As amusing as it was alarming, a 2012 Valen Analytics survey revealed that 44% of Millennials thought that the prospect of working in the insurance industry was boring — little do they know!1 Good thing our industry has record low unemployment rates, right?
Here’s the problem: In 2016 the average age of insurance industry employees was 59, and nearly 400,000 of them were expected to retire within the next few years.2
At first it would seem that with plenty of recent college grads looking for work – more than 40% are unemployed – we would have a healthy job pool, right?
But what are insurance companies doing to attract qualified young talent and enticing them to stay? Since this talent pool searches the Internet for information about job options, one conclusion of the Valen study pointed to the opportunity for insurance company websites to play up the kind of work that attracts the bright ones – such as analyzing risk and recommending solutions – and avoid a focus on selling insurance, which doesn’t interest them.3 If a relationship exists between Millennial’s negative perception of the insurance industry and their lack of knowledge about it, website improvements may help reach the 78% of Millennials who are not familiar with the insurance industry – or the types of careers available.4
On the other hand, a 2018 survey of 64 insurance companies reported that respondents faced the opposite problem: they had to sift through a large quantity of unqualified resumes and LinkedIn applications before narrowing down to a pool of suitable candidates.5 Only one company reported using chat-bots or AI, like those developed by Hiring Solved and Mya, to help filter the heaps of applicants. Some businesses in the industry are also implementing peer-to-peer interviews within the interview process to give candidates a better understanding of the role and who they would be working with, rather than simply who they’d be working for.
Other companies are beginning to reshape the traditions and perceptions of “work culture.” Body alterations, such as piercings and tattoos, are increasingly accepted, and companies are developing strategies to allow more employee freedom in the form of telecommuting and flexible schedules.6
There’s no quick fix, but companies that proactively overhaul their recruitment strategies and work culture may be the most likely to preserve long-term prosperity and growth. One cannot expect all insurance companies to look like graphic t-shirt and tennis shoe-wearing tech start-ups, but the industry will eventually shift to reflect a new generation of insurance professionals and its values. And when this shift occurs, will your company be ahead of the curve…or be left behind?
1. The Institutes, Millennial Generation Attitudes About Work and The Insurance Industry, 2012 survey, https://www.theinstitutes.org/doc/Millennial-Generation-Survey-Report.pdf.
2. Insurance Relief, November 2, 2016, https://www.insurance-relief.com/blog/400000-insurance-professionals-are-retiring.
4. The 2018 Insurance Industry Employment and Hiring Outlook Survey, http://images.greatinsurancejobs.com/pdfs/gij-whitepaper/Great_Insurance_Jobs_2018_Insurance_Industry_Employment_Outlook_Report.pdf.