With digital push on sales, Aegon Life bets on niche skills

Private life insurance company Aegon Life Insurance is hiring individuals with niche digital skills as it becomes one of the first insurers to go towards becoming a 100 percent digital firm. In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Saba Adil, Chief People Officer at Aegon Life Insurance said that the company has heavily scaled up its direct-to-customer channel.

"Our online sales channel has also been beefed up to ensure that our customers get the best blend of human & digital," she said. Adil added that the number of front line sales has grown to more than 500 and their branch presence has increased from 9 direct branches to 28 branches now.

The niche competencies that they are being looking at, according to Adil, include digital awareness/knowledge relevant to the business & the customer, learnability, passion to build & grow, customer orientation and thinking through data-driven approach.

She said that the company has redesigned the hiring process to ensure that the candidate matches the profile of Aegon Life Insurance. This also includes aptitude and psychometric tests to check the candidate's suitability to the role.

"Being in the insurance business, the focus is not just on sales but quality sales as well. Hence, we also look at aspects like persistency and net promoter score in terms of the quality parameters," added Adil.

Aegon Life has about 1100 employees strong as of now. Adil said that retention is a challenge for the industry at large.

"However, we have seen through years that our employees have grown to leadership levels, from within. About 90 percent of our sales leaders are home-grown; our engagement survey results say clearly that people find career progression and development opportunities in the organization," she explained.

With the digital and direct first rather than external agent lead model, Adil said that AR Connect, their direct to customer channel, is on a growth spurt and they find employees engaged to deliver.

"Our online, offline sales channels are stable and growing so hiring plans are largely to build strength in these channels. Our capabilities will continue to grow in sales as our business drivers and digital marketing, technology and analytics as key enablers to deliver to our business objectives," she said.

Source: Money Control