs of agencies, iiStaffing also provides staffing services for: Carriers, MGAs, TPAs, Program Administrators, and Medical Bill Review Companies.

Candidates looking for job positions can go to the iiStaffing site. Additionally, Toni has many candidates contacting her through LinkedIn and at different insurance events she attends. Agents and companies looking for candidates should contact Toni at (214) 236-3464.