S4 EP27: Talent development and standardization in a decentralized organization – with Amy Halliburton, Chief Human Resources Officer, HUB International

“I am a big believer in continuous learning, in cultures that are rich in performance feedback so that people know how they’re doing, what they could be doing better and what they need to focus on in their development”, says Amy.

A first generation college student, Amy describes her multi-industry career journey from Case New Holland through consultancy and in to the insurance sector.  She describes her senior HR roles at AON and Gallagher and explains what attracted her to join HUB International as Chief Human Resources Officer in January 2023.

“It’s a business that I love, it’s an industry that I love and HUB was an exciting opportunity for me to figure out where we go next with HR, to support where the business is headed. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. We have been so successful through a very strong acquisition model. We’re just getting started. It’s exciting to be able to think about all the experiences I’ve had and how I leverage them to really change the way we’re going to do things in HR and support the way the business is changing.

With 18,000 employees and $4bn revenues, the company operates in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

“We have six super regions and then underneath we have all of our hubs.”

Amy highlights her passion for talent development and career development, explaining how she wants to offer people the chance to move between the spectrum of business functions within the insurance sector.

“One of the things in many insurance companies is there seems to be a little bit of a separation between the sales people or the producers and the servicing team. There’s a huge opportunity to help people see that all roles within insurance are valuable and give the opportunity to move between them. That would be really exciting.”

Amy discusses recruiting talent, providing a career path and the importance of leadership development.  

“It feels like the biggest opportunity is really around talent development. How do we create better leaders and make sure our managers have the skills they need to lead teams in a way that creates engagement and creates loyalty. And then for employees, how do we allow people to pursue different careers? How do we help them understand the possibilities?”

She emphasizes how newly acquired businesses and colleagues are embedded in to the organization.

“When we acquire organizations, we fold them into those hubs or if they’re large enough, they create their own hub. As a leader or as an employee, you’re going to have a much richer experience joining a company like HUB. People that join us through acquisition have the opportunity to grow their career in a very different way because in a smaller agency, there are only a certain number of roles.”

Amy talks about leading the people function at a decentralized organization.

“We’ve got 35 teams of HR professionals doing things 35 times in 35 ways. The opportunity is not to change that structure. The opportunity is to solve things like onboarding or leadership development at the enterprise level. If we have standardization of these types of things, it allows for more innovation locally.”

Amy shares her advice to senior leaders coming to interview at HUB.

“Do your homework. Understand and value where we’ve been as a company, because where we’ve been is what’s made us so successful. And think about how would you be able to capitalize on the history and the culture to propel us in the future.”

She encourages fellow insurance industry HR professionals to have a good pulse on what the next generation of talent are looking for in their careers

“It’s very different from what many of us who have been in the workforce for a while would be expecting. They’re looking for where they’re going to be developed. They want to be a part of organizations that have a bigger mission than just insurance.”

Amy concludes by encouraging us to be open to different challenges and embrace opportunity.

“There may be parts of your role that aren’t as meaningful or where you feel like you’re not being challenged. You don’t necessarily see a path to get yourself to that place where you love what you’re doing again. Just embrace opportunity.”

Connect with Amy Halliburton on LinkedIn or find out more about HUB International

The Insurance Coffee House Podcast is hosted by Nick Hoadley, CEO of Insurance Search.

Insurance Search is a global Executive Search Consultancy, supporting Insurance and Insurtech businesses with Critical Hires, Executive Search and Market Intelligence Services.

To discuss identifying & attracting the very best insurance talent to your team or being a podcast guest, reach out to Nick via nick.hoadley@insurance-search.com

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