3 Steps to Building a Sustainable Workforce for the Insurance Industry – InsuranceNewsNet

The insurance industry is facing a talent crisis. The American Chamber of Commerce reports that 50% of the current insurance workforce will retire within the next 15 years. This will result in a pension cliff with more than 400,000 open positions, with less than 25% of those working in the industry under the age of 35.

To attract the latest talent, the industry must change the way it operates in three key areas to reverse these trends and build a sustainable workforce for the future. These areas are automation, education and diversification.

Automation to save time and money

Automation during staff shortages saves brokers time and money by eliminating or reducing time-consuming or repetitive activities in open roles.

Underwriters, for example, are the lifeblood of insurance agencies, but declining interest in that profession from millennial and Gen Z workers has led to a significant labor shortage.

Artificial intelligence can automate repetitive tasks such as data entry and free up signers to perform discrete tasks such as approvals. Employees can do stimulating work that makes them feel more valued. In addition, AI reduces the risk of human error.

McKinsey predicts that 30% of an underwriter’s work could be automated in the next 10 years. This gives insurance companies an opportunity to reshape this role to improve efficiency and attract younger workers.

Educate the next generation about the insurance industry

According to a survey by The Institutes, eight out of 10 millennials report having limited knowledge and understanding of the employment opportunities available within the insurance industry.

Target Gen Z and millennials before they enter the workforce. Traditional avenues, such as job fairs, are great ways to get valuable face time, but it’s also worth exploring using social media as a recruiting tool. It can be a great way to showcase your current employees and your workplace culture.

Diversify your workforce by casting a wider net

Seeking talent outside the insurance industry will create a greater diversity of skills, backgrounds and experiences that will bring new ideas and perspectives to your brokerage. Cast a wide net in your candidate search by looking for transferable skills from other industries.

Transferable skills include:

  • Administrative skills. Data entry, scheduling appointments, and answering phone calls are universal skills that can be applied to administrative roles in any office, such as an underwriting assistant or claims processor.
  • Sales skills. Sales talent is quicker to train because they have skills that a buyer’s agent needs, such as handling and closing objections. You just need to learn about your product offering.
  • Customer service skills. A proven track record of strong communication skills is valuable in any customer facing role such as office manager or billing representative.

It’s also worth revising some of your requirements for certain roles. Does every employee need a four-year college degree? Are licenses required or can they be earned on the job? Don’t create unnecessary barriers that could exclude quality candidates.

Competition for talent in the insurance industry is now even fiercer than competition for clients according to the 2021 Independent Insurance Agent Survey. When hiring is tougher than ever, it’s essential to use strategic recruiting methods to fill your pipeline talents.

Sid Upadhyay is the CEO and co-founder of WizeHire. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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