Changing how we talk about careers in risk
(This is the 2nd in a 3 part series from Will. Part 1 can be located HERE)
As a sector, the entire insurance ecosystem has been hit particularly hard by the war for talent. While salaries and upward mobility in insurance have remained extremely attractive, there is still work to be done to make a career in risk percieved as being as lucrative as it really is. In a previous post, we discussed how to dispel the myth of insurance being a boring field. In this part two of three, we’ll cover the ways that companies in the insurance industry can truly show recruits how much potential a career in risk can have.
While salaries, benefits, and work/life balance have remained competitive, it’s worth examining why young recruits are not flocking to insurance, and how this can be changed. Let’s dive in.
Communicate Growth and Innovation
Target recruits don’t only lack awareness of the day to day work that takes place in an insurance career, they also don’t know about the level of opportunity in the market. A study by The Institutes pointed out that eight out of ten millennials have little or no knowledge of career opportunities in the industry. It’s not hard to imagine that these figures are even higher among Gen Z. Communicating opportunities is not as simple as advertising open roles and career tracks, however.
Insurance is one of the largest industries in the world and it is changing fast. With an incoming workforce that wants to feel they are making an impact, displaying innovation and the impact of the industry is crucial for companies looking to recruit the best talent. Outside of impact and innovation, it’s also important to emphasize personal career development.
When thinking about increasing the frequency and the quality of touchpoints with potential recruits, think about how to communicate the massive level of opportunity in the market right now. Part of the misconception around insurance being boring is that it is a stagnant industry, but anyone who works in risk knows that is not the case. There are new jobs and entire departments being created for innovation, and insurtech financing and valuations are on the rise.
For companies looking to truly show the level of opportunity in the market, don’t just talk about the day to day and compensation. Meet your target recruits where they are with messaging that will resonate. If your company has an innovation wing, create content for around the projects, people, and goals of the department. For others, showcase the creative ways you are helping clients and the impact that your services are creating.
Upward AND Lateral Mobility
The idea that by learning the insurance space, I could learn how almost everything in business works was one of the reasons I was immediately hooked. This concept of interoperability of skills was another consistent theme in talking to several young insurance professionals. Young millennials and Gen Zers are famously mobile in their careers, often moving to different companies and fields every few years (or less!) While it’s easy to point out the flaws in this approach, this is a behavior that insurance businesses need to play to if they don’t want to be left behind.
A product manager at Google is able to move to tons of other companies in different fields. A junior investment banker knows he can transition into private equity, venture capital, and eventually a role with a portfolio company. The opportunities for long term lateral mobility in insurance seem less clear to young professionals.
“From a career perspective, I think there can be more emphasis put on lateral mobility. The understanding you get of how so many different businesses, industries, and systems work through working in the insurance industry is really powerful and should be communicated more. I think training, mentorship, and growth opportunities would help show that starting in insurance doesn’t mean you need to work insurance forever and thus will help recruit more young talent. There’s a perception among young professionals in IB that you can move from IB to almost any other business. I think the insurance industry can do a better job of communicating that starting off in insurance isn’t a lifetime commitment and can set you up for any number of different end goals.”
This isn’t to say that insurance businesses should aim to recruit those who intend to leave quickly. The point of emphasizing lateral mobility is to make taking a role in the insurance space feel less like a massive commitment and more like a logical step in the winding path towards success. With more competitive talent in the door, more will see the long term potential of a career in risk, and more will start to see how dynamic and exciting the industry actually is. –
Go To Part 3 of 3 HERE