Name: Andy Farver
Alma Mater:Ashland University
Degree: Finance Major with minor in Accounting and Marketing
Company: Westfield Insurance
Length of Time with Westfield: 10 years
Why did you pursue a career in insurance?
It was something that I really didn’t have on my radar as I was going to college. I actually had heard about this company called Westfield. My parents had Westfield policies for some time. I knew it was one of the larger companies within Medina County, so I started doing a little bit of research into it. I started too late to find a business-related internship, so I actually got plugged into the Westfield IT department. For me the pursuit of the insurance industry all fell on that internship and realizing the world of opportunities that’s out there in the insurance industry.
What does your day-to-day look like as a recruiter in insurance?
On the surface, recruiting is looking for the right person to fill the right role. I have a blend of lenses, but I still focus in on college recruiting. A big chunk of my time is spent building relationships and partnerships with colleges and universities to share the world of opportunity with students that may not recognize all there is to do within our industry. A lot of my time is spent on college campuses, at career fairs giving presentations at networking events. I am also in charge of entry level hiring all the way up to leadership hiring as well. I connect with individuals through LinkedIn and other social networking sites, sharing the word on why Westfield and Northeast Ohio is a good place for a career. I do quite a bit of interviewing. We run quite a few screening interviews and phone interviews. We also have an online on-demand video interviewing tool that we use for those screening interviews.
Do you have any mentors in the insurance industry?
There are pockets of people I know I can go to, to learn more about the pulse of the industry. The Ohio Industry Institute (OII) keeps me connected on the insurance industry through Ohio. I can blend that with a group called the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). It’s national group that brings people together in the college recruiting space. Then individuals at the collegiate university level focus in on career development and job placement for their students.
What’s the culture like at Westfield?
The culture is engrained in our 170 years of history. We were founded by a local community to ensure we weren’t taken advantage of by faulty policies. There’s that fabric of community and hospitality. We’re a connected group of people working here so it’s not just about coming and putting in your 9-to-5, it’s about creating meaningful relationships and partnerships in groups of people and teams. We’ve had a workplace transformation that has gone on over the past few years. We’ve renovated our existing office space. We built a 90,000 square foot building. Part of what you’re seeing is the blending of an environment that represents a tip of the cap to the heritage and everything that has been put into Westfield over the past 170 years, but it’s also providing a workspace that is conducive to the business world that we’re all seeing today. So it’s a place where we’re able to build relationships and connect with individuals, not just within their own team, but throughout the entire company.
What do you say to someone considering a career in insurance?
The industry has recognized that not every student goes to school thinking they’ll be in the insurance industry. There are great risk management and insurance programs and then there’s the Gamma Iota Sigma community. Beyond that there are training opportunities where if you are unsure if you have what it takes to jump in, there are companies that are there to support you and mentor you along the way. I did an internship in the IT department. I underwrote and now I’m in the HR department. The last push if a student is still undecided - it’s an industry where you can jump into it as long as you have a curiosity and a willingness to learn, you can pivot careers and change what you’re doing relatively easily and be able to try something else out if that one thing you were jumping into isn’t entirely what you wanted to do for the rest of your career.