Hiring the Right Employee Can Spark Better Claims Outcomes

By Denise Johnson | April 8, 2013

People are the greatest asset in any organization, according to Chris Tidball, senior director and casualty claims consultant with Mitchell International.

“They define where you are going in the future,” said Tidball, indicating that employees make up 50 to 60 percent of a company’s operating budget.

Tidball, a keynote speaker at the recent Combined Claims Conference in Long Beach, Calif., identified the right employees as having three distinct qualities:

  1. A college education.
  2. A 3.0 grade point average.
  3. The obligatory crappy job.

Tidball recommends hiring for attitude because a company can always train for success. In addition, insurers should look for curiosity when hiring adjuster for their claims departments. He said that’s because curiosity drives process improvement.

“Adjusting is all about getting the facts, and you have to really dig into a claim. You just have to have this intuition, and you’ve got to have a knack for understanding the facts and how to piece them together. It’s almost like building a jigsaw puzzle,” Tidball said when he was interviewed further on the subject.

Adjusters should be able to understand coverage, liability and damages. In addition, time management, customer service and investigative skills are equally important.

According to the Mitchell claims consultant, hiring the wrong people can create the biggest challenge for a company. Hiring experienced adjusters can be cause for concern if retraining needs to occur.

“What typically happens is you have to bring the adjuster in. You have to assess them, you’ve got to weigh the good qualities, you’ve got to weigh the bad qualities and determine if there’s a fit in the organization. Hopefully, you identify that upfront, during the interview process, and that’s really where the curiosity falls upon the manager. The hiring manager needs to really understand that they’re getting somebody from a different culture, that may have a different work ethic, and really try to ask the right questions,” Tidball said.

The opinions of this speaker don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of Mitchell and are based on his personal experience through years of management within the property and casualty industry.

Listen to the interview.

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