This post is part of a series sponsored by AgentSync.
insurance industry, known to be stable Even during times of instability, it is once again set to add jobs and grow in the coming year. According to The Jacobson Group study of the third quarter of 2021, 93 percent of insurance companies plan to maintain or increase their workforce in the coming year. Most of them (56 percent) are actively planning to grow.
In a recent article, Insurance Journal reports that the study findings explain a 1.81 percent increase in overall insurance industry employment over the next 12-month period, assuming projections play out as expected.
This means that if you plan to grow, you are not alone. And the battle for talent it’s about to get even more brutal as the industry once again gears up for a boom. Not only will most insurance companies be hiring in the next 12 months, but the study shows that most positions, across all functions, are considered at least moderately difficult to fill. This is the first time in the history of the Jacobson Group study that insurance companies have reported this level of difficulty filling positions!
Retiring baby boomers, fewer young people resort to insurance for a career, high rotation among the newest employees and plans for growth in insurance companies? It’s the perfect storm for him talent crunch already in progress to get even worse. So what is an insurance company to do?
Here are some ideas on how insurance companies can be as competitive as possible, hoping to stay ahead of the pack in recruiting and retaining the talent they need to achieve their growth goals.
invest in technology
we have said it ourselves in multiple occasionsBut it bears repeating: Insurance companies that invest in technology to make life easier for employees will lead the way in the fight for talent. From a practical standpoint, investing in systems that help your staff reduce drudgery and repetitive data entry will obviously lead to higher productivity. But it is more than that.
The benefits of modern technology have a ripple effect. Employees feel more valued since their time is not spent on tasks they consider inferior to them. Channel partners feel it too when they have access to systems that give them a single source of truth and faster ways to get things done than their competitors.
You also can’t overlook the benefits that technology brings alongside compliance. With a system (like AgentSync, for example) to manage producer onboarding, licensing, renewals, and appointments, you’ll be equipped to add agencies and producers more quickly without fear of missing vital compliance steps along the way.
Invest in diversity
The challenges facing insurance companies today are unique to this generation. So the solutions must be too. While it may seem counterintuitive, experts recommend recruit employees who have no experience in the insurance industryinstead of just poaching experienced personnel from other companies.
Doing so has the benefit of bringing new workers into the industry, which helps the overall problem (staff shortage) rather than just putting a bandage on your own company’s short-term problem. Another benefit of bringing complete outsiders into the insurance industry is that it opens up the possibility of recruiting talented Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and other women who are historically underrepresented within the industry.
Investing in a more diverse workforce is not just a “politically correct” box to check. it has been found that drive innovation and revenuebecause teams perform better when challenges are approached from a variety of perspectives.
With the insurance industry’s reputation for being dominated by older white males, it can be a game changer to bring in new talent by hiring people with no prior insurance experience. Ultimately, no one in the industry is going to solve today’s perfect storm of empty jobs and a lack of qualified candidates by hiring the same people that it has already been for decades.
Invest in training/mentoring
This tip is actually the culmination of the first two: when you diversify your talent pool with people outside of the insurance industry, and when you create a positive experience for your staff by eliminating tedious and repetitive tasks, the result is an environment where the senior staff have the time and ability to provide training and mentoring.
When asked, employees they often cite mentoring and opportunities to develop their skills as some of the main things they look for in a career. Millennials have a reputation for “job switching,” but the truth is, they’re just as likely to stay in one place as previous generations if they feel their career growth is being fostered. If insurance companies really want to grow, not just in 2022 but for many years to come, they need to invest in the next generation of talent now that there are still experienced staff to draw from.
Still, the coming storm for insurance companies won’t be resolved by doing business the way they’ve always done it. Upfront costs, whether investing in a producer licensing and compliance management system or spending time training staff with no prior industry experience, are unavoidable. The key to success will be to step up and catch up as soon as possible to meet growth targets, rather than fall behind and miss the target.
While much of this advice is yours for the taking and running, and may require help from outside resources, one area we can help you with is your investment in technology. Implementing a producer license management system like AgentSync Manage will help make it easier to work with your insurance company, both for your own employees and for the agencies, MGAs and MGUs you partner with.
Verify an AgentSync demo to learn more.
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