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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Northwestern Mutual on hiring binge

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Some large financial institutions may be experiencing layoffs as the hangover that is the financial crisis continues to drag its feet. Northwestern Mutual, however, is not one of those companies.

In a statement today, the life insurance company announced that it will aim to recruit more than 2,700 financial representatives and 3,700 financial representative interns in 2014, making it the most ambitious recruiting effort in the company’s 156-year history. 

Why the push?

According to Steve Mannebach, Northwestern Mutual’s vice president of field growth and development, the company’s aggressive 2014 goal of 6,400 total recruits is a direct result of the increased need Northwestern Mutual is seeing for comprehensive financial planning in the United States. The 2013 Planning and Progress Study found that 63 percent of Americans believe their overall financial planning needs improvement and half have no plan in place.

“There’s a high-demand for trained financial professionals, and our forecasts show that demand will continue to climb in the foreseeable future,” said Mannebach. “With the market uncertainty and confusing options, people are seeking guidance and clarity in their long-term planning.”

The company expects that more than half of its new representatives will be career changers, or professionals who believe they have reached the ceiling in their current occupation and are looking for more opportunities to grow. Northwestern Mutual also found that it attracts many military veterans, whose “strong leadership qualities, discipline, motivation and desire to help others are highly transferrable skills to careers as financial representatives,” according to Mannebach. 

The company has a slew of awards to attract recruits and is also working with multimedia to attract prospective representatives, including various YouTube videos detailing a day in the life of a Northwestern Mutual financial representative. 


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