The Insurance Industry's Talent Crisis (and How to Address It)

Posted on September 1, 2021

The insurance industry is at a crossroads - as are many industries. Sometimes it seems like there are too many jobs and not enough people, and yet there are always people looking for jobs. So what's going on? 

The talent crisis in the insurance industry is due to several factors and it's becoming increasingly difficult to find and retain employees. In order to fix the problem, it's important to understand its source. 

In this guide, we'll first look at the reasons behind the talent crisis. Then, we'll look at options for closing the gap and how employee and employer expectations match up. So keep reading to learn everything about talent management in the insurance industry! 

Why Is There a Talent Crisis in the Insurance Industry? 

There are a lot of reasons why there is a talent crisis in the insurance industry. Some of the most common reasons are attributed to an ageing workforce, competition in a globalized world, and retaining new talent. Let's look at each of these. 

Aging Workforce 

This is the biggest problem that insurance companies in Canada face - and it's becoming a global problem. As the population ages, there are simply fewer people to take their place as the birthrate plummets. While the government has strategies to alleviate the effects of this, it could take some time to see them fully in action. 

As it is, the over-65 population is expected to double. And with the majority of younger potential employees, they aren't even aware of the job opportunities within the insurance industry. 

Competition 

There are many insurance companies and a lack of talent to go around. The same number of companies are competing for an ever-smaller pool of talent. Everyone is hiring, but not so many are looking for a job in the insurance industry according to the 2019 Insurance Industry Employment And Hiring Outlook Survey

Retention 

The majority of young Canadians do not stick with the same company year after year. Most stay with their original company only 12-18 months before moving on.

There are a variety of factors driving this - the possibility of poaching from other companies, the tendency for companies to offer contracts over salaries, and the desire to move elsewhere or work in other areas are just some of the possibilities.

Insurance Agent the most boring job

How Are Insurers Closing the Talent Gap in the Insurance Industry? 

Employees can be the main asset of a company, and hiring the best employees can make you the best company. So, how exactly should insurance companies proceed in order to get and then retain talent? 

Employee Referral Program 

One of the best ways to get excellent employees that fit into the work culture you have cultivated is through an employee referral program. Most people know one or two people who are looking for jobs. Because they have the link to your company already and are in close contact with someone you appreciate, they are likely to be a stronger candidate already. 

This kind of program doesn't cost the company much. Essentially, it allows the employees to do the hard work of sourcing new people for you - but it won't feel like hard work for them.

Be Upfront About Perks 

Beyond a salary, employees want to know what you are offering them. What makes you a better company to work for than someone else? Because, as you'll recall, there are many companies and not as many workers. You have to beat the competition by making yourself the best company to work for. 

Many companies have realized that offering employer-issued life insurance, for example, is attractive to potential employees. Offering this kind of long-term insurance also helps greatly with retention - it gives them a reason to stay at your place of business. 

And maybe you already offer perks! Many companies offer help with taxes, for instance, but even current employees may not be aware of them. Be upfront with these when in the hiring process.

As the situation currently stands, most people are likely interviewing at a number of places. If they have a good experience in the interview and learn about how you offer more than other companies, they're more likely to continue pursuing the jobs you have on offer. 

Technology 

One of the biggest divides between the generations is the approach to technology. Frequently, parents of millennials tell their children to go out and hand in paper applications door-to-door. This is an outdated method that doesn't work and you may be tempted to approach hiring in the same way as your predecessors. 

It's important to promote your use of technology and actually use it.

Having a good quality website is important for both customers and potential employees so you're killing two birds with one stone. Potential employees want to know that you're easy to work for and have a modern outlook. The easiest way to do that is to appeal on the technological level by showing you have online applications, apps, and a social media presence. 

Social Media

You need to be accessible to your employees. With the large amounts of competition, people might not find your company after doing a Google search. People are actually hiring millennials off of social media through strong recruitment strategies. 

Job fairs are less likely to be attended. Just think, millennials are on their devices constantly - you're more likely to be on their radar if you have a presence across various sites and apps. Recruiting in this manner is not only incredibly useful for you, but it's also appealing to the potential employees because it looks like you understand them at their level.

Workplace Culture

This is one of the most important factors for retention. Keep some tabs on your employees to judge what the climate is. Do people seem happy, apathetic, or unhappy? One of the best ways to know how to keep employees is to ask them what they want.

Consider sending out anonymous surveys to get a good idea of what people are looking for. Make it clear that you support your staff professionally and even personally.

What Are Employee and Employer Expectations in the Insurance Industry? 

Part of this is down to understanding both the situation and the people you are trying to attract. The situation is as we have previously explained, but the mind of the potential employee needs to be examined more. Let's look at how you can get employee expectations to match up with your expectations as an employer. 

Employee Expectations

"The customer is always right" is seeing something of a change to "the employee is always right." In this day and age, the employee is the customer and they want to be treated as such. The methods you use to attract customers should be similar to how you attract employees. 

When they go to an interview they want to feel like they are joining a company they can feel proud to work at and tell their friends about. This means they expect you to respect them as much as you want them to respect you. Being punctual for interviews, providing good hospitality, and being upfront and available for information. 

Additionally, employees expect you to be as with the times as they are. This means the ability to connect on various social media such as LinkedIn and have job postings on various websites. If your job offerings are hidden away under the "careers" button on your website, most people aren't going to find it - you need to advertise to potential employees.

Employer Expectations 

In a way, you expect the same thing from your employees as they expect from you - to a certain extent. You expect them to be punctual, hard-working, professional, and of good value for the money you spend on their salary. 

However, there are some employer expectations that clash with employee expectations in the modern age. The expectation that employees will be making their career at your company is no longer a given. So, expecting employees to work late or on weekends unexpectedly to show company loyalty is a good way to alienate your workforce. 

Instead, you can simply modulate your expectations and go back to thinking of them as customers. Perhaps you can incentivize employees to work harder in order to receive recognition or some kind of reward, for instance. 

What Else Should You Know? 

Now that you understand all the factors behind the talent crisis in the insurance industry and how you can improve your appeal and retention, it's a good idea to see how you stack up. Look at how your competitors appeal to both customers and talent. 

One of the easiest ways you can do this is to use a comparison system - as we offer! Check out how you appear and match up to the competition. 

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