The insurance market continues to prepare for changes associated with new federal government regulations and any possible “repeal and replace” scenarios. However, they are also on the cusp of another significant event that will greatly impact the industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics approximately 400,000 positions will be available in the insurance field by 2020.
Insurers need to get ready for a looming talent strategy that is fast approaching. A recent McKinsey & Company study found that one quarter of insurance professionals are expected to retire next year. Yet, there will not be enough graduates of risk management and insurance programs to fill more than 10%-12% of those openings.
This is why most risk-management schools have 100% placement ratios. There are more job opportunities than there are candidates. It’s been a tough sell for a number of years, as only 4% of Millennials see insurance as an appealing industry, according to Hartford’s 2015 Millennial Leadership Survey.
That’s why insurance companies and agencies need new initiatives to drive a successful recruitment effort now and for the future. They need to consider staffing plans, update engagement and retention practices, and use data analysis and metrics to understand what new graduates/employees want and need.
As an industry, experts agree that educational requirements need to be reconsidered for some insurance positions. Candidates with associate degrees and high school degrees plus some experience may be good talent pools for specific jobs in the industry.
This leads to another consideration many companies and agencies will face. There is bound to be a talent gap that will need to be filled. Employees that are valued subject matter experts or early retirees who can be reengaged might make ideal candidates for project-based assignments or consulting to help agencies and organizations bridge any disparities and remain competitive. They will also make ideal mentors for the newly employed.
Recruiting efforts need to begin sooner as well. Some large industry leaders are supporting spelling bees at the middle-school level, holding chess tournaments, and creating branding events on college campuses that are fun and relaxed. These activities along with recognizing Millennials’ need for digital advances means events and job openings associated with a company better be posted on social media let alone LinkedIn and other internet job posting sites.
It’s a challenging time for the insurance industry. The talent crunch is about to hit and companies need to be focused on attracting young workers to the industry and their agency or organization. With an effective strategy and creative tools recruitment can become a top priority that brings an organization success.
Source: Best’s Review. Looking for the New Kids. July 2017. PP 47-50.