Salary Data for Northwest Job Applicants-1

Salary matters—a lot. Better compensation and benefits were the #1 reasons employees chose to accept their current company’s job offer, according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report. Still, for something so critical, lots of recruiters lack any advanced insights on the salaries they offer.

That’s about to change. Today, we’re sharing LinkedIn’s latest salary data for recruiters, including average salaries across sectors, cities, and company sizes.

Knowing how your salary stacks up against the competition is important tactical info. Sure, not everyone in talent acquisition actually has the latitude to change compensation offers—sometimes that’s handled by a totally different department—but it can still inform how you make your pitch.

If you’re paying more than average, maybe you can afford to be more selective. If your compensation falls short of others in your space, you’ll know to emphasize other aspects of your offer (or even lower your standards a bit).

Let’s dive into the data from LinkedIn’s inaugural State of Salary Report for the US. (These stats will give you a great sense of general trends—but to find the exact figures for your role and city, recruiters can use the new LinkedIn Salary tool.)

Read More on LinkedIn

New tip of the week-1

Salary Data for Northwest Job Applicants

Salary matters—a lot. Better compensation and benefits were the #1 reasons employees chose to accept their current company’s job offer, according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2017 report. Still, for something so critical, lots of recruiters lack any advanced insights on the salaries they offer.

That’s about to change. Today, we’re sharing LinkedIn’s latest salary data for recruiters, including average salaries across sectors, cities, and company sizes.

Knowing how your salary stacks up against the competition is important tactical info. Sure, not everyone in talent acquisition actually has the latitude to change compensation offers—sometimes that’s handled by a totally different department—but it can still inform how you make your pitch.

If you’re paying more than average, maybe you can afford to be more selective. If your compensation falls short of others in your space, you’ll know to emphasize other aspects of your offer (or even lower your standards a bit).

Let’s dive into the data from LinkedIn’s inaugural State of Salary Report for the US. (These stats will give you a great sense of general trends—but to find the exact figures for your role and city, recruiters can use the new LinkedIn Salary tool.)

Read More on LinkedIn

New tip of the week

Personal Lines Junior Private Client Account Manager

Company:
Insurance Resourcing
Location:
Downtown Seattle
Salary:
$55K to $65K
Description:

If you have your P & C license and a couple of years working as an account manager at an independent agency and feel like you would like to start working with High Net worth Clients in a more consultative role, my client would like to talk to you!

My client is an independent insurance agency in downtown Seattle, WA. They have an excellent reputation for handling their clients with velvet gloves and being a trusted advisor, not just a pushy sales person. Many of their Personal Lines clients also insure their businesses with the firm. These are prized VIP clients that expect 1st class service and attention to detail at all times.

This book of business is their “small” accounts book. Premiums will be up to $10,000/year on average. You will be doing account reviews to make sure that their risk program has no gaps in coverage, adequate policy limits, and is current with their scheduled property and vehicles. The job will be a mix of in-house and some face to face client meetings to do account reviews. Goal is to round out the account and help to develop a solid risk strategy making sure that all property is covered especially unique items such as art and jewelry. You will also handle daily service requests such as certs and endorsements.

The agency uses AMS360 and is paperless. Proposals are done with MS office. This is a Mon to Fri full time permanent role with full benefits, ORCA card, and they are right on the bus line. The office dresses professionally, not in jeans.

Candidates need to be extremely accurate, fast on the computer, able to communicate clearly without errors in writing and on the phone, and be able to retain info to quickly prioritize as needed. A WA P & C license is required.

This is a rare opportunity to work in the high net worth space and really develop your personal lines coverage skills.

To apply, email your resume to info@insuranceresourcing.com or call 425-298-0278. Interviews are starting next week and the client is looking to hire ASAP.

Insurance Sales/Service rep: Salary and monthly bonus

Company:
Insurance Resourcing
Location:
Mill Creek, WA
Salary:
$48,000 to $50,000 + monthly bonus

Description:

Are you interested in working for a solid established insurance agency with stable Mon to Fri hours/no weekends, with salary plus bonus, benefits, and vacation?

If you have your P & C license (L & D is a plus), are a good at building customer relationships, have stable insurance work history, and want to work in a consultative setting, my client wants to talk to you.

My client is a well-established insurance agency and has been around for 40 years. They are conveniently located in the Mill Creek, WA area and are close to public transportation. The owner is growing and wants to add an experienced inside sales/service agent to the team. This is NOT an entry level role. Compensation consists of a base salary (DOE) and generous bonus program. This is a W2 position, not a 1099. You will not be cold calling or going door to door. You will work with established policy holders, do account reviews, and add new lines of coverage as needed. You will be selling/servicing all personal lines policies: auto, home, umbrella, RV, boats, jet skis/water toys, and life/financial products.

This is a nice, family-friendly office. Hours are Mon to Fri 8:30 to 5:00 pm. This is a full time, permanent role and he provides benefits with a generous PTO of up to 160 hours in a 12 month period. There is also a profit sharing program.

Successful performance should earn you a monthly bonus of $600 to $800 or more on average in addition to your base salary. This agent pays some of the highest first year commission splits in the area across all coverage lines.

To apply, email your resume to info@insuranceresourcing.com or call 425-298-0278.

Subcontractor Insurance Risk Coordinator

Company:
Insurance Resourcing
Location:
Seattle
Salary:
$60,000 to $68,000
Description:

If you know have worked in a construction company office, have experience working with subcontractor insurance/compliance, know how to read and interpret insurance certificates, and understand the nuances of Subcontractor Default Insurance, my client wants to talk to you!

My client is a large General Contractor located in Seattle, WA. They have a very supportive management culture with solid career path progression opportunities. They offer very affordable benefits for you and the family as well as free downtown Seattle building parking pass (worth over $200/mo) or an ORCA card based on your commuting needs. They also offer a generous 3 weeks of PTO along with regular observed holidays, tuition reimbursement, and 401K with match. This is a full time, Mon to Fri in-office role with very flexible hours with starting times as early as 6 am if needed for commuting purposes.

About this role:

The Subcontractor Risk Coordinator is responsible for coordinating all subcontractor activities, to include implementation and monitoring of performance against defined targets, and the collection and review of Subcontractor Certificates of Insurance. This is NOT an entry level role. You must have experience doing insurance certification and compliance work with subcontractors at a construction firm to be considered for this position.

Here’s what your day will look like:

    • Administrate the subcontractor pre-qualification process with our project teams by collecting pre-qualification criteria
    • Maintain a subcontract risk log and coordinate with the project risk management team.
    • Collect and maintain various logs to monitor subcontractor financial health and their associated risk to the GC.
    • Coordinate, track and manage subcontractor insurance on multiple projects.
    • Review, analyze, and track subcontract insurance certificates and endorsements for contractual compliance for multiple projects in
      multiple states
    • Notify subcontractors and insurance agents’ in the event of non-compliance.
    • Work with Projects Teams insurance compliance items
    • Coordinates with insurance team (including members of internal Finance organization, project operations leadership, and external accounting / auditing teams) to coordinate subcontractor insurance compliance programs at a company-wide level.

What you need to be considered for this role:

  • 2-4 years of relevant construction subcontractor management experience and review of Certificates of Insurance.
  • 1-2 years of contract administration is helpful
  • Understanding of insurance fundamentals as well as knowledge and fluency with insurance products and terminology and SDI.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office: Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills.
  • High Attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines and move quickly from task to task
  • High client service ethic
  • Knowledge of and experience with Sage 300 is a plus.
  • Knowledge of Accounting principles a plus.
  • Construction industry experience strongly preferred
  • Experience with MyCOI (a certificate tracking program) is a huge plus, but not required

To apply, email your resume to info@insuranceresourcing.com or call 425-298-0278. Out of state candidates who will be living in Seattle by Jan 1st are encouraged to apply. Relocation expense is not provided. The client would like to hire ASAP or right after the holidays.

The Most Common Interview Questions—and What to Ask Instead

Lists of the most common interview questions—10, 20, 50, even 150 questions—are all over the Internet. Many of these lists are intended for conscientious job-seekers who want to ace their interviews. Unfortunately, that also means that answers to these questions are endlessly rehearsed by candidates.

On top of that, answers to many of these questions don’t give you, the interviewer, the insight you need to make a good hiring decision. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the eight most commonly asked interview questions and what you might ask instead to really get to know a candidate.

1. “What is your biggest weakness?”
Though there are many contenders, this is by general agreement the worst interview question out there. For starters, it encourages candidates to lie. No one will answer it honestly—nor should they.

Ellen Jovin, a principal at Syntaxis, hates this question. “Their biggest weakness may well be really embarrassing,” she says. “Maybe they eat with their toes or compulsively steal beef jerky from gas station convenience stores or have 53 cats.”

What you should ask instead: What skill do you feel like you’re still missing?

Chad MacRae, founder of Recruiting Social, suggests asking this question. You want to find someone who embraces continuous learning, who is innately curious, and who is self-aware enough to understand that there are still valuable things she doesn’t know how to do. You probably want to avoid a Master of the Universe who merely needs to learn to be less of a perfectionist.

2. “Tell me a little about yourself.”
This harmless-sounding request is the No. 1 way to kick off interviews. The question, however, is so open-ended that a candidate may have no idea where to start. And given that a job-seeker has shared a resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, and possibly work samples, the request shows a lack of interest or preparation from the interviewer.

What you should ask instead: Which values of your current or previous employer most align with your own values?

This is a much better way to find out more about the person you are speaking with. Look for candidates who are excited about their values and love to go deep on them. Watch out for people who struggle to identify their own values let alone those of their company.

3. “Why should I hire you?”
This question is both thoughtless and unfair. No candidate can possibly know who else you’re talking to and what their experience and qualifications are. Ask this question and there’s a danger your candidate may start to think, “Why should I work for you?”

What you should ask instead: Tell me something about your experience, education, or personality that can help us.

This gives candidates a non-hypothetical question that allows them to show their understanding of what your role is and to demonstrate their relevant background or experience.

4. “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
In most cases, the question is completely off-topic. It is also somewhat pointless given how few people stay with a company for five years.

What you should ask instead: What business would you love to start?

This alternative comes from speaker and Inc. magazine contributing editor Jeff Haden. “The business a candidate would love to start tells you about her hopes and dream,” Haden says, “her interests and passions, the work she likes to do, the people she likes to work with. So just sit back and listen.”

5. “What would your last boss say about you?”
For starters, this asks the candidate to speculate needlessly. The hiring manager should find this out when she does reference checks. This line of questioning also seems to rise from a belief that bosses always have superior knowledge. In truth, a candidate’s previous manager may have been given the axe for incompetence, misconduct, or asking lame questions.

What you should ask instead: What was the best working relationship you’ve had with a manager and why did it work so well?

A thoughtful answer to this question could reveal a lot about a candidate’s values and what kind of company culture she would thrive in. And, if you were to hire the candidate, it would give you a leg up on successfully managing her.

6. “What would you bring to our department?”
This open-ended beauty seems like a call for a lot of boastful chest-thumping. It penalizes both the modest and the introverted.

What you should ask instead: What was the biggest achievement you had at your last job and what was your role in it?

Now you can see what your candidates value and how willing they are to share credit. Listen to hear if they mention how their accomplishment helped the company—or is it all about them?

7. “What is your desired salary?”
This one reveals some misunderstanding about the roles in the hiring process. The company should set the salary, making it commensurate with what other people at the company are getting paid for similar responsibilities. Not doing that is one of the things that leads to pay gaps between men and women, between whites and people of color.

What you should ask instead: This job pays between X and Y. Will that work for you?

This approach indicates that your company has compensation standards and is trying to apply them fairly. If the range proves too low, you’ve surfaced that fact before a job offer has been made.

8. “How many ping-pong balls can you fit in a 747?”
Okay, this exact question isn’t one of the most frequently asked, but brainteaser questions became a stock-in-trade, particularly in the tech sector, after Microsoft and Google became famous for using them. But candidates hated them, the answers became readily available (22,870,000 ping-pong balls, if you must know), and the curveball questions were even less helpful than traditional ones.

“They don’t predict anything,” Laszlo Bock, the former Google SVP of People Operations, told The New York Times. “They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart.”

What you should ask instead: Tell me about a big challenge you’ve faced at an earlier job, how you approached solving it, and what your results were.

This will give you an example that typically looks more like the problems and approaches you use at your company. It may show where your candidate had to use some soft skills—say, leadership, collaboration, adaptability, or time management.

Final thoughts: A chance to reinvent the interview
Though most companies (74%) still use structured interviews, they are intent on finding ways to better surface soft skills and weaknesses in the hiring process as they also look to reduce interviewer bias. LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2018 says the embrace of new interviewing tools—online assessments of soft skills, job auditions, and meetings in casual settings—is one of the trends driving today’s talent acquisition.

Let’s add to that list the swapping out of overworked, underperforming interview questions with fresh ones that will give you the insights you need to hire the best candidates and build a better candidate experience.

How to answer the interview question: “Why did you leave your past job?”

 

“Why did you leave your past job?”

As a recruiter, I get asked this question every time I submit a resume. As an applicant, you can bet that 99% of the employers will ask you why you left your last position.  It’s is a difficult question; your integrity is on the line with this one.  Most candidates don’t answer the question directly, hoping an indirect answer will deflect the real reason why they left.  This is a fatal interview mistake that you don’t want to make!  You must be honest and forthright about why you left prior jobs!

Tips to Answer this Interview Question:

“It was mutual” or “I was laid off ” or “lack of work” doesn’t cut it, especially if the hiring manager knows someone else who is now doing your former job, knows your former boss, or has friends working at your former company. If you were laid off due to no fault of your own, whenever possible, obtain a letter from your prior company outlining the reasons for your layoff.

Here’s some examples of why people leave jobs or are out of work:

Personal reasons/medical/taking care of a family member: If you had to leave your past job due to personal reasons such as medical issues or caring for a family member, say so if you are comfortable with the details. If you are uncomfortable sharing the specifics, tell the interviewer you had to take care of some personal or family affairs and didn’t want your work to suffer, so you chose to resign until you could fully commit to a full-time role again. Explain that the situation has resolved itself and you are ready and excited to resume your career. Add that you kept your skills sharp by staying abreast of industry news and trends while you were not working.

Fired for cause/laid off without notice or reason: Most employers will only give dates of employment and maybe verify your title, but that’s just as bad as saying you were let go. In this case, no news is not good news! Be honest; again, it only takes a couple of phone calls in the industry to uncover the truth. Use the firing or termination experience to show how you learned from it and how your work is much better today as a result.

Short-term jobs/job hopper: Everyone is afraid to hire the job-hopper. You will always have an uphill battle with this one, but you can lessen the climb by talking about how and why you moved from job to job. If the company went out of business, relocated or closed your division, that’s legitimate and not your fault.  Remember, the employer is looking at how long between your jobs and is asking themselves why it took so long for you to be hired by the next employer. You have to satisfy their curiosity fully, or you will not be hired.  If you were recruited away, say so, just make sure you reinforce that you left for more opportunity and career growth and not just for more money. Explain that you were “referred” into the next job. Employers think the best people are always referred to them so use this to your advantage.

Long gaps between jobs/part time work: Don’t gloss over or make up bogus answers for significant time gaps in your résumé. If you were temping, say so. There’s no harm in that, at least you were working. If you have been unemployed for more than six months, and have been diligently looking for work, say so, but add that you have been taking classes to keep your skills current.  If you took a sabbatical to go back to school, start a family, or change careers, or were just burned out and needed a break, be honest and explain that the time off allowed you to refocus your energy and that you are now ready to resume your career full time.

Spouse relocation/military transfers: If you have moved a lot due to a spouse’s job or military transfers, say so, and tell the employer how moving around has enabled you to quickly learn new computer systems and procedures. Have solid examples of where you have come up to speed quickly and preferably letters of recommendation from past managers.  Stress that you are looking to stay in the area long-term.

We all leave jobs for various reasons. Remember that employers are simply “employed applicants” and they have also made good and bad choices with respect to the jobs they have held.  The key is to take responsibility for your job movements, good or bad, show how you career has progressed as a result, and move the conversation forward.  You can’t change the past, you can only shape the future and pick your next job wisely.

 

How to answer the interview question: “What is your greatest failure?”

 

“What is your greatest failure?” 

The dreaded question; this one is even touchier than the weaknesses question because you have to admit a failure, not just a weakness.

Tips to Answer this Interview Question:

This one requires you to prepare an example ahead of time. It should be work-related, but you can discuss a personal experience if it is closely related to a work-like event.

The key here is in the presentation of the failure example. You do not want to come off as a victim. Do not blame others for the fact that something didn’t work. You must take ownership of the situation. Employers use this question to see how you deal with adversity. Do you take responsibility for your decisions or blame the world for what went wrong? This is especially important since you most likely don’t know about the inner workings and politics of the firm at this point. Always take the high road, even if your former company made decisions that derailed your project.

An example of a personal failure: “I didn’t graduate from college, I didn’t have the money to go.  I haven’t let it hold me back though.  I am constantly learning new things and I’m a student of self-study.  It is very important to me to keep current with changes in the insurance industry and I’m currently working on my  insurance designations.”

An example of a work-related failure: “I wanted to reorganize the work flow in my department to give us greater compliance and more detailed analytics. In short, my solution did not work.  Work flow bogged down, my team didn’t like the increased data entry, we started to lose employees, and moral was at an all-time low.  I ended up asking my team for ideas to put us back on track, and together we figured out how to improve work flow and our overall quality improved as a result.  Now I make sure that I get department consensus before making sweeping changes to any type of work flow.”
Remember, some of the best successes in the work place start out as huge failures.  Make sure you show the employer how your failures guide your decision-making today.