News Column

Northwestern Mutual Recruits Employees By Teaming With ALPFA, NSHMBA

Aug. 9, 2012


Steven Mannebach, vice president of field growth and development at Northwestern Mutual
Steven Mannebach, vice president of field growth and development at Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual plans recruitment strategies at four national conferences, including participation at the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) national convention this weekend, Aug. 11-16.

The annual ALPFA conference will be held in Las Vegas as the organization celebrates 40 years serving the Hispanic community.

Steven Mannebach, vice president of field growth and development at Northwestern Mutual, said sponsorship is one of the company's strategic goals in gaining new employees.

"We see that these strategic sponsorships with top-tier organizations enable us to reach a lot of professionals looking to develop careers in the financial security business," he told "We really see this partnership as a way to get access and reach out to thousands of professionals looking for positions."

The five-day ALPFA conference includes a 5K race, workshops geared toward women, and ALPFA's Veteran Initiative, which helps Latino veterans transition into corporate America.

"Northwestern Mutual and the opportunities they bring to events such as our annual convention reflect the positive collaboration that is needed to create an inclusive workforce," said Zenaida Mendoza, vice president of marketing and branding at ALPFA. "Multicultural professionals look for companies that understand what diversity brings to the table, and companies that invest their resources to be in our communities and recruit are the ones that benefit from this new pool of talent."

Northwestern, founded in 1857, is based in Milwaukee. It has $190 billion in assets and ranked No. 116 on the 2012 Fortune 500.

Mannebach said recruitment is up 20 percent and that 2012 is set to see the company's largest recruiting effort.

"We plan to recruit more than 5,000 financial professionals nationwide," he said. "(There is) a high demand among our consumers for comprehensive financial planning, and they're not looking for another product. They're looking for a plan, and that's what we do."

Currently, Northwestern has more than 6,300 full-time financial representatives and about 3,000 interns. More than 30 percent of new recruits in 2012 came from diverse backgrounds, according to Shawn Rolland, public relations specialist at Northwestern.

This year, Northwestern also teamed with the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), the National Black MBA Association and the National Society of Hispanic MBA (NSHMBA). NSHMBA's annual conference is Oct. 4-6 in Orlando, Fla.

"The wealth and income is growing in all of the diverse groups, but we need to be able to reflect and serve the marketplace," Mannebach said.

Career Fair to Job

Attendees of the conferences and career fairs are encouraged to bring resumes and share them with Northwestern representatives, Mannebach said.

"(If) there is a relationship built and a name is exchanged, (then) we will proactively call that person and schedule an interview," he said. "We go through a mutual discovery process" that usually takes five or six interviews beginning with a general overview.

More than 50 percent of new financial representatives are career changers, according to Rolland.

Northwestern seeks individuals who have a "high-achievement motivation coupled with high-service motivation," Mannebach said. "Those are the types of characteristics we see being most successful in our career."

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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