- Talent scarcity is an ongoing employer issue in general, but it's especially acute in the insurance industry, with nearly 400,000 employees expected to retire from the insurance workforce within the next few years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The Insurance Journal said that insurance carriers and their HR leaders need to figure out more effective strategies in communicating and recruiting job applicants if they expect to meet the challenges created by that brain drain.
- To make matters worse, there are also recent studies suggesting that millennials are not particularly interested in working for insurance carriers, which is creating added pressure on insurers to rethink their recruiting strategies, according to Dave Coons, senior vice president of Jacobson Group. “We’re facing a potential talent shortage unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the past,” Coons told Insurance Journal.
Coons told Insurance Journal that insurers need to revisit the basics, including how potential employees are screened and interviewed. In essence, he says rather than looking to "screen candidates out,” insurers need to take a "screening in" mentality. That means more proactively engaging candidates to consider long-term insurance industry careers.
How can that happen? According to the PwC report, HR and its recruiters are the "scouting departments" of the insurance industry, and HR has two options – hire experienced candidates or recruit and develop raw talent through effective training programs. That's not always easy for commercial insurance, which doesn't do very well in marketing the "wide array of opportunities" that exist within an insurance company.
That brings it back to millennials, who are expected to make up 50% of the workforce in the near future (they are already the largest single demographic in today's U.S. workforce). Of course, learning what millennials want in their professional lives would be a good start for insurance carriers, and again, it's HR's job to drive that message out into the talent marketplace via social media, improved career websites and other strategies.