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Who Would You Hire In This Situation?

All discussions relating to Business Insurance and Business Finance

Who Would You Hire In This Situation?

Postby Harrell » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:14 pm

This may be a weird question, but I will give it a try. I am currently the CFO of a small, regional insurance carrier and I am hiring for a VP of Finance position. I have it narrowed down to two candidates who are very different. My question is, how do you weigh education prestige vs. experience? Who would you hire based on their credentials below?

Candidate #1

University of Texas-Arlington

M.B.A. Management

Western Kentucky University

B.S. Management

Catawba Valley Community College

A.A.S. Business Administration

-6 years of experience as an insurance underwriter for a mid-sized insurance company in the area.

-4 years as an account executive at a large insurance company nearby.

-8 years as a regional underwriting director at the same company.

Candidate #2

University of California-Irvine

Ph.D. Finance

Stanford University


London School of Economics

M.Sc. Economics

Santa Clara University

B.S. Economics and Mathematics

-4 years as an actuarial analyst for a fortune 500 insurer.

-2 years working for Teach for America.

-2 years working for an economic consulting firm.

-4 years as a finance professor at a nearby state university.

So as you can see, I'm stuck between prestigious credentials and impressive work experience. Both candidates interview well, and I would be happy working with either. Which will make the better employee?
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Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:54 pm

Who Would You Hire In This Situation?

Postby Kiernan » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:00 pm

IMHO candidate #2. The first candidate is an experienced insurance professional but has no experience in finance. It would seem that if you are seeking to fill the position of Vice President of Finance you want an expert in finance not an insurance underwriter.

P.S. Nothing against underwriters, I made my living as an underwriter for many years. That, however, did not qualify me to be a financial executive of a regional insurance carrier.
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:31 pm

Who Would You Hire In This Situation?

Postby Taron » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:07 am

The fact that your company is "small and regional" tells me the answer right away. The first candidate fits your company's profile and obviously likes being in the area based on their "regional/in the area" work.

The second candidate will most likely use you as a stepping stone on to bigger and better things. While the second candidates credentials are impressive, I would ask myself why is he/she looking at a "small and regional" company?
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:25 am

Who Would You Hire In This Situation?

Postby Norice » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:13 pm

I don't think either is an ideal candidate for your small regional insurance company.
Candidate # 1 has a strong work history in underwriting but no financial investment background.
Candidate # 2 has a strong educational background and may have the knowledge for your job but I think his work history shows that he is confused on what he wants to do and may be taking your job as a last resort.
Of the two I would probably give #2 a chance but I would follow his progress closely.
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Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:00 pm

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