TotalCSR started out as a training platform for small, independent insurance agencies but has evolved over the past few years into something much more than that. With the changes that 2020 brought, CEO Jordan Goodman wanted to give his customers more. Now, an Employee Management Platform, TotalCSR has a HAT(S) for every occasion. The new acronym HATS encompasses all that the platform has to offer. Find help with hiring, assessments, training and supporting an independent agency through TotalCSR. For more on our vendor relationships check in here.
Edwin K. Morris (4s):
Welcome to the trusted advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois group. Iroquois is your trusted advisor in all things insurance. I am Edwin K. Morris. Jordan Goodman is the co-founder of TotalCSR and is the CEO of Goodman Insurance Services. As a proud millennial and third generation insurance professional, he brings a unique perspective to a rapidly changing industry. What’s going on with your organization?
Jordan Goodman (33s):
Big things, big things. We are very, very excited for this new rollout. We’re coming out in just a few weeks with really TotalCSR as a brand new entity. We’ve always been really a training organization and we’ve been very excited, had great success with that. But during this insanity of 2020, we really realized that we needed to offer our customers more. And so we’ve rethought our whole concept, how we help the independent agencies. And we’ve decided to really add three more components. Yeah, the best kind of way to explain it is using the acronym HATS, H A T S.
Jordan Goodman (1m 15s):
The H stands for hiring. We’ve built an applicant tracking system to walk you through the point where you want to hire someone all the way through the hire itself. The other great thing there is, you know, we’ve done an integration with ZipRecruiter and we have a partnership with Criteria Corp, where we go through and when you bring someone in, they get assessed on emotional intelligence, cognitive aptitude, personality profile, and computer and internet literacy. So you’re really able to determine whether this person is going to be a qualified candidate for your organization. They get customized interview questions based on how the answer that, and then the other great thing is once we go through, determine whether they’re a personality fit, we’ve all hired those people in this industry where they come on and we say, Hey there, we’re not going to hire someone new.
Jordan Goodman (2m 2s):
We wanna hire someone who’s got 10, 20 years experience. But the problem is you do that. You ask them a few coverage questions. They walk in and you realize day one, they start, they don’t know anything. What do we do? So we’ve now built out insurance assessments for personal lines, commercial lines and employee benefits. And what we do there is we not only test on the practical side, can they do the job, but we test their coverage knowledge as well. So the other unique thing that we do is with these assessments, we don’t just offer them for the new hires. We offer them for your entire organization as well. So you’ll be able to determine what the caliber is of all your existing staff – let’s say, Tim is awesome in work comp and GL. And then you find out that his property and marine knowledge is weak.
Jordan Goodman (2m 43s):
Boom, enroll them in our TotalCSR course.
Edwin K. Morris (2m 45s):
Wow. That sounds very thorough. Yeah. We’re pretty excited. How did you get to this point? I got what you said with the COVID has just kind of blown the doors off of usage or need, but how did you get here? Honestly,
Jordan Goodman (3m 1s):
You know, as my brother and I, we own a third generation agency, we are always trying to find solutions for ourselves and we go, Oh my gosh, what are our biggest pain points? What are our biggest problems? And it provides a really unique perspective into how we want to build TotalCSR is what do we want to exist? Or what exists that needs to be done a lot better. Right. You know,
Edwin K. Morris (3m 24s):
So based on your own exposure and experience to the pain points, as you say, you know what, if this is our pain point it is probably a whole bunch of other people’s.
Jordan Goodman (3m 35s):
It is, we started TotalCSR two and a half years ago, and I’ve had the unique perspective to talk to thousands of independent agency owners. I’ve heard their complaints. And it’s so funny. We all think that we have all these unique problems and in the industry we’re having the exact same problems across the board. You know, whether you’re a two man shop or a 200 person shop, we’re all complaining about the same stuff.
Edwin K. Morris (3m 58s):
So a lot of similarities. So there’s some leverage there to be able to push that knowledge set and solution set out to the wider spectrum. Right. So how are you delivering that? You, you talked about the assessment piece. So is that always a first step for an organization? Let’s go get an assessment done so we know where we’re at?
Jordan Goodman (4m 18s):
It should be, we should be doing assessments more, but we don’t,
Edwin K. Morris (4m 22s):
Well, nobody wants to do an assessment. I mean, it’s like taking a test.
Jordan Goodman (4m 26s):
Yeah. And then you’ve got to review the assessment and actually analyze it. Yeah. Yeah. But you know what, they’re, they’re, we’re, we’re actually hiring right now again and when I’m spending the time to go through these and really, you know, combing through them, I’m doing that in conjunction with even just the phone screening. Cause I haven’t brought people in for the interviews yet. It’s surprisingly how accurate this really is. If, if you get to the point where you could just trust it, I would have saved myself four hours yesterday on phone calls.
Edwin K. Morris (4m 59s):
And the hiring process is always such a murky water, right? Either it’s total blind, you have no idea who this cat is or it’s a referral, you know, and there’s always all this contextual stuff. That’s hard to clean up in the comparison between people. And if you’ve got like a quotient that tells you what their emotional intelligence is. Wow. Regardless what the skill sets are, right. It’s almost like computer savvy or tech savvy and emotional maturity is just really doesn’t matter what the job is. Those are core pieces.
Jordan Goodman (5m 31s):
Exactly. Yeah. Totally agree with you. So how did you pull that in? A lot of engineering. Yeah, no, we, we, we spent quite a bit of capital on saying, Hey, we really want to rebuild this thing and we want to do it. Right. We, when we launched two and a half years ago, this thing was bootstrapped. We never dreamt it would turn into what it was and it’s taken on a life of its own. But we said, Hey, we really need to do it right this time. There’s been a lot of terrible things about COVID, but it’s pushed a lot of us to think differently. It’s been, I think, a really good thing for us in that regard,
Edwin K. Morris (6m 4s):
Are you considered a regional capacity or if you’re hiring, I’m sure it’s remote work. Right. So your footprint that’s bigger than what normally would have been.
Jordan Goodman (6m 13s):
Yeah. I mean, you, you absolutely can with our software, you determine where you want to hire from. And again, I was just on the phone with an agency the other day, who we were talking about different regions and they have, I think, seven different, like mini-regions in California. And they said, yeah, we’re, we’re going to be ditching that. We’re just going to have one office so to speak and people are going to be remote. And I don’t know if that’s the way the world is actually going to go or not. But I’ve heard that a couple of times from pretty large agencies,
Edwin K. Morris (6m 45s):
Well, it’s got to save all the way around. Right. I mean, just think of all the resources that go into building places for people to go to work. Right. If you can get rid of all that overhead and time waste of travel and just all that, why would you not do that?
Jordan Goodman (7m 3s):
I actually had a conversation yesterday with one of our other team members. And I said, you know, we’ve really gotten hurt because a lot of people aren’t hiring right now. And she goes, no, actually a lot of people are hiring. So it’s been interesting. We, we’ve had, our growth has slowed a little bit, but we are, and we had several of our agencies say, Hey, we don’t need the service right now. This is June, July. And we said, we totally get it. No big deal. But they’ve started coming back saying, Hey, we’re hiring again. We’re cut. You know, we need to get back on this. And so I’ve been very surprised about that. So yeah. I hope there’s a rubber band effect. I hope that we are going to see the Slingshot back.
Jordan Goodman (7m 46s):
But yeah, I mean, who knows
Edwin K. Morris (7m 48s):
Either way? I mean, you’re prepared to go either way. I mean
Jordan Goodman (7m 52s):
It really doesn’t matter. No, it doesn’t, but you know, we’re happy to be here and be a valuable tool for any of the agencies.
Edwin K. Morris (8m 0s):
You said about the transition. Was there a concern about losing brand identity in this?
Jordan Goodman (8m 7s):
We, we thought about changing names too, and we determined no. Keep the name, you know, when you think about, and not that I’m comparing myself to these companies, but when you think about like Google and things like that, the name means nothing. Amazon at least had had a name that meant something right there, there was intent there, but you know, there was, there’s no association that people had to Google before Google was there. So we said, look, people know our name. Let’s, let’s keep it. Let’s keep that, that brand growing and just keep adding. And so that’s what we’re going with. I think it’s the right move, but time will tell.
Edwin K. Morris (8m 46s):
So in this rebranding process, what was changed?
Jordan Goodman (8m 49s):
Just the addition of all the products, the, you know, the hiring, the assessing, and even like our training , for example, right? So we have all this insurance training, but we’ve added two different components. One is a professional development section. So we’ve split it up between management and employees, things like your sexual harassment, harassment training, time management techniques, you know, generation gaps, things like that, that aren’t necessarily insurance specific. And one of the other things that we built with our training is now we’re going to be able to offer the agencies the ability to build their own courses in our, within our system. So with drag and drop technology, they’ll go in because we can’t be the end all be all. We’ve all got our own processes, procedures, et cetera.
Jordan Goodman (9m 31s):
Now they can go build that out.
Edwin K. Morris (9m 32s):
Well. And probably some agencies have some in-house capability or technology experts that can be able to do that fairly easily.
Jordan Goodman (9m 41s):
And again, our training courses will still be core on bringing them in and getting them caught up to speed. You don’t want to spend your own staff’s time doing that. But if we can take you and say, okay, from the time you want to hire someone all the way through training and then get them trained on your systems, right? So you can remove, you know, the barrier to that, that new hire coming in and have all the people training them. And then this last piece we created, which we’re we’re really excited about is support. So there’s just way too much information in this industry to remember, especially if you’re new, we’ve created a tool that we’re calling ask Ellie and Ellie is an elephant and elephants never forget, right? What she is, is a, a quick access resource library to everything in all of our courses.
Jordan Goodman (10m 26s):
So if you were to say, what’s a waiver of subrogation, how do I calculate a short rate penalty? You just ask, Ellie pops it up. You don’t have to go dig through the course. You don’t have to go ask your manager or Google. It’s a really neat tool. We keep thinking that we’re only for the small agency, we’re building it with the small agency in mind. Right? A lot of the larger agencies have a lot of these tools in place, but we have so many large agencies that have come to us and say, you guys are doing it better. Yes. We already have these tools, but you are doing it better. When, when you have a public company come to us and say that, and they sign up with us. It’s, it’s been pretty unique. So we’re just really excited about this launch and it should be here soon.
Jordan Goodman (11m 7s):
Edwin K. Morris (11m 7s):
Crowded is this space? It’s really interesting
Jordan Goodman (11m 10s):
Because initially our, our TotalCSR products, our new hire products, it was really a blue ocean strategy. There was zero, there was no one in our, in our place. And so we took off like crazy. When we started to go into the, our advanced courses, that’s when we really started to hop into a competition, you know, with companies like National Alliance, Hartford School of Insurance, the Institutes, and look, these are all fine institutions. They do a great job. We’re just trying to do it in a little bit different format. And we think we’ve cracked the nut a little bit.
Edwin K. Morris (11m 43s):
Yeah. It sounds like you’ve added a lot of extra bricks to the wall of components, right. And integrations, more importantly, integrations that make it much more Functional and beneficial to the customer.
Jordan Goodman (11m 58s):
Like I said, again, we were a training company. Now we are an employee management platform. Again, I know I keep saying how excited I am, but I’m so thrilled for what I think our team has been able to accomplish and what we’re going to be releasing. This industry has given so much to my family, with my grandpa starting it. And then my dad, and then my brother and I, and then our sister’s part of the TotalCSR team now. And so everyone’s here and it’s for us to be able to make an impact in a tangible way in the industry, in such a large scale, it’s just a lot of fun. And I’m just excited that we get to play such a unique part in,
Edwin K. Morris (12m 34s):
Well, thanks a lot for being here today. This sounds really exciting, and I hope that we can have you back on to see where you’ve gone in 2021.
Jordan Goodman (12m 41s):
Oh, that would be wonderful. We, I’d really enjoy that.
Edwin K. Morris (12m 44s):
Thanks for listening to this edition of the trusted advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois group. Iroquois, your trusted advisor for all things insurance, and remember get out of the office and sell. I am Edwin K. Morris, and I invite you to join me for the next edition of the trusted advisor podcast.