Executive Q&A – Jan Stewart, vice president, human resources: ‘We need to hire more’

By on January 29, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

Our new “Executive Q & A” series kicks-off with an interview with Jan Stewart, vice president of human resources. Jan joined GEICO in 2002 as the Corporate Secretary and moved into her current HR leadership role in 2006. I sat down with her to talk about GEICO, plans for 2013 and more.

What exciting things is your team working on for 2013?        

Our recruiters will be increasing their visibility via social networks, and connecting with job seekers on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. We have aggressive hiring goals this year and plan on leveraging social networks to share the GEICO story and career opportunities.

We also have an extensive amount of work to do in 2013 to determine our health and wellness strategy for the next five or so years.

I hear that GEICO plans to hire 4,000 associates next year. Can you tell me more?

Yes, we’re very excited about the growth opportunities that GEICO continues to offer across the country! By virtue of our continued sales growth and the need to handle more claims because of our growth, we need to hire more associates. As we add more associates to our family, we’ll need to hire more management staff to help coach and develop them. Therefore, we’re building up our leadership programs as well.

What is the one thing that you want job seekers to know about GEICO?

The one thing I would stress is that GEICO is a place where you can achieve many careers over the course of your working life. We offer so many options – sales, customer service, claims, auto damage adjusting, our property insurance agency, IT and various staff departments. You could have six, seven or more careers … all here at GEICO.

I understand that you were once a practicing lawyer. Can you talk to me more about your career path?

I practiced law for 15 years, primarily as a benefits lawyer. For the last eight years of that time, GEICO was one of my clients. I developed relationships with several lawyers in GEICO’s Office of General Counsel including the corporate secretary, who recruited me to come to GEICO before she retired.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?                                

I think it’s to be passionate about what you do. If you do not love what you do every day, then you need to find something else to do. For me, it’s staying vibrant and making sure that every day I am doing things that I love.

Do you have any advice on how to best balance career and family?

Be organized and focus on what matters, and don’t get lost in the little things that can distract you at work. Do your work as smartly and efficiently as you can, so that you can leave work at the office and really focus on your family when you are with them.