More than 7 million agents in China. How are most of them recruited?

| 06 Dec 2017

There are more than seven million insurance agents in China and the typical agent is aged between 26 and 45, and has up to a secondary education, according to the 2017 report on human resources in China's insurance industry by the Insurance Association of China.

Those aged 26-35 and 36-45 form the bulk at 35.38% and 34.45% respectively. Those aged at least 46 account for nearly 22% while those aged up to 25 account for 8.2%, according to the report which is based on a survey among 20,000 agents.

In terms of educational qualifications, fewer than 13% hold a university degree. This represents an increase from the proportion of 8.9% seen in 2015. In 2017, nearly 57% of agents have up to a secondary education. The remainder have a college diploma.

The agents have a diverse previous work history. Among them, 21% were previously in wholesale and retail distribution; 14% hailed from the F&B sector and the rest had worked in manufacturing and other industries.

Most agents recruited online

The report says that the most number of agents - a third of them - were recruited through Internet channels. The second biggest source of recruitment is personal referrals.

Agent recruitment costs are considered low. More than 50% of insurers spent less than CNY500 (US$75.60) to recruit an agent. Among P&C insurers, 4.2% spent over CNY5,000 to recruit an agent; however, no life insurer spent such an amount to attract an agent. Small insurers spend more to recruit agents than their bigger counterparts.

Non-life insurance agents are earning more premium revenue than their life counterparts. The report says that at the 75th percentile, a non-life agent rakes in annual premium revenue of CNY324,400 (US$49,060) compared to CNY117,600 for a life insurance agent.

The report also shows that insurance-related jobs with the highest demand for talent are: general management; sales (non-agency); actuarial; IT and investment management.

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