Quality, customer-oriented professionals form the backbone of the insurance industry, and Zurich sees hiring and training top-notch professional staff as an essential element for its business development. 'We always need people and we are constantly looking for talent,' said Denny Chan, director of life business, Zurich Insurance Group (Hong Kong). 'Our philosophy is 'the right person doing the right thing' and to 'retain true talent'.' The company searches for quality not quantity when it comes to looking for employees, so it does not set a specific limit on the number of individuals it recruits. The company is looking for individuals who have a passion to develop their careers in the insurance sector, and who want to develop long-term relationships with customers through proper training and development. With plans to recruit more advisers to add to the 1,000, the company uses its New Advisers Development Centre to select and train frontline financial advisers. 'We believe retention is as important as recruitment, therefore we will continue to put resources and efforts in retaining talent by continuously providing training to advisers via the Zurich Academy to help them further develop their career,' Mr Chan said. The company is searching for competent individuals with a commitment to the financial industry, and who have drive and ambition. Zurich Insurance Group has different programmes, such as the newly launched Business Associate Programme and the Business Management Trainee Programme, for new recruits. The Business Associate Programme is targeted at experienced sales professionals looking for successful careers with the firm. Candidates for this programme should have professional qualifications, a minimum of three years of sales experience and a strong personal network. After completing the programme, the successful candidates will start their careers as chief advisers and then business partners in three to five years. The Business Management Trainee Programme is targeted at young people and fresh graduates who aspire to work in the financial industry. It provides a 12-month on-the-job training to equip them for long-term career development. After completion of the programme, candidates are expected to become consultants, and some may become team and branch managers after some years. They may ultimately develop into becoming district and regional managers.