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JACKSONVILLE, FLA. -- When Michelle Eldridge learned in December 2019 that her employer would be outsourcing her position to a company outside of the U.S., she knew she would have to go on the job hunt soon, but at the time she didn’t know when exactly her time at the company would expire.
A month later, she attended a job fair hosted by her employer to introduce local businesses to employees like her who would be leaving soon. It was at that time that she met Linda Hill, the Senior Director of Human Resources at Brightway Insurance.
“She really intrigued me with all the information she had about the company,” said Eldridge of her meeting with Hill. “She was just so excited that you could feel it coming out of her, so it made me feel excited and that this may be a good move, but at the time I wasn’t sure because I had never worked in insurance.”
Hill was recruiting for numerous positions at Brightway, including roles in the Customer Service Center, which services policies for nearly 300,000 customers across the U.S.
As one of the country’s largest Property Casualty Agencies, Brightway has more than 200 franchised locations in 22 states within the continental U.S. The goal of those franchises is to sell new business, and it is the support they receive from Brightway’s Jacksonville-based Home Office that empowers them to outsell other top Independent Agents.
“Brightway has grown year-over-year, even in times when the economy has seen a downturn, and we attribute our success to our Win, Win, Win operating mandate that truly aligns everything we do. Every decision we make must be a win for our franchisees, a win for our customers and a win for our employees.”
Eldridge’s experience and demeaner impressed Hill, who invited Eldridge to apply for the Customer Service Representative position.
“Every role we hire for requires a different set of skills and experience,” she said. “While Michelle doesn’t have experience in insurance, she does have relative experience in customer service, which is one thing we look for when recruiting Customer Service Representatives. While having a working background or better yet, an insurance license, is definitely a plus, it’s not mandatory for the role. We look for people who understand what customer service is all about and when it comes down to it, they are people who you would want to go to for assistance if you needed assistance with your insurance policy. And, with any role we hire for, we look for people who embody our core values of Smart, Accountable and Trustworthy.”
Eldridge wanted to stay with her employer as long as possible so that she could take advantage of the severance package, but she kept in touch with Hill as she awaited her departure date. When she learned her last day of work would be May 1, she reached out to Hill to let her know she wanted to come work for Brightway and when she would be available. The timing worked out perfectly. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Brightway had continued to train new Customer Service Representatives online and would start a new class May 18.
“Every time we communicated, she sent more information to me about the company and continued to keep in touch with me. That made me more intrigued, so I went online to learn about Brightway and did my research,” said Eldridge. “I did some research on the company and figured now is a prime opportune time with everything resetting in the world to try something new, so that’s when I decided to apply.”
She added, “What appealed to me most about Brightway was that the company has been around for a while and has had steady growth over the last 10 years.”
Eldridge went through Brightway’s hiring process, which for the Customer Service Representative role included:
She looks forward to learning the ins and outs of insurance as she begins a new chapter at Brightway.
When asked what advice she has for others searching for a new job, Eldridge replied, “Do your research and see what the company’s about, what their core values are and what the company culture is like. I went to Glassdoor and read information about Brightway, so you get all types of information, so you see the good, bad and in-between. It gives you a full overview of information.”
Eldridge started in Brightway’s class for new Customer Service Representatives May 18. The class is currently being provided online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It walks new hires through Brightway’s systems and the insurance licensure process.
If you’re on the job hunt, you can learn more about working for Brightway and open positions at Brightway.com/careers. Also, be sure to dial into Brightway’s virtual webinar Thursday, May 21, at noon or 5 p.m.
If you’re with a company that is transitioning or adversely affected by the pandemic and are having to let talented employees go as a result, please contact the Human Resources Department at Brightway by emailing HR@brightway.com.
About Brightway Insurance
Named one of the Best Places to Work in Northeast Florida for the past two years, Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty distribution company that sells through a network of franchises and independent agents throughout the U.S. The company is among the largest Personal Lines agencies in the country and has been recognized as a Franchise 500 company by Entrepreneur for seven years. Founded in 2008, Brightway has since grown to over 200 across 22 states serving customers in all 50 states, and we’ve been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in Northeast Florida by the Jacksonville Business Journal for 11 consecutive years. At Home Office, our employees are focused on delivering holistic business support that empowers agents to sell more.
Brightway employees enjoy:
Most importantly, they enjoy a family-based culture of inclusiveness where they can build positive, supportive relationships with co-workers, customers and agents.
Learn more about open positions at Brightway and starting a career with the company at Brightway.com/careers.