How Would Employers Solve the Retirement Issue in the Insurance Industry?
Published: May 11, 2017 By Roger Lear
To find out we asked 72 insurance talent acquisition and human resource managers this exact question. It is no secret that the average age in the insurance industry is 59. Ten years ago, the experts thought that the insurance industry employment growth would slow down and those retiring would be replaced by robots. While some of this is happening, 2016 saw a record number of employees working in this great industry (2.8 million). So much for a slowdown. . (Full Insurance Industry Employment Report can be downloaded here.)
So how would you solve the retirement issue? Here is what some of your peers told us they would do:
- College Recruiting. Many large companies responded that they will continue recruiting from colleges and universities. Many smaller to medium companies also indicated that they will be, for the first time, using colleges as a recruiting tool. At this year RIMS conference, over 18 colleges were represented and 200 students attended the conference.
- Social Media. A full 39% of companies have/are developing social media recruiting strategies 100% geared towards insurance careers, employment brand and jobs at their companies. Better yet four of our surveyed companies mentioned that they will also be using their company’s customer/business social channels to spread the word about the awesome careers of the insurance industry. We think this could be very powerful.
- Internship Program Expansions. Companies admit that they have to create more of an entry level training program for many of the positions that will have to fill in the future. One way to do this is by expanding their internship programs working with local colleges and universities to recruit students and get them started in the insurance industry.
- College Curriculum. Working with colleges to create insurance industry specific curriculum. Companies located in cities where their local colleges offer insurance courses or degrees are working with these schools to build curricula that are directly related to the actual job. They also are becoming involved in the classrooms so they can speak directly to students about the insurance industry. Companies realize that insurance jobs are not “sexy”, and they have to do a much better job of changing that perception.
Photo courtesy of Nazareth College Job Fair 2015
- Career Fairs. Insurance companies realize they can’t stand on the sidelines anymore and over 50% of surveyed companies said career fairs are going to play a huge part in educating and recruiting younger workers. “We never had to do job fairs in the past since we just didn’t have any entry level positions. Technology has changed that and now we can train claims adjusters with no experience in a very short period of time. We find 32% of our new employees at college job fairs.”
- Engage more millennials through Insurance Careers Month and Insurancecareerstrifecta.org. This is an outstanding website taking a grass roots approach to help educate future hires about all things related to insurance careers. This site is a collaboration between insurance associations (PCI), AM Best, insurance companies/brokers (Marsh, XL, Hamilton, others), insurance staffing firms (Jacobson) and many others.
- Get internal marketing departments involved. We found this to be very interesting. According to a few surveyed companies, they are very limited in their recruiting budget in what they use to find qualified insurance candidates. The money they have is used on normal, proven recruiting resources like LinkedIn, job boards and recruiters. Internal recruiting departments at some companies have millions of dollars to promote their insurance products. Talent acquisition department’s wish list; the ability for larger marketing budget and collaboration with marketing department to use their resources (and internal marketing talent) to help build and execute their employment brand and social strategies.
- National Television Campaign. National television, radio, and social media advertising to promote the career paths in the insurance industry. Many companies believe that the entire industry needs to do something to make sure future talent knows about the fantastic career paths in insurance. How to fund this effort on a national level is the issue. One company pointed out a possible model in the Society of Human Resources (SHRM.org). They are running national ads on major networks promoting the human resource profession and it is a fantastic campaign. (Check out the ads here and visualize something very similar promoting insurance jobs.)
Insurance employers did indicate that they feel the types of jobs in the industry are changing to be more technology driven. This is huge because the insurance industry is moving fast from paper to high tech; something millennials have no idea about but really need to know. Maybe the television commercials should just say, “Insurance Jobs are just plain cool!”.