Northwestern Mutual - FACT: New Hire Wash Out is 90%... first Week, or first Year or Couple of Years... Really, really consider this. | Glassdoor
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Helpful (11)

"FACT: New Hire Wash Out is 90%... first Week, or first Year or Couple of Years... Really, really consider this."

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Executive Director of Sales in Los Angeles, CA
Former Employee - Executive Director of Sales in Los Angeles, CA
Doesn't Recommend
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

I worked at Northwestern Mutual full-time (More than 8 years)

Pros

-solid leaders in mgmt, incredibly dedicated to cause, which is growing policyowners, thus growth of company as market leader. And this is a market leader in insurance, no question.
-Ask anyone on the street, and the product is the tops, solid and established. Like the brand.
-Amazing training. They should bottle it up and sell it to other companies.
-the military-like Green Beret worth ethic will work for some. It gets a few totally, and completely focused (Kool Aid like)... and the 10% that end up working out, are head over heels for company. What ever the case, over hiring by recruiters predicts huge wash out, so it's a win-win for company.

Cons

I'm going to nickname a new hire (or Intern) at Northwestern Mutual the "Contact Catcher". Or "CC" for short. If you start your Financial Rep job (or intern) opportunity at NM, you are officially a Contact Catcher. And this is why:

-Recruiters are the KEY in the business model. Thousands are hired in, but the final amount of Financial Reps (that stay) remains the same. Typical corporate business model wants retention. Case and point: every time an employee leaves, its creates at least a 6 month window of revenue lost to get new replacement and train, etc and so forth. This is why typically, companies love retention, and look closely at your references to make sure you have the history of a long term hire.

-Northwestern Mutual is the opposite. It's business model thrives on recruiters themselves (and current Reps recruiting newbies), to glean as many hires as possible 24/7. Recruiters get a bonus every time they hire someone. They realize the attrition is 90%- or 85-90% won't make it- but they need Contact Catchers. (refer to my first sentence)

-Each new hire in training, or "CC", is required to give 200 contacts of family/friends, old business colleagues, etc. Then for each name, at least 4-5 referrals are listed (and also used for possible future Policy Owners). Imagine, with a wash out of 90% happening monthly, yet in training mode 200 contacts (and all referrals) are still with company in their database? You do the math. The hiring/recruiting process has made huge strides in something called "stripmining income". Or they stripmine you, the newbie CC, of all connection intel, and if you don't make it, so be it. You as a Contact Catcher have done your duty, and life goes on. A Managing Director or Field Director can use your leads as future revenue, and/or also throw contact names out to the 10% that survive, to keep them kicking/thriving until the 5 year mark (or at 5 years, typically most reps retire from NM. Due to mostly a Captive client environment and residual income, which happens only insurance industry, so this makes perfect sense). But that's beside the point. If YOU don't make it- being part of the 90% wash out in the first 5 years- your Contact Catcher intel is invaluable.

I stated above this company has stellar product, or something to that nature. I still agree. But after working there for a month or so, and seeing the "puppet master" business model, it didn't really make sense for many. I've worked in sales, both large and small companies for many years. Always won sales contests and achieved goals. I'm very familiar with the phrase, "WHAT YOU PUT INTO THE EFFORT, YOU GET OUT". That being said, please be aware, the system sets most up for failure, as the bar is simply too high to achieve. 40 calls an hour, 15 mtgs a week. In addition to that logging (paper and online) every conversation and traction and nuance, even though one is 1099, creates a huge oxymoron that you should investigate more so before you start your career as a Contact Catcher. I say oxymoron because the corporate culture describes "free, independent schedule". hmmm

Advice to Management

I realize others say "give a small salary" to help in the beginning. Or "listen to your troops on issues, complaints". Albeit those are important, that's not my request. My ONLY advice is to stop the recruiting by thousands strategy, or "Contact Catcher" methodology. It works, I can see that. Or this company is incredibly successful in life insurance polices. But at what cost for the many newly hired? How is that fitting into a high work ethic culture?

Other Employee Reviews for Northwestern Mutual

  1. Helpful (1)

    "It is a great company for the right person."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Northwestern Mutual full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Beautiful office, friendly atmosphere, and great training program.

    Cons

    It is sink or swim. You are given the training and you have a development specialist, but if you are not doing well, you are not making any money.

    Advice to Management

    There should be more stipends for people just starting out or possibly a draw.


  2. "College Financial Representative"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - College Financial Representative in Chicago, IL
    Former Intern - College Financial Representative in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Northwestern Mutual as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great products, address needs for all people with their life insurance. Best insurance rates of return. The position gives college students a great opportunity to sell their products.

    Cons

    The main purpose is to sell policies to your friends and family. The program is designed for the company to gain as many new policies as they can. If you do not go full time with the company they still have policies. They play the numbers game and have a large number of people not return full time.

There are newer employer reviews for Northwestern Mutual
There are newer employer reviews for Northwestern Mutual

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