Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has hired 446 new financial representatives, its highest number for the first half of the year in the company's history, and more than half the number it set as a goal for this year.

The new recruits mark a 24% increase over the new hires for the first half of last year. The company, which has 5,000 employees and 3,000 financial representatives, had set a goal of hiring 840 new financial representatives this year.

Most of the new hires are people changing careers from law, sales, finance, technology, education and corporate America, according to Guardian. Guardian provides life insurance, disability income insurance, dental insurance products and funding vehicles for 401(k) plans, annuities and other financial products.

"We expect our hiring momentum to continue at a healthy pace as we head into the second half of the year," said Scott Rich, field vice president, financial representative recruiting for Guardian.

"Our financial representatives are needed now more than ever with a still recovering economy and uncertainty looming for Social Security and retirement benefits," Rich added. "Proper planning is more important in difficult economic times."

-Karen DeMasters