Recruiting for Agency Ownership and Company Employment
FARMERS INSURANCE GROUP OF COMPANIES
Farmers Insurance Group of Companies insures automobiles, homes, and small businesses in the United States, and provides a wide range of other insurance and financial service products. The organization serves more than 10 million households with over 20 million policies across all 50 states through the efforts of over 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 22,000 employees.
The organization’s headquarters are in Los Angeles, and it has other major operations in Kansas City, Seattle, Austin, and Caledonia, Michigan (near Grand Rapids). The company was founded in 1928.
Farmers’ biggest opportunities are agency owner, agency sales/customer service staff, project manager, and claims representative. The company is looking especially for personnel as part of its eastern expansion in Atlanta, New York City, Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New Jersey.
FARMERS AND VETERANS
The organization understands that men and women who have military backgrounds make excellent employees and business owners. In fact, the two founders of Farmers Insurance were veterans, and five of the group’s seven CEO’s are veterans. And many other of the organization’s most successful agency owners and employees are veterans.
Those men and women include both former enlisted personnel and senior officers. They bring to Farmers a wide range of valuable skills. Farmers leverages those skills when it recruits veterans nationwide.
- Veterans are natural, adaptable leaders who are committed to their teams.
- Veterans see things through, and they are driven.
- Veterans perform well under pressure and in stressful situations.
- Veterans have a commitment to excelling in a variety of situations.
- Veterans are creative in seeking solutions to challenges they confront.
Farmers has found that the training veterans receive in the military translates well into a number of the opportunities the organization has to offer. For example, the agency owner opportunity is a great fit for veterans who have an entrepreneurial interest; those men and women can leverage their ability to lead, work in teams, follow procedures, move a process forward, and of course, work without supervision.
The organization’s goal for its employees who have military backgrounds is “to provide mission-centered work that veterans and reservists alike can identify with, contribute to, and become passionate about.” Farmers equips its people to participate in the decision-making process by bringing their best thinking and skills to the challenges faced by the organization. Once a decision has been made, veterans understand the importance of moving forward to implement that decision.
Adjusting to the civilian work force culture can be challenging, so Farmers provides specialized on-boarding for newly hired veterans, and encourages them to get involved in one of its employee networks, such as the Military Support and Assistance Group.
LEADING THE RECRUITMENT EFFORT
Luisa Acosta-Franco understands the difference veterans can make. She joined the company in 2000, and has been vice president/head of recruitment marketing and field support at Farmers for three years. She is responsible for strategies to attract candidates who are interested in owning agencies – particularly candidate segments that include military, multicultural, and insurance professionals. She also leads the effort to develop and implement the talent brand for Farmers – to increase awareness and consideration of the agency-owner opportunity. In addition, she pays a key role in the Farmers Women’s Leadership Network.
Acosta-Franco, a native of Guadalajara, the largest city in the Mexican state of Jalisco, recently was named one of the Top 100 Hispanic Influentials in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine; and she was named Trailblazer of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners. She is the first Latina to serve as an officer at Farmers.
During her tenure at Farmers, her roles have grown in scope, budget, and staff. Her current team has expertise in marketing, advertising, public relations, strategy, and operations.
- As public relations manager for diverse markets, she developed and executed programs for youth and multi-ethnic markets. She also served as official spokesperson for the Latino community and she managed the award-winning programs, “The Young Americanos Youth Photography Competition” and “The Bronze Screen – 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood.”
- As director of community affairs and sponsorship, she managed sponsorship, corporate giving, and community outreach strategies. She also developed programs among Farmers agents, district managers, and employees; and she led the organization’s diversity initiatives related to advertising and community outreach.
- As vice president of multicultural marketing, she propelled Farmers to the top spot for consideration among Hispanic consumers and second place among Asian consumers. She was also responsible for the strategy to recruit bilingual agents.
- As vice president/head of multicultural recruitment and field support, she served more than 12,000 Farmers agents and district managers across the United States.