With roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day, companies are struggling to deal with their mass exodus from the workforce. Some industries are being hit by this change harder than others, and the insurance industry falls into this category, with the average age of agents standing at 59 years old. In fact, nearly 400,000 employees are expected to retire from the insurance industry within the next few years.
To prepare for this massive change, insurance companies need to keep an eye toward the future and rethink recruitment and talent strategies in order to fill their leadership pipelines with high-potential employees. Here are a few ways that they can make working in insurance more appealing to potential candidates.
Waiting until positions become open to start thinking about the hiring process will put companies at a severe disadvantage when it comes time to make selection decisions. The best way to prepare for turnover in the insurance industry workforce is to build a healthy succession pipeline that identifies high-potential leaders and prepares them to step into leadership positions when the time comes.
Every hiring decision should take succession strategies into account to ensure that the talent pool doesn’t dry up when it’s most needed. Rather relying on the “first impression bias” when selecting a candidate, organizations need to implement thorough approaches based on hard data and robust assessment criteria. Competency models should identify the skills candidates must possess to succeed in a position while a systematic interview process and employment assessment can take the biases and guesswork out of selection decisions.
Engage and Move Quickly
Where insurance companies were once able to take their time screening candidates, they’re now being forced to engage more proactively and make selection decisions faster. In today’s job market, candidates are not waiting around for companies to make hiring decisions. Dragging out the decision process only increases the likelihood of them taking a position elsewhere.
Millennials, in particular, are unlikely to wait around for a company to make a decision. Companies can counter this somewhat by being more engaging with their recruitment and hiring strategies. Using video conferencing for interviews, conducting peer to peer interviews that give candidates a sense of who they’ll be working with, and connecting on social media can help all companies engage with candidates as they move them through the recruiting process.
Think About Different Incentives
Offering competitive pay is important, but many job candidates will base their decisions on benefits other than salary. It’s important to understand what motivates different groups of candidates. Millennials, for instance, place more importance on work-life balance and generous leave options than Generation Z candidates, who are more focused on competitive rewards, like pay bonuses.
When it comes to development opportunities, however, things are a bit more clear cut. Both Millennials and Generation Z candidates tend to make career decisions that allow them to build their skills and work toward a specific goal. Emphasizing development and promotion opportunities within the industry as part of their recruitment strategies is a good way for insurance companies to show these candidates that there is a bright future for them regardless of where they begin their career journey.
Provide a Sense of Purpose
Millennial candidates tend to place a great deal of emphasis on finding careers that provide them with a sense of purpose and help them to contribute positively to their communities. While many of them may view the insurance industry as rather old fashioned, those who work in the industry now have cited the ability to be creative and make a difference in people’s lives at the local level as major benefits of their positions. By focusing on the relationship and community aspects of the industry and the potential positive impact on individuals policy holders and their families, companies can make working in insurance much more enticing to younger candidates.
As the insurance industry confronts the ongoing generational shift in its workforce, companies must think about how they can reframe the recruiting and talent strategies to compete for the best talent available. Fortunately, there are many ways in which the industry can make itself more appealing to a new generation of employees who can step into key leadership positions in the coming years.