Recruiting talented individuals is a top priority for everyone in the insurance industry. Almost 50 percent of personnel are over the age of 45, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a large percentage of the industry’s workforce is expected to retire within the next 20 years.
Further compounding matters are the Millennial generation’s apparent disinterest in insurance-related careers. They are, for the most part, drawn to technology and other high profile industries. As a result, there are mounting challenges to recruiting top insurance talent.
Discovering ways to attract and hire good employees is now more crucial than ever. The following tips will help you to identify, recruit, and retain people from the growing pool of talented young people.
Educate the Younger Generation
Attracting graduates is the key to the success of the insurance industry. When looking for employees to hire you should focus on the rapidly emerging millennial generation. The main issue, however, is that other opportunities, such as those in the above-mentioned tech industry, appear more exciting to Millennials.
The amazing perks, cool culture, and great opportunities that people get working for giant tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple are well publicized. They have young graduates clamoring to land aggrandized jobs with them.
Insurance recruiters should take note. Fresh young talent needs to know that working in insurance can be just as rewarding and exciting as the technology industry, possibly more so. It’s not just about sales and underwriting. There are also things like product development, data analytics, and, indeed, tech-related jobs.
Getting the message out to educate the younger generation is the first, and one the most important, steps towards filling the skills gap. It is important to let potential candidates know that opportunities in insurance can be just as rewarding and fun as other industries.
Rethink Office Staff Recruitment
Traditionally, the insurance industry has viewed talent acquisition and management as a linear process. But, just as the industry is being forced to rethink the way talent is attracted, so too does it need to redress recruitment processes. The usual overemphasis on acquisition and retention often fails to provide an attractive prospect for new generation hires.
In 2012, The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation and The Institutes conducted an employment survey on Millennials. Regarding what motivates this generation, the survey found that the ability to impact people’s lives and have a positive impact on the community was high on the list of desires.
Furthermore, young people valued the prospect of career advancement, professional development, and regular training: All things that are available with a career in the insurance industry but are often not well highlighted in recruitment initiatives.
The focus should be on developing strategies that put career development and enhanced training front and center. A rethink of traditional entry-level roles and responsibilities is also required.
This new approach should show a clear value proposition that is in line with what the younger generation desires – career advancement, professional development, and the ability to impact people’s lives.
Take Advantage of Technology To Recruit
New potential insurance employees have grown up with computers in their bedrooms, smartphones in their pockets, and tablets in their back packs. Their lives are completely integrated with technology, and most could not envisage a world without gadgets, automation, and mobile communications.
Imagine such a person turning up for an interview at your office only to see stacks of paper piled high on desks, creaky old computers with green screens, and endless rows of manual filing cabinets.
Legacy systems and manual processes were hardly appealing to the current generation of employees, but they at least tolerated it. The new generation won’t.
At a minimum, the new generation of employees expects automated platforms and tools, digital forms and electronic signatures, and integration of mobile applications. If you are to compete for talented young professionals, a commitment to invest in new technologies is imperative.
Make The Insurance Industry Cool
A recent survey from The Hartford showed that just 4 percent of the 794 Millennials interviewed were interested in a career in insurance. Many think that the industry is boring. When compared to a rock star tech job in Silicon Valley, Underwriting might seem wholly uncool. But, it is only a matter of perspective.
To capture the attention of the Millennial generation and change their perspective, insurance recruiters need to make the industry look “cool”. That is not as drastic an undertaking as it may seem. In Claims, for example, there is responsibility for the assessment of yachts and boats, as well as homes destroyed by catastrophes.
A young professional searching for a meaningful career might be interested in the potential opportunity to climb aboard luxury yachts as well as to do something impactful in the lives of those disrupted by natural disasters.
Another area where insurance can be shown to be cool is in the marketing and advertising function. The industry utilizes all forms of marketing channels. Potential candidates would likely relish the opportunity to influence media communications, content, and digital marketing. How about training them and letting them manage your social media marketing platforms?
Create and Highlight Leadership Programs
As alluded to earlier, the younger generation place career advancement and training high on their list of career desires. With that in mind, the ability to enter something like an Executive Leadership Training Program would be quite appealing to a young graduate. Most of the larger insurers have a “fast track” to agency ownership or to leadership career track. Many now have both.
With properly designed programs, you can fast track top tier graduates into key positions within your organization. Putting these individuals into entry level management roles allows them to learn the key skills needed to lead and become future decision makers.
Leadership programs are great for attracting talented candidates, but they also serve as a tool to quickly fill key roles within an organization. You can design the program to include testing, final deliverables, or other important requirements that ensure only the best applicants pass through.
All signs point to an aging insurance workforce and a shortage of interest from Millennials. So, the mission is clear; make the industry an appealing career prospect to this important generation. You do that by showing them that the insurance industry has everything they desire in a career; good prospects, dynamism, and technology.