After a new adjuster has jumped head first into the sea of adjusting, the ultimate question they ask is, “how do I get hired or deployed?”. My advice would be to do your homework first. The field of catastrophe adjusting is discovered by word of mouth and is typically difficult to get into without knowing someone or without some assistance. With that said, you need to research all facets of this industry and find out what area fits you the best. Below, I have identified four critical things you must do in order to be considered for hire or deployment by most adjusting firms.
1. In-House Training Programs
Many independent adjusting firms offer in house training programs. Not only is there a need for these programs in the industry, they offer a great benefit to the prospective adjuster. More importantly, the firm acquires valuable information on the skill set of the prospects. There are also stand alone adjuster training companies that have no affiliation with an adjusting firm. These training companies, in my opinion, offer no value added benefits to you as a prospect. Where and who trains you does matter. Train with who you can get the most bang for your buck. We prefer to hire adjusters that have been through our training program for the simple reason that we already know the product we are going to receive.
Referrals from established adjusters are very important to our company, especially in large or multiple catastrophe events. For example, years such as 2004 and 2005, there simply wasn’t enough adjusters on any company’s roster. When a new adjuster teams up with an experienced adjuster, they get valuable on the job training. There is no substitute.
3. Adjuster Conferences and Seminars
These are important for networking capabilities and name recognition. Don’t just show up and be a wallflower. You have to be a standout in the sense of participation and interpersonal skills. The individuals that sit in the back row and do not pay attention in our seminars, usually do not get a deployment call. I can assure you, we notice who the movers and shakers are, as well as the slackers. Specifically, I remember the people sitting inside seat on rows 1-5. I must caution you that a prospective adjuster can go broke attending all of the adjusting conferences you will get invited to. Pick a few firms you have heard good things about and go all in with them. Headhunt THEM. The old saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” certainly holds true here.
4. Be Proactive with Your Training and Certifications.
Many adjusters have the idea that they must get all three levels of Xactimate certifications in order to be considered for deployment. I see this question posed on social media all of the time. If you are striving to be a trainer, then yes, you may want these certifications. If not, in my opinion, it is a complete waste of time and money.
You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on training and certifications and not ever get the call for deployment. Spend what you need to get the most widely recognized certifications and training and get in front of the people that make the hiring decisions. Send resumes out, get on CADO, get referrals from established adjusters or simply go knock on the door and introduce yourself. Personality, character, persistence and competence are what I look for in prospective adjusters. It’s not always about who has the most certifications on paper, but more of finding a well- rounded adjuster.
Authored by Randy Allgood – Lead Instructor at American Adjuster Academy