Like many industries, the insurance industry is suffering from a rapidly aging workforce. With a large percentage of workers set to retire over the upcoming 15 to 20 years and a distinct lack of new talent entering the industry, the skills gap is more dire and competition for fresh talent is higher than ever.
So it should come as no surprise that some insurance companies are pulling out all the stops to attract young talent. In part, this involves educating the youngest generation of workers about the variety of roles in the industry. Fresh talent needs to know that insurance isn’t just about insurance sales or underwriting; it also includes tech jobs, data analytics, and new product development, roles that are similar to those in other industries that have a more positive and “now” image.
The Boston Globe reports that in order to reach Millennials and inform them about the industry’s career potential, a number of organizations are recruiting on university campuses. Some are also partnering with universities to teach and mentor students in a variety of disciplines in the hopes they’ll look to the insurance industry for a job after graduating. For example, Quincy-based firm Arbella Insurance offers classes to train mortgage and retail professionals to sell home and auto insurance. Likewise, Boston-based Liberty Mutual and Bentley University have partnered to train actuarial science students, and MassMutual Financial Group, which has its headquarters in Springfield, MA, is partnering with universities in Western Massachusetts to help train data scientists.
Of course, in order to make recruitment efforts effective, it’s imperative that employers in the insurance sector understand what this new generation of workers want from their jobs. According to the 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index, in addition to salary, opportunities for advancement, and training opportunities, Millennials place high value on:
And this is where some of the challenge may lie, because the insurance industry doesn’t yet offer the same appeal to young people as other industries like high tech or IT. In fact, Insurance Journal highlights the need for the insurance sector to rebrand itself as one that is positive, tech-savvy, inclusive, and full of opportunities.
Forward-thinking insurance companies are advised to make this rebranding a part of their talent strategy and use all the avenues at their disposal to communicate a positive, modern employer brand to potential talent. They need to show they’re utilizing current technology, offering diverse and collaborative work environments, and employing cutting edge techniques such as big data collection and analytics. In terms of reaching out to potential candidates, supplementing recruitment on college campuses and at career fairs with social media outreach and online talent communities can be an effective strategy.
Recruiting Millennials requires a different approach from attracting previous generations of workers. However, for employers who want to build a solid workforce that’s qualified to meet the changing demands of the industry, adapting their talent acquisition strategies can be well worth the investment.
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