S4 EP44: Knowing your purpose in a mission-driven insurtech – with Sarah Schuermann, Vice President of People, EvolutionIQ

“Because we’re such a mission driven organization, it is really important that we are bringing people in who want to make a difference in the world, who are excited about joining our mission and making an impact ”, says Sarah.

“The people who are involved in that process are really committed to finding the people who are going to amplify the team the most and help us achieve our objectives.”

On the Insurance Coffee House Podcast this week, Sarah discusses her passion for leadership development and attracting talent to early-stage tech businesses.

“I am a builder. I enjoy creating programs from scratch. Getting to know each person so we can design our programs and culture for the people who are in the organization.”

Sarah gives insight into EvolutionIQ and how they use AI and machine-learning to sift data to support the business mission of supporting those with bodily injury claims.

“Our mission and vision is to be able to revolutionize the industry of bodily injury claims. To become the leader in claims guidance by helping to improve the lives of sick and injured workers and enable them to return to the workforce.

We try to accelerate that journey, to connect people with the resources and the attention that they need at pivotal points. We’re primarily in short term disability, long term disability and workers compensation. We have really honed in on various points where you can help to essentially guide the claims adjusters and examiners to be able to look at those cases at the right time.”

Sarah discusses how OKRs are used the goal-setting methodology at both leadership and company level.

“That is where we really set our big challenging goals. The executives and leaders of the organization take personal responsibility for making sure that those are achieved. People are given very consistent feedback about where they can potentially improve. There is a really well laid out road map for how people can be successful and measure their performance. Our goal is to make sure every single person is able to see the impact that they’re having and what their potential development and growth areas are. We really support that through ongoing conversations”

Sarah shares how EvolutionIQ is balancing an ultra-high performance culture and building a culture of community.  

“We really do believe in people getting to know each other on a more personal level too. For anyone joining us remotely, we fly them in for the first week so they’re able to really walk around the office, get to know other people cross functionally alongside their own teams.

We try to create an extremely inclusive environment through regular events and company off-sites. Meaningful activities that we can essentially bond through. People also are able to pursue their own passions and interests and share that with other people in the organization.”

Sarah gives her advice to insurance leaders coming for interview, citing authenticity and being clear on your purpose and fit within the organization.  

And she encourages her fellow people leaders within insurtech businesses to know what’s needed for success.

“Know your organization extremely well. Be able to identify the critical components, requirements and skills that are necessary today.

You don’t want to hire a bunch of replicas. You want to find people who have different skill sets and different perspectives, where you get a little bit more diversity of thought and diversity of contribution. That brings even greater value.”

As closing advice, Sarah says, “One of the things we learned during the pandemic is that it can be challenging to have these separate worlds collide together.  Looking at it as a holistic part of your life and figuring out how to get the most meaning and joy out of it as possible.”

Connect with Sarah Schuermann on LinkedIn or find out more about EvolutionIQ 

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

We are a global Insurance Executive Search Consultancy, supporting Insurance and Insurtech businesses to attract and retain the very best insurance talent.

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