Top 10 Insurance Industry Hiring Challenges in 2017
Published: May 09, 2017 By Roger Lear
Each year, GreatInsuranceJobs.com does extensive interviews with talent acquisition mangers, human resource directors and company recruiters to get the inside scoop on what is really happening “inside the walls” at insurance companies, MGA’s, Brokerages, and TPA’s when it comes to hiring. (Full report can be downloaded here at no charge)
If you are looking for a job or to change jobs in the insurance industry, this list of hiring challenges employers face can really help you get the job you really want. The insurance industry is changing (moving to high end technology) and most new jobs require very particular skills sets.
“Employers are very clear, they are getting way too many resumes that just don’t have the skill set match they are looking for. More importantly, job seekers who may have the skill set don’t convert these on their resumes and many times they are passed over”.
If you look at this list and you are having a hard time getting an interview, you may have to make some changes in your approach to your job search. One thing's for sure, spend a lot of time searching for jobs that match your skillset verses applying to just any job. Also, get additional training in any area that may be required in certain jobs that are changing and becoming more technology driven.
Here is the list:
- Unqualified resumes. This is number one every year of our survey, and may have always been the case. We see this issue with HR departments in many other industries, as well, so it’s not exclusive to insurance. For employers, the influx of unqualified resumes is a huge consumer of time and resources. Last year, we surveyed insurance job seekers and asked them why they apply to jobs that they know they are not qualified to perform. Overwhelmingly, job seekers said that they were not “sure” they didn’t qualify and they felt that at least it was a way to get their foot in the door. Employers would be savvy to address this issue in their application process.
- Hiring skilled talent. It’s always been hard to find skilled employees, but some surveyed employers added that they feel even when they find a match, they are not able to “close the deal.” The main reasons employers miss out on key candidates include: not enough money in offers, benefits packages that cost the employee too much (erasing any salary increase) or losing out to competing companies because the hiring process is too long.
- Location, Location, Location. Limited talent pool combined with office locations in insurance talent-scarce areas make it hard for many companies to recruit skilled workers.
- Technology talent is hard to recruit. The growth of technology jobs in the insurance industry presents a huge challenge for human resources and internal recruiting departments. With predictions that automation is going to replace 25% of the workers in the insurance industry, it is no surprise technology jobs are on the rise. This survey showed this to be clear with over 45% of the companies mentioning that technology talent is a huge challenge to recruit and retain.
- Bi-lingual candidates. The trend to hire bi-lingual customer service professionals to sell and manage online insurance purchases has created a tremendous amount of jobs. Quite a few companies mentioned they really struggle to find candidates who speak and write other languages to help meet their customers’ expectations.
- Insurance sales professionals are in demand… everywhere. Finding great sales people in any industry is challenging. The insurance industry is in a very interesting situation with a large retirement movement underway already and technology taking over many sales jobs that are no longer needed due to the ability to buy insurance directly online. Surveyed companies mentioned that they still have huge sales needs and the common theme is a dearth of experienced talent. Finding brokers, life, and health agents and production underwriters is a major challenge, essential to the growth of the company as a whole.
- War isn’t cheap. HR departments have limited recruiting budgets and have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what resources to use to “hit the target” and get qualified candidates hired. In addition, they have to beat the competition in the race to get to those qualified candidates. Many companies said they just don’t have the resources it takes to put together a solid recruiting strategy.
- Actuaries, Data Scientists, Telematics Engineers and Competitive Intelligence professionals are really hard to find. Some of these are new to the list, but it just goes to show how the insurance industry is becoming data driven and the jobs that are needed to be filled are often the ones that keep companies competitive.
- Competitive Salary. 16% of surveyed companies mentioned that their salaries are “locked in” or not competitive. They are not attractive enough to make serious offers to qualified candidates.
- College recruiting and training costs. Employers recognize that they have to educate college students to the fact that the insurance industry has great careers other than sales. The challenge mentioned by HR professionals surveyed is the cost and manpower to recruit in colleges and universities to find potential fits for entry level positions.
When I look at this list, I see an industry that has great jobs and needs a new breed of employee to work technology driven jobs in risk managers, underwriting, claims, and sales. The insurance industry is really becoming a really cool place to work!