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22. Should I Hire an Unlicensed Person?

When you should not hire an unlicensed person, plus when and how you should hire a person without a license.

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Quick Summary

  • Hiring decisions depend on the market situation and agency owner preferences.
  • If the hiring market is strong, hiring someone who is licensed and familiar with company products can be advantageous.
  • In a weak market or for agency owners that prefer to develop employees from scratch, requiring candidates to obtain a license before hiring can be beneficial.
  • Agency owners can offer two options for assisting unlicensed candidates: reimbursement after passing the exam or upfront investment by the agency.
  • Hiring licensed individuals is generally recommended to allow immediate application of training and knowledge, but tasks that don't require a license can be assigned to unlicensed individuals on a part-time basis, so they can generate economic benefits for the agency  by doing simpler tasks while learning other more complex tasks.

Full (Edited) Transcript


Should you hire somebody who's not yet licensed?

A lot of this depends on a few variables.

The first variable is your market situation.

  • If your hiring market is really strong, then it can be a great opportunity for you to find somebody who's already licensed, already knows your company's products, and maybe can come in and hit the ground running.
  • Even if you're selective about only wanting people who are of a really strong mindset and are great people to work with and don't have really bad habits, there's still a chance you could find somebody that's great for your agency.

If the market is weak or if you just prefer to hire people and develop them from the ground up the way you do things, it can be very helpful to require that people get licensed before you bring them on.

Here's how it can look.

  • You find somebody that you'd like to hire and they're not yet licensed, they're coming from another field.
  • You can tell the person that you will help them to get licensed in one of the two ways.
  • One is they can pay for the licensing, exam and materials, and when they pass it, you'll reimburse them.

Or you could decide that you're going to invest in that person

  • If it's a really high quality person, you might decide you're going to front that money a few hundred bucks or whatever it might be, and you're going to take that risk.
  • If or when they pass the exam, then you can either hire them outright or you can hire them outright and add a bonus.
  • You can say, look, once you pass this exam, I'll give you a thousand bucks, whatever it might be.
  • This prevents them from sitting in your agency and studying and costing you $2,000 - $10,000 while they're trying to pass a test.
  • That can be something that can be very costly for you.
  • It can be very frustrating for your team members to watch that.

Simply create a situation where that person who is licensed has to meet that requirement first. 

You can have a very healthy signing bonus if you want, but still make sure that there's a line drawn between them getting into your agency and not having a license.

I've seen countless situations where an agency owner is feeling desperate for team members and they make a hire of somebody who's not licensed, and three months later, five months later, the person still has not licensed.

The team member hasn't done much, and it's a really costly situation for the agent.

If there are tasks in your agency that are not currently being done, that can be done by an unlicensed person, then you can also offer that person the opportunity to do some part-time hours, whatever it is that meets your need as far as doing paperwork, calling for appointments, maybe even reward them with bonuses for setting appointments, because in most situations, if a person's being rewarded for the appointment showing, that is something you can compensate on.

So there are many things you can do where the person can be worth something to the agency and be doing work, and you can reward them from that separately and then have an agreement of what happens when they pass your licensing situation. And there's so many ways you can motivate or incentivize that way.

Bottom line, unless you have lost so many people that you have to physically have bodies in the agency. I'm going to suggest to you that as much as you can, you want to have a person coming in already licensed.

That way, whatever company trainings you have or product knowledge trainings you have for your agency, they can come and learn them and apply them right away.

And you're not getting caught in that situation of paying for somebody, hoping things are going to work out, and then getting in a situation where 2 months, 3 months, 6 months later, you're still paying for them.

If the person's really good and they're worth having in your agency, and if you do a great job of explaining the long-term opportunity, getting a license should not be a reason somebody would not work for you.

Somebody who sees the long term vision and sees what it's worth will be willing to make that investment. You've made the investment in your business of money and time and risk and all these different things to get where you are.

A person who's not willing to risk even gain the license ahead of time and wants to be paid at a high level without, in any way, creating value for your agency or demonstrating a certain level of proficiency is probably not somebody you want to have in your. I hope you find this helpful. If you have any questions on any of this, please let me know.

As always, I look forward to helping you impact more people with your agency and make more money and less time, doing what you do best so you can fully enjoy your family, your friends, and your life, and you can make an impact in the people you serve and the community you work in. Thanks!

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