Tips for Attracting Top Talent in Insurance

The insurance industry may be facing a talent recruitment crisis, but there are measures agencies can take to alleviate the issues. Due to the projected loss of more than 400,000 existing employees by 2026 and the difficulty in attracting top talent in insurance, recruiters and HR managers in insurance are now finding ways to make up the difference between the skilled workforce they need and the available talent possessing those skills.

And with the rapid evolution of businesses trying to manage multiple insurance industry challenges – digital transformation, economic uncertainty, and increasing risk – it’s more important than ever to get a stable, skilled workforce in place. In this article, we’ll cover the reasons behind the talent gap in insurance, and practical strategies for attracting and retaining talent.

Understanding the Talent Gap in Insurance

So, what’s led to this talent recruitment crisis? Even before the 2020 pandemic, many seasoned professionals in insurance were reaching retirement age.

The pandemic led to a higher-than-normal retirement rate for the Baby Boom generation, a surge that has been termed The Great Retirement. Like many other industries, insurance was also affected by the Great Resignation, the wave of resignations by workers worldwide that started with the pandemic and led to record highs in job switching.

Still, there is another key driver of the talent gap in insurance. And this is a key factor insurance agencies can address to reverse the trend and ensure they recruit and retain a strong workforce going forward. Young professionals may be reluctant to join the insurance industry due to false perceptions of it being staid and slow-moving.

The traditional insurance business model of working your way up may not always align with what motivates younger employees at work. In addition, insurance has traditionally been short on two values important to the younger generations: flexibility and diversity. Erroneous perceptions of the insurance industry as a whole can deter Millennials and Gen Z from pursuing careers in insurance, but it’s a challenge you can address by adjusting recruitment and retention strategies.

We know the talent gap in the insurance sector has led to increased competition, both in terms of retaining employees and attracting new talent. In addition, insurers are also struggling to manage the business impacts of the workforce shortage, such as increased risk to customer satisfaction and brand reputation, and reduced capacity to pursue the innovation they need to stay competitive in the market. But there are solutions. Let’s now address the measures you can take to alleviate these issues.

Solve Insurance Industry Challenges by Attracting/Hiring Young Professionals

As one leading global advisory services puts it, to attract and retain young professionals, insurers need to “tell their story.” In other words, you need to realign your recruitment marketing messages and recruiting tactics to capture the interests of Millennials and Gen Z.

Here are four practical steps for doing so:

  1. Use digital marketing platforms for recruitment

    Implement modern recruitment strategies that leverage technology, such as mobile recruiting apps, virtual recruitment events, and video interviewing. Invest in your social media presence and use it to tell the story of your company in terms of what matters to young professionals. Focus on workplace flexibility, opportunities for professional and personal development, and workforce diversity.

  2. Commit to hiring for fit

    In a workforce shortage situation, it may seem expedient to hire the candidates you have, even if they are not a strong match for job qualifications. This short-term strategy typically leads to more new-hire turnover and ultimately, higher dollar, time, and effort costs for hiring. Try to ensure a larger number of new hires are truly a good fit for the role and your organization by thoroughly assessing candidates to overcome these insurance industry challenges.

  3. Seek and accept feedback

    Current candidates are an important source of intelligence about how your organization and hiring process are being perceived by your talent pool. Ask for their feedback and be open to making changes that could make your hiring process even more appealing to young professionals.

  4. Use employee referral platforms

    These platforms make it easier for employees to refer candidates and track the progress of their referrals. This leverages existing networks to bring in quality candidates to help close the talent gap in insurance.

Employee Retention Strategies

Updating your employee retention strategies goes hand in hand with attracting young professionals. These strategies contribute to your organization’s success by helping to create a stable, positive work environment that engages and motivates your new hires.

Try these best practices in your organization:

Build an attractive workplace culture

Workplace culture can make or break employee satisfaction and organizational success. Consider these ideas as you develop a positive work environment and culture:

Implementing competitive salaries and enticing employee benefits and rewards not only demonstrates your organization’s commitment to its workforce – it also enhances overall job satisfaction.

Offering flexible work arrangements acknowledges the diverse needs of employees and promotes a healthy work-life balance.

Integrating innovative technology tools reflects a forward-thinking culture that values innovation. Plus, it enhances operational efficiency.

Providing comprehensive pre-licensing education helps ensure recruits feel set up for success from the start.

Invest in employee development

Employee development is a cornerstone of a thriving workplace, and instrumental in empowering employees to reach their full potential. Your organization can build a loyal and committed workforce that contributes to long-term success by implementing some of these employee development strategies:

Provide opportunities for professional growth through initiatives such as educational sponsorships and skill-development workshops.

Using training programs to offer a structured approach to building expertise in specific areas. An online insurance training provider can also help you build and maintain a licensed insurance workforce.

Offer mentorship programs that connect employees with seasoned professionals who can provide guidance and support throughout their career journey.

These avenues for development help ensure that employees remain engaged, motivated, and well-equipped to tackle evolving challenges in their roles.

You can also pursue collaboration with educational institutions. Offering internship programs and partnering with campus recruitment programs at universities and colleges helps you connect with graduating students and recent graduates who may be a good fit for your organization.

Embrace diversity, equity and inclusion

Recognizing the benefits of diverse teams goes beyond compliance. It enriches perspectives, encourages creativity, and enhances problem-solving capabilities. For all of these reasons, organizations with a diverse workforce perform better financially and are stronger in terms of innovation and decision-making.
Some strategies for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion include:

Implementing diverse hiring panels to ensure a fair representation in the recruitment process, allowing for a more comprehensive evaluation of candidates.

Establishing employee resource groups, which contributes to an inclusive environment by providing a platform for employees to connect and share experiences.

Inviting all employees to engage and participate in your organization’s DEI efforts, which can strengthen them by bringing diverse perspectives and buy-in to your organization’s goals.

Attracting Top Talent in Insurance is Possible

In conclusion, it’s important to tailor recruiting and retention efforts to young professionals in order to minimize the talent gap in insurance for your organization. Attracting talent in insurance can be as much about opening candidates’ minds to a career in insurance as it is about finding the right fit.

The Great Retirement and the Great Resignation were definite setbacks for recruiters and HR managers, but with modern hiring practices, the insurance industry can solve the talent gap and continue to evolve and thrive.

XCEL is the nation’s most trusted provider of insurance exam prep solutions. Find out why here.

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