In the coming years, the insurance industry will experience major loss of talent due to retirement. According to one study, about 25% of professionals in the industry will retire by 2018! This concern over such a large loss of talent has been looming over both the life and non-life industry but fortunately, is becoming more and more apparent. It was a hot topic at the TAI User Group we attended in May and will continue to be as the industry makes plans to prepare for a significant talent gap in the next 3-5 years.
So what can you do to prepare for this? I have 5 ideas below to help you get started:
1. Shift resources
Whether we like it or not, the industry is changing. As companies prepare to welcome a new generation to the insurance and reinsurance industries, it is important to think about the resources required to do so. Millennials are a very tech-savvy group, and are attracted to companies that speak to this (especially thanks to office spaces like Google and Facebook).
Consider how you can shift resources to invest in modernizing your office space or the technology used to run your business.
The new generation is one that grew up on rapidly advancing technology so they are often able to learn new systems quickly and can even help engage more senior staff on using modern tech, as well.
Your human resources department should also have a plan in place for bringing on new talent. And this should happen before people start retiring as there will be a huge knowledge gap to be filled as we start to lose some of the more seasoned vets and senior experts alike.
2. Invest in training
As always, training is a critical component to bringing on new generations of insurance professionals (and also something to consider shifting resources towards!). Luckily, you have several options, including:
- independent self-study,
- formal in-house training
- or external third party.
Regardless of the method you choose, training should definitely be part of a new reinsurance professionals’ onboarding process.
3. Knowledge transfer
With industry veterans leaving insurance, there are decades of knowledge and experience going along with them. Companies need to be proactive in transferring these insights to their new generations of employees. Work with the soon-to-be retiring, to build online manuals or even video tutorials that can be part of the onboarding and training process for new staff.
4. Start a mentoring program
Another reason to start the hiring process before your staff retires is so you can build out a mentoring program. What better way to learn from the experts than going straight to the source! As part of the onboarding process, introduce new staff to a mentor. Not only can they help with formal training, but informal training as well. Try implementing weekly one-on-one meetings where mentees can have discussions beyond the scope of their work. It’s a great time for mentors to educate them on the industry, career paths, and other general advice that will help them succeed in this industry.
5. Connect with Universities & Colleges
There are several ways you can leverage relationships with universities and colleges to access new talent. One is through career fairs. With so many long-standing employees, career fairs might not be something you have considered attending for a while. BUT if you want the cream of the crop for the next generation, you should consider connecting with local universities or colleges to get a spot in their career fair. It’s a great opportunity to get direct access to fresh alumni or soon-to-be graduates. You’ll have the chance to talk to them about an industry they may not have previously considered. Being a millennial myself, I never thought I would find a career in the insurance industry – but here I am! So my advice, be strategic about how you spread the word about your need for talent in the insurance and reinsurance world.
Another way to access talent through these channels is by volunteering to be an alumni mentor. You’ve been in their shoes, and now you can help shape, mold and educate them on the industry.
Finally, get involved with their co-op programs and give students hands on experience in the industry during their summers or school semesters. This gives you the opportunity to start building strong relationships with the next generation of potential employees early on. If it works out, you’ll have a new hire by the time they finish! Speaking from personal experience, applying for the co-op during my education was the best decision I made and the companies I joined provided me with invaluable experience.
6. Get social
And what is the best way to reach the next generation that are hungry for careers you ask?! SOCIAL MEDIA!Millennials actively engage in social media for almost every aspect of their lives including connecting with friends, deciding on their next meal, finding places to travel AND career hunting (heck, I came across my current position via the LinkedIn Jobs app!). So make sure you have a presence in the online social sphere and start connecting with YOUR FUTURE TALENT. Click for tips to get you started on social media today.
Concerns of retirement are definitely prominent in the life insurance industry; I am hoping this list helps you to kick-start or continue your strategy for filling the talent gap.
To help ease the process for you, we’ve put together a helpful guide for hiring, onboarding, training and developing new reinsurance professionals. Grab a copy by clicking below!