Leveraging flash technology and employing a design strategy that stressed flexibility and authentic content, MassMutual ($505 billion in assets) launched a new Web site aimed at recruiting new professionals to its workforce and attracting potential agents to join its producer community.
Central to the new site is a series of video testimonials from current MassMutual employees, such as a MassMutual sales manager who explains his job and why he finds it to be a fulfilling career choice. The recruitment Web site specifically targets younger professionals and those who are considering a career change.
"The real differentiator here is that we're focusing not just on sources of candidates that the industry traditionally focuses on -- people already in the financial services industry," says Phil Brown, assistant vice president, affiliation marketing, MassMutual. "We're really trying to reach out beyond that, to people that might want to consider an opportunity in this career."
The Springfield, Mass.-based carrier expects that the real-life testimonial videos will add a personal touch to the Web site and perhaps even dispel some of the negative stigmas attached to working in the insurance industry. "We want to show that this a great career to transition to, as well as a perfect choice for those that are just entering the workforce from college," says MassMutual director of net field force growth Scott Capurso.
Visitors to the site view the videos via an interactive flash page and can select different employees to view their particular video. Brown and Capurso characterize the employee and agent video testimonials as what differentiates the site from other insurer's recruitment efforts and previous efforts at MassMutual. "Until now, we really haven't been able to deliver -- on the previous site, with static testimonials [as opposed to video testimonials] from real people -- the emotive feel, the enthusiasm and passion that our people have in this career," Capurso says.
MassMutual's target audiences for the new site -- career changers and the younger generations -- are increasingly going online to research and educate themselves on a given topic, including different lines of work, Brown adds. "Certainly, in the past, we've seen companies use the Internet to provide that information, but this really brings it to another level, where we're bringing that information to them from people actually in the career in a very personal way," Brown relates.
The site was designed with help from Boston-based Genuine Interactive and was built on a Microsoft (Remond, Wash.) .NET 2.0 platform and SQL Server database, according to Corina Roy, director of interactive strategy for MassMutual's marketing division. "The video integration required a high degree of flash and video expertise," Roy explains. "While it appears as a single movie, it is actually made up of multiple smaller videos which enable the site to load quickly."
Launched on March 10 of this year, the site has seen early success. According to Brown and Capurso, the carrier has seen a 300-percent increase in the number of people who have contacted the company regarding career opportunities via the Web site over the same time last year.
While it is too early to draw any concrete conclusions, the carrier has also found some anecdotal evidence that it is attracting more diverse applicants as well. "We certainly pay attention to the analytics and metrics of the Web site, such as time spent on the site and page views," Capurso says, "but at the end of the day, it's about how many people took the step and crossed the line to say, 'Here's my information. Let's start the conversation about a career opportunity.'"
To facilitate those first steps of interaction, MassMutual looked to build a great deal of flexibility into the new Web site. Candidates visiting the site can contact individual or groups of recruiters and agencies that work with the carrier or they can contact the company directly. Within those interactions, they can choose how much information they provide -- from sending a full resume with personal contact info to merely asking the company a question.
"We didn't want to pigeonhole people and have it be an all or nothing situation, where they disclose all their information up front to us," Capurso says. "We needed to offer them other outlets to increase their comfort level along the way."