This is the 900 word announcement, for the quick and dirty click on TLDR above.
“For years, the insurance industry has failed to engage enough professionals to help bridge the growing skills gap resulting from impending retirements. Now the mass talent shortage is here, and insurers must take action.”
Gregory P. Jacobson, Co-CEO of Jacobson Group
In 2012, I went to my first CPCU Society Leadership Summit which was hosted in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that year. The President of the National CPCU Society opened the 2012 CPCU Society Leadership Summit by saying “My predecessor last year opened this conference announcing that we have a looming demographic crisis. That announcement had been made for a few years by his predecessors. Today I’m here to tell you that we no longer have a looming demographic crisis. We have a demographic crisis period. It’s no longer looming, it’s here.”
He proceeded to ask the group of around 350 people to raise their hand if they were under 30. I was one of around 10 people to raise their hands. I came back the next year, and the same question was asked; this time only about 8 of us raised our hands.
That first CPCU Society Leadership Summit started me on what would become a now five year long obsession with Millennials in the Insurance Industry. When I got home, I dug into the topic with a vengeance, reading everything I could find about Millennial employees and trying to understand why our wonderful industry has such a hard time engaging Millennials.
My new obsession led me to connect with the Nationwide Gen Y Associate Resource Group which at the time only existed in Nationwide’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. I started a new chapter of the group in the Des Moines, Iowa office where I was working: Nationwide’s second biggest office. The Gen Y group led me to meet Carly.
Together, we chatted and became friends with hundreds of fellow Millennials, both the very successful ones we met at each year’s CPCU Society’s Leadership and Annual Meeting, and the sometimes desperate ones we met working in a call center and trying to claw their way out of the call center, or out of the industry. We engaged young insurance pros on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and /r/insurance and /r/insurancepros.
Two years after the conference in Fort Lauderdale, I was invited to present about retaining Millennials in the industry at the very same conference that had originally gotten me hooked on the topic, the 2014 CPCU Leadership Summit in Phoenix, Arizona and later that year at the 2014 CPCU Society Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California. Since then, I’ve presented my session on Millennials at the Ohio Insurance Education Day in Columbus, Ohio; the RISC Trends Conference at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia; the NAMIC Personal Lines Seminar in Chicago, Illinois; the World Claims Conference in New York, NY and multiple local CPCU Society Chapter meetings.
After leaving Nationwide, we both missed the platform that the Gen Y group and Yammer had given us to make a difference. In 2015, we decided to expand our efforts to the overall industry and started blogging, first on LinkedIn’s Pulse platform, and a couple of months later at our own blog InsNerds.com.
What started with a 300 word article called 10 Commandments for the Young Insurance Professional has developed into a growing collection of 130+ articles.
InsNerds now houses: a motivational series of peoples’ stories of why they love insurance. Some of the internet’s most popular articles about CPCU. The #InsuranceRocks movement. A calendar of insurance conferences. An awesome bookshelf of reading recommendations for insurance pros. Articles about the most interesting sessions in several of those conferences. The World’s Simplest Insurance Glossary, written entirely in Simple English so even an 8 year old can understand it, which is fully integrated into every article (scroll over the word insurance, and you’ll see) making the topic approachable for all. In January, we also added Profiles in Risk, the only recurring podcast about Insurance and InsurTech. It also automatically tweets a random article from our collection 144 times per day.
The blog has grown and now reaches almost 8,000 insurance professionals, and more and more when I meet a fellow insurance pro and tell them about InsNerds, their response is “I’m already a fan” instead of the “I’ll check it out” that I used to get.
I love giving the one hour conference session, and blogging to attract Millennials to RMI and to Insurance, to help them grow once they get here and to help the industry grow them into insurance superstars. Carly now has a monthly column giving the Millennial perspective in the respected Best’s Review insurance magazine, and she loves it too.
But none of those mediums allow for the deep, comprehensive, and cohesive exploration that the topic of our demographic and talent crisis demands.
That’s why today, at the very same event that ignited this journey 5 years ago, we are very proud to announce our book Insuring Tomorrow: Engaging Millennials in the Insurance Industry.
It comes out on, both Kindle and dead trees, on June 5. You can preorder the Kindle version here. If you prefer the paperback version, there are no pre-orders, please sign up for our email list at the top of the site, and we’ll send you the Amazon link the moment it releases!
“Above all, it is a call to action. The one thing leaders cannot do is nothing. They cannot wait for trends to pass them by, and they cannot wait for Millennials to get older and start behaving like Baby Boomers. That won’t happen. This workforce isn’t going to acclimate to the status quo.”
2017 State of the American Workforce report by Gallup.
We wrote THE book about Millennials in Insurance and how to solve our talent crisis. It comes out June 5th and you can preorder the Kindle version today. The dead trees version comes out the same day but can't be ordered until release date. Sign up for our email newsletter to be reminded on release date.