On the Road with Texas Mutual Recruiting

By Stephanie Schumacher, Recruiting Consultant

By Stephanie Schumacher, Recruiting Consultant

Recent visits to the University of Texas and Texas State Technical College wrapped up a busy first season of college recruiting. I’ve packed everything away until this fall, when our recruiting efforts will continue. The overall result? New relationships, building our brand at universities and a pipeline of talent that will serve Texas Mutual for years to come.   Now, we’ve set our sights on filling a new class of underwriter trainees that will start June 2.

Recruiting for a new class of underwriters made me curious about underwriting. I got a chance to find out more from underwriter and Baylor grad Scott Bonds in our Dallas office.   So Scott, what does a day in your life look like?

Scott says:

I’d say for an underwriter in Texas, my day is pretty darn good.

6:15 a.m. – 6:50 a.m. Wake up, shower, grab a quick glass of orange juice and head to a local networking meeting.

7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Network with a group of business people from all industries (Baylor Business Network of Dallas) and listen to an interesting presentation given by a Baylor Alum. I talk with a few alumni and meet a few who are agents in Dallas. They know about Texas Mutual, and I tell them the latest news on our success and which industries I see growing in my book of business. They like the update and talk about the upcoming football season.

8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. Travel into work and fight traffic. I dream about the day road construction will be finished and anticipate how much better the drive will be.

9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Pull up my email and queue to see what the day has in store. I have two voicemails from agents. The first is a question on how to classify a risk.   The second wants to discuss pricing on a new business account we quoted last week. His presentation to the client is Friday, so he needs a quick response.

I return the phone calls and respond to a few emails. The agent who wanted to discuss the submission thinks his account deserves better pricing. I ask about the safety procedures the account has in place and what the insured has done to prevent a few larger losses from happening again. He says he will find out and get back to me later in the day.

I process a few endorsements and review renewal accounts. I’m able to release them fairly quickly. Now it’s time to head to lunch.

11 a.m. – noon Grab lunch with a co-worker down the street at a local Italian restaurant. We talk about a few of the accounts we are working on and how the Dallas sports teams are doing.

Noon – 2:30 p.m. I get back to my desk. I have a voicemail from the agent who needs additional pricing. He has the answers I need. I review how the losses will develop in our pricing tool and document why I’m able to reduce the pricing. He is excited and thinks we will get the business.

I review a more complex account and discuss some of the exposures with my supervisor. We agree that we need a slight increase due to the losses being higher than expected.

I send a few emails, process three more endorsements and pack up for my agency visit later at 3 p.m.

2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Our marketing representative and I drive over to meet with one of my agents. Their office is actually near my house, so I take my own car to head home afterward.

3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Our marketing representative and I meet with the agency owners to discuss accounts and check their outlook for the year. The agency projects they will grow approximately 10 percent with us in the coming year.

We finish up our meeting around 3:45 p.m., and I walk around the office talking with some of the account managers and producers. I visit with an account manager and learn about her commute. Then, I speak with a few producers who are Baylor alumni about my meeting that morning and talk football. The owner of the agency drops by and gives us a hard time about it, as he went to a different school. We discuss a few more accounts the agency is targeting that may be a good fit for Texas Mutual. I make a few notes in my notebook and tell the producer I will be on the lookout for them when they hit my desk. I shake a few more hands as I’m walking out and head home.

4:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. I make the short(er) drive home.

As Scott describes his “typical Tuesday,” I notice he is clearly well-versed in analysis, teamwork, negotiating, customer service and relationship building. And football, lots of football.

Join me next time, when I go “On the Road” with Austin regional office senior underwriter Nathan Rudolph and update progress on our underwriting class.

On the Road with Texas Mutual Recruiting

Travel report:  Austin to Denton, 224 miles

Weather: Spring to Winter, back to Spring

Notable stops:  “The Super Pit” at UNT

By Stephanie Schumacher, Recruiting Consultant

By Stephanie Schumacher, Recruiting Consultant

Shortly after our visit to Baylor, the recruiting team’s travels took us to another sea of green in Denton, home of the University of North Texas (UNT).

The UNT career fair was held at UNT Coliseum, known on campus as “The Super Pit.” Over 100 employers gathered in the area circling the arena, called one of the finest basketball facilities in college athletics The facility was designed for functional flexibility and can easily be maneuvered into theatrical or concert configurations. The impressive Super Pit offers spectators an unobstructed view of the arena from every seat.

I was joined by Michelle Chamberlain of our Dallas regional office, along with UNT alumni Larry Martin and TJ LeBrun. Nearly 1,000 students poured into the building, anxious to find their future homes. The students who visited the Texas Mutual booth were risk management focused. Many are pursuing careers as underwriters or claims adjusters. A few even had multiple years of experience working for insurance carriers.

TJ noted, “This was a great way for Texas Mutual to increase brand awareness and exposure to the type of talent we can hopefully cultivate in the future.”

Larry Martin agreed. “Creating a pipeline of talent is critical to the future success of the company. The industry, as a whole, pulled back significantly on promoting itself as a career path during the recession. We would like to be on the forefront of efforts to reverse that.”

Where to next? Come out and meet some of our regional Texas Mutual all-stars at our final spring career fair:

April 3 – Texas State Technical College, Temple, TX

Ideas continue to roll in as our fall recruiting efforts evolve. Have suggestions or locations for our recruiting team? Send them to sschumacher@texasmutual.com.

About the author
Stephanie Schumacher is the corporate recruiter at Texas Mutual Insurance Company.  She was a founding partner and chief marketing officer at Platinum Select, LP, a medical staffing firm operating in all 50 states.  Platinum Select was recognized as the Fastest Growing Medical Staffing Company in the U.S. in 2006.  Stephanie spent five years traveling and collaborating on multiple startup concepts in Dallas.  She also served as a mentor for the City of Dallas’ Youth Today Entrepreneur Tomorrow program and was a board member for the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

On the Road with Texas Mutual Recruiting

Travel report:  Austin to Waco, 101.2 miles

Weather: Unpredictable

Notable stops:  Baylor Stadium

By Stephanie Schumacher, Recruiting Consultant

By Stephanie Schumacher, Recruiting Consultant

Last July, I moved back to Austin after a 17-year stint in Dallas. In my brief time back in the Capitol City, I have driven north on IH-35 to Dallas 29 times.  Yes, 29 times.  The trip is a bit like a familiar old friend.  Instead of watching mile markers, I count landmarks as my own personal GPS.  Spots everyone knows well, like Inner Space Caverns, the Stagecoach Inn, the Starbucks up on the hill in Temple and the Elite Café, tell exactly how far away I am from my destination.

One of my favorite new landmarks is the enormous Baylor stadium.  I was fortunate to get a good look at it this time, as our travels brought the recruiting team to the Waco Convention Center to meet Baylor students eager to start their careers.  Considered a major economic catalyst, the 93-acre stadium site will be the largest project in the history of Central Texas.

This time around, the Texas Mutual recruiting team consisted of Shonda Brown of our Austin regional office, Tim Osmond from our Dallas regional office and Baylor graduate Scott Bonds, also from our Dallas regional office.

The Baylor career fair was first class.  I was particularly fascinated with the fun Baylor traditions the organizers incorporated into the event.  Lunch from Vitek’s featured the “Gut Pack,” a combination of beans, Frito’s, sliced sausage, jalapenos, pickles and onions.  Voted “Best College Eats in America,” the Gut Pack is a longstanding Baylor staple.  Not decadent enough?

Afterward, Dr. Pepper floats were served, an every-Tuesday tradition on campus.  Waco is the home of Dr. Pepper, and it was plentiful in every flavor.

Baylor had a professional photographer snapping pics of students for their LinkedIn profiles. I think we will borrow that idea in the coming weeks.

After the fair, I asked Dallas underwriter Scott Bonds what it was like to be back on campus as an employer.

“I was very excited to come back to Baylor to help spread the word about Texas Mutual,” said Scott. “It was a much more relaxed experience for me being on the other side of the table! I remember attending career fairs as a student and constantly wondering if I would find the right place. Luckily, I connected with Texas Mutual and become part of this amazing company.”

Scott went on to say, “We truly have so much to offer recent college graduates by being a stable workplace and a respected company. And how could I mention Texas Mutual without speaking about the people? When I was hired, everyone was so helpful and patient with me. I tried to communicate that to students who stopped by the booth.”

Scott and Tim did an amazing job explaining their roles to the students. Some even reached out to us in the days after to say they are now considering careers in underwriting.

Toward the end of the fair, we got a nice surprise when Ken Starr, Baylor’s president and chancellor, stopped by our booth.

About the author
Stephanie Schumacher is the corporate recruiter at Texas Mutual Insurance Company.  She was a founding partner and chief marketing officer at Platinum Select, LP, a medical staffing firm operating in all 50 states.  Platinum Select was recognized as the Fastest Growing Medical Staffing Company in the U.S. in 2006.  Stephanie spent five years traveling and collaborating on multiple startup concepts in Dallas.  She also served as a mentor for the City of Dallas’ Youth Today Entrepreneur Tomorrow program and was a board member for the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

On the Road with Texas Mutual Recruiting

by Stephanie Schumacher, Recruiting Consultant

Travel report:  Austin to Houston, 162 miles

Weather: Dreary and cold

Notable stops:  Weikel’s Kolaches in LaGrange – wow!

It’s February, and that means Texas Mutual is on the road recruiting from some of Texas’ best colleges.  Economists all over the nation forecast that Texas will dominate the job market in 2014, with Austin, Houston, McAllen and Dallas all vying for the number 1 spot.  Even more exciting, five Texas cities are among the fastest-growing in the country.  So we launched our 2014 recruiting plan to account for growth and find the future leaders of Texas Mutual.

Image

Texas Mutual’s Jeremy Hansen, Erika Turner-Green and Alexis Osborne meet prospective candidates at the Texas Job Fair

“Our mission at Texas Mutual is to help make Texas the safest state to work and live,” said Rich Gergasko, Texas Mutual president and CEO. “When workplace accidents do occur, we work very hard to ensure that our injured workers and their families are cared for and treated properly. As we continue to insure more Texas employers, we want to create a pipeline into the state’s higher education institutions to find the best and brightest students who are attracted to our culture.”

February 6, we set out for our first career fair in Houston with Rich’s mission in mind.  Houston-based employees Brent McClellan, Jeremy Hansen, Alexis Osborne, Erika Turner-Green and I represented Texas Mutual.  The fair, held at the Rice campus and known as the “Texas Job Fair,” featured a blend of 15 Houston-area colleges.

If you are visiting or new to the Houston area, a trip to the Rice campus is a must.  Rice was established in 1912 on a 285-acre plot.  Beautiful green spaces and heavy woods surround Byzantine-style architecture to make for a true classic collegiate atmosphere.  The fair was held at the Wellness Center, an impressive facility in the center of campus.

The basketball gym had been successfully transformed into a sea of employers.  We were excited to meet current students, alumni and even experienced professionals.  Even more exciting, this first event allowed us to test drive our new, upgraded LinkedIn Career Page.

Candidates visiting our booth used a sleek iPad kiosk to link directly to the Texas Mutual LinkedIn career page in real time.  Many were surprised to see LinkedIn identify their profiles with just a few entries.  The results?  We linked with 90 candidates eager to find out about our careers and future internship possibilities.  We were the only company to feature the LinkedIn technology and have been in touch with many of the linked applicants since ̶ a definite success.

After the fair, we said goodbye to Houston and set our sights on Waco.  Luckily for me, I passed through LaGrange on the way back for another stop at Weikel’s Kolaches.  Their cherry strudel is out of this world!

Are we visiting your campus?  Come out and meet some of our regional Texas Mutual all-stars at the following career fairs:

February 19 – Baylor University

February 26 – University of North Texas

April 3 – Texas State Technical College

Look for us this fall in Lubbock, San Antonio and far South Texas.  Until next time, be sure and stop by our LinkedIn career page to get a little insight on our culture and see how you can connect to Texas Mutual.

%d bloggers like this: