Continuing its recent hiring spree, New York Life Insurance Company says it plans on adding 3,700 agents in 2012.

The insurer hired 3,700 agents in 2011.

“New York Life has seen unprecedented growth in our field force each year for the past six years,” Rich Simonetti, VP in charge of field recruiting at New York Life said in a statement.

The company says it actively seeks to hire women and individuals who serve ethnic markets, noting that in 2011, 57 percent of the company’s hires in the field were women or individuals who represent the cultural markets. An additional recruitment focus for 2012 is men and women transitioning to the workforce from the military.

Simonetti added the company views its agent force as a market differentiator. “The demand for financial professionals is strong,” he said. “In fact, according to a recent survey, 14 percent of Americans report they plan to seek professional help managing their finances in 2012.”

Bill Kenealy writes for Insurance Networking News.