Springfield , Mass. - Building on several years of successful efforts to recruit and retain top financial services professionals, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) today unveiled a creative, new Web site that introduces career changers, industry veterans and college graduates to a career with MassMutual through the eyes and words of its agents.

The Web site, one of several initiatives detailed below that the company has undertaken to grow its ranks of successful professionals, features a MassMutual agency manager, sales team manager, experienced agent, career changer, new agent and intern who describe their careers and experiences in their own words. Visitors to www.massmutual.com/mycareer hear and see agents describe the company's entrepreneurial business model, training and support services and the meaningfulness of their work.

The online introduction and other efforts by the company are succeeding, as the number of new agents and the company's rate of retention both have risen significantly. "Over the past two years we have increased our net field force by 18%," said Scott Rich, vice president, Net Field Force Growth. "Our sales force continues to grow at a near record rate in MassMutual's history. And our four-year retention rate has increased 29%."

Rich attributes the growth in large part to the attraction of MassMutual's entrepreneurial careers, the rewarding nature of the work, and the company's broad array of products, services solutions and tools, which provide agents with great opportunity to succeed. Additionally, "the company's strong financial performance and its mutual structure, in my opinion, help to attract and give confidence to new recruits," he said.

Those attributes helped lead Mary Grate-Pyos of West Financial Group, a general agency of MassMutual, located in Bethesda , Md. , to MassMutual three-and-a-half years ago. "It's incredibly exciting and energizing every day to know you're helping others reach their financial goals, providing value, and building your own business," said Grate-Pyos, who appears on the new Web site.

John Chalk, who left his career as a partner in a law firm to become an agent with Stevens Financial Group, also a general agency of MassMutual, located in Fort Worth , Texas , says the change was the best move of his professional life. "It freed me to do what I was meant to do, which is to educate people about their money and help them align their wealth with their values," said Chalk, who also appears on the Web site.

The recruiting site is one of several efforts MassMutual has undertaken to attract new agents, including:

  • Intensified recruitment of candidates with diverse backgrounds, including female agents and multicultural candidates.
  • Increased targeting of career-changers with transferable skills, such as teachers and mortgage brokers, and those from such distressed industries as pharmaceuticals, airlines, and CPAs, among others.
  • Continued development of strong candidate pools for local agencies, in part by matching candidates to agencies not only by their personal background and personality traits, but also by the manner in which they will fit within a certain type of agency business model and market.

"We have a number of successful agency models – high-end financial planning, fee-based and insurance offices and hybrids that combine variations of each," said Rich. "Our new selection system enables us to fit the candidate to the office, and that means there's a greater likelihood of satisfaction for the new agent and, ultimately, greater retention," he concluded.

Source: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

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