InsurTechs are among the legions of companies competing heavily for new hires in what has become an extremely tight pandemic-influenced marketplace. But there’s an added twist: Smaller, earlier-stage startups in the space are also vying for a scarce number of employees with their larger, better-funded brethren, according to Jennifer Linton, founder and CEO of Fenris Digital.

“It does become a bidding war for talent,” Linton noted during Episode 4 of Carrier Management’s “Strategy Sessions” monthly webinar broadcast.

Fenris Digital is a Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) company focused on providing easily accessible and actionable insights for carriers and brokers. A few months after the pandemic began, Fenris employed approximately eight employees and was seeking to grow. The company eventually doubled its staff, but it took creative moves to get there, such as hiring more people to work remotely than what was initially planned.

According to Linton, one thing became clear early on.

“There’s a dearth of great talent, [and] we need to suck in and absorb great talent,” Linton said. “That is the No. 1 concern for me almost day in and day out – how do I attract and hire great people so they can come and make their home at Fenris.”

Hiring strategies have included using recruiters to reach out to various networks and networking with existing staff. According to Linton, the process has generally helped, up to a point.

“I think I got out more offers than I cared to count where people either actually accepted or got to the tail end and would tell me ‘I can’t take your offer,'” Linton said.

This was happening during a time when a number of InsurTechs raised substantial venture capital rounds in excess of $100 million and were putting that money toward hiring a much larger number of employees, Linton said. The thing is, they were competing with smaller startups hoping to tap the same pool of eligible employees.

“They know they have to hire great people and they need to compete and get that person now,” Linton said.

For Fenris, the solution was to also rely on its own hiring networks, Linton explained.

“As we grow as a company, we get that multiplicative effect with the people on our teams,” Linton said. “They know other great people, so that’s how the recruiting magnets back, in my opinion.”

Finton’s full interview – “Innovation in the time of COVID” – can be viewed on demand for free after signing up at this link.”