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How Behavioral Metrics Can Help You Build the Ultimate Team of Life Underwriters

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 23:32:28 +0000 / by Nick Durie


Building your ideal team of life underwriters can be intimidating but with the right tools and partners who understand the unique considerations of the industry, it becomes a lot easier. Straightforward yet powerful tools like behavioral metrics are available for managers who are looking to support their team’s career development at the individual level while driving progress toward broader organizational goals. Behavioral metrics also offer actionable insights that can be leveraged to turn your ‘gut feeling’ during hiring or ‘best guess’ in leadership approaches into strategic decision-making and planning that is backed by data about your team members’ motivations, stressors, and communication styles.

What are behavioral metrics?

Behavioral metrics are the outcome of a personality assessment that uses indirect questions to measure and analyze person’s preferences, interests, and motivations. The test uses 198 questions to measure 21 defined personality traits. It takes 20 minutes to complete and charts strengths targeted to specific jobs.

The assessment has been carefully designed by psychologists and tested with thousands of professionals to understand individual job performance and organization-wide trends. The results can be used to help identify an individual’s work habits, learning styles, and ideal career progression.

These kinds of tests have been used for decades by businesses aiming to drive engagement and connect the dots between psychological traits and business objectives, but newly refined methods and access to data analysis tools have made them more powerful and useful than ever before. 

How are behavioral metrics unique?

Unlike standardized personality tests, behavioral metrics are customized for the industry and can be tailored to measure success factors for a specific role or department. The behavioral metrics system is designed to give relevant insights for a particular context rather than using arbitrary or universal standards without a defined goal.

Successful Life Underwriters require different traits than Actuaries or Reinsurance Administrators at the same company. The assessment takes these differences into account and can be customized to prioritize targeted characteristics and strengths to determine success for a selected vertical or role.

Using behavioral metrics for hiring life underwriters

Imagining a personalized career progression for each underwriter on your team can be challenging. Identifying the key qualities that make successful candidates during a brief interview can be nearly impossible.

Behavioral metrics offers a convenient method to make better hiring decisions by setting a baseline for qualities beyond experience. With a system designed specifically for underwriters, managers are equipped with the information they need to recognize their team’s strengths and pinpoint candidates that can support and complement their existing resources.

The results allow managers to easily identify compatibilities and gaps in their teams and hire with a strategic framework to grow as a well-rounded company. Since the test is flexible, it can be adapted to select for traits that ensure a candidate is suited to meet existing client needs or, alternately, it could be used to put a spotlight on individuals who could fill in gaps in business lines and help your company evolve to fulfill emerging market demands.

Leveraging behavioral metrics for your team

Existing teams can benefit from behavioral metrics by improving efficiencies. A clear picture of individual strengths allows you to better allocate resources, delegate tasks effectively, and chart career progressions that maximize each person’s strengths and personal goals.

For example, understanding a new hire’s aptitude for coordinating projects with stakeholders may lead upper management to consider putting them on track toward a people-centered leadership role. Another long-time team members’ results may reaffirm their preference for detail-oriented tasks, positioning them to take on larger projects with more responsibility.

Benefits extend across the organization. Identifying that a particular trait is linked to converting trial applications could lead to reassigning applications. It also incents management to organize a training session to share the strengths and best practices of their particular work style. If a specific team is heavy on a single personality-type, it could signal that it’s time to hire or reorganize. Some companies can begin to correlate test results to overall performance and start building more effective and strategic groups for different business areas.

Fostering a forward-thinking workplace

The behavioral metrics test results can foster a forward-thinking workplace culture that champions employee strengths. The results can lead to impactful conversations about the ‘big picture’ while offering value and concrete takeaways for every team member.

Have some ideas about how you can use behavioral metrics to optimize your leadership decisions and motivate your team to do their best work? We’d love to hear them and help you support your underwriters. If you’re interested find us at AHOU, booth # 418, to learn more about how behavioral metrics can help your team. 

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Topics: Life Underwriting

Nick Durie

Written by Nick Durie

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