Money Moves

Right training secures top talent

by Wendy Shair

Dicky Yu, head of training & development, Dah Sing Life Assurance Company Limited
Photo: Dickie Tam

Insurer launches new recruitment and training centre in support of long-term business development plans

Talent development holds the key to sustainable business success. In view of this, Dah Sing Life Assurance Company Limited recently earmarked substantial resources to fulfil its commitment to human resources excellence with the establishment of 'Talent Hall', a brand new recruitment and training centre.

"Appropriate training offers our insurance consultants the most essential tools for carrying out their business in their professional roles and discharging their responsibilities as trusted partners of their customers," says Dicky Yu, head of training & development, Dah Sing Life Assurance Company Limited (Dah Sing Life). This also helps to expand its talent pool for further business expansion.

Now with the recruitment and training functions all under one roof, the company can focus its efforts in talent development. In particular, the 6,000 square foot facility, which is furnished with state-of-the-art tools and equipment, is geared for the success of talent recruitment and training.

This, Mr Yu notes, also marks an important step for Dah Sing Life to pursue its growth strategies and carry forward the strong business momentum for its popular protection and endowment product series.

The company currently has an agency force of 350 consultants and targets to increase this number to 500 by the end of this year.

The on-going surge in the demand for life insurance and other protection products is in turn fuelling the demand for market-savvy insurance professionals who are capable of serving and managing the changing needs of their customers in their different life stages.

"People from both Hong Kong and mainland China have become more aware of and knowledgeable about life insurance and other investment-related products. As such, players in the field must seek to add value to their professional teams so that they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the insurance and investment needs of the growing number of today's discerning customers," he points out.

Aside from support for obtaining the required licences and relevant professional credentials and qualifications, the company also helps its professional team of consultants to build knowledge and confidence for monitoring the fast-paced financial business environment and offering sound advice to their customers.

Talent commitment
New recruits at Dah Sing Life receive seven days of initial training and learn the ropes from experienced managers for three long months. "We want to bring them up to speed with our operation and make sure that they are on top of our service ethos and product portfolio," reveals Mr Yu.

Aside from this, the company puts great emphasis on helping all consultants to keep pace with market and product trends. "Competent insurance professionals should be able to provide their customers market insights and intelligence that are relevant and timely. To do this, we invite industry experts to address our front-line personnel in regular sharing sessions," he adds.

In a move to meet the career aspirations of individual members of front-line personnel, Dah Sing Life tailors training programmes and other skills and knowledge enhancement initiatives for consultants at different career levels.

Mr Yu stresses however that getting the right people with the appropriate skills and mind-set on board and successful retaining their loyalty will remain a key challenge for all recruiters in Hong Kong.

Despite this, Dah Sing Life is confident in its search for talent. "We reward our deserving consultants with good incomes, career advancement opportunities as well as well-structured training," he says.

Knowledge, good attitude and motivation are the most important ingredients for making a life-fulfilling career, he remarks. "We understand this and our top-performers can expect to quickly move up the ranks to become senior consultants, branch managers and senior business managers."

Alternatively, he adds, managers may choose to follow an agency route to create new teams and run their own businesses.

All-round care
To ensure consultants perform to an expected, high standard, Mr Yu says that Dah Sing Life adopts an activity management approach to performance management. They are assessed on a weekly basis and this includes everything from sales techniques to telephone manners.

The company has also installed a retention training programme to identify individuals' areas of improvement and to keep them on the same page of the company's standard procedures and process.

Mr Yu remarks that people in the insurance profession should have a flair for interaction supported by good interpersonal skills, empathy, work ethics and a positive attitude plus a keen sense of responsibility. This helps to expand their client network, too, he advises.

The fast-transforming landscape of today's insurance industry makes continuous learning indispensible, Mr Yu believes. "For this reason alone, a responsible company should allocate sufficient resources and offer their front-line personnel ample support in order to drive performance and professional growth," he concludes.

Safe in the knowledge

  • Talent development holds key to sustainable business success
  • New recruitment and training centre furnished with state-of-the-art tools and equipment
  • Surging demand for life insurance and protection products drive training and development needs
Taken from Career Times 16 September 2011

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