Millennials in insurance: filling the talent gap

On February 8 I had the pleasure of attending the Insurance Business America’s Millennials in Insurance Conference in New York where I learned from some of the most engaging industry experts and the Millennials themselves about what the industry is doing to attract and retain new employees.  Here is the list of panelists and agenda.

Millennials are often described as entitled, selfish and apathetic. But these stereotypes often prove to be just that. A Deloitte survey of over 8 thousand millennials found that they feel accountable for many issues in both the workplace and the wider world. They feel most able to make an impact on societal issues via the workplace.

What Millennials and Generation Z want from employers:

  • Stability ­­‑‑ it’s a myth that young people want to job hop every few years
  • Flexibility
  • A clearly defined career path
  • Works that is engaging and sparks curiosity
  • Autonomy, culture and meaning

Advice from the panelists to insurers on recruitment

  • Make use of social media and sites like GlassDoor and LinkedIn
  • Focus on transparency
  • Don’t forget to engage students at the high school level
  • Stress the numerous opportunities for technology jobs in insurance such as big data analytics and predictive modeling
  • Have “swagger” to show that the industry is cool and cutting edge
  • “Be loud about loving insurance” — talk to your neighbors’ kids or a local school
  • Go local with the specific examples of what the industry does for communities
  • Stress that the industry offers a work life balance not found elsewhere
  • Have ‘a day in the life’ examples to dispel myth of boring routine jobs
  • Have year-round recruiting and showcase a variety of roles
  • Promote the brand and culture of the company

 

Advice from the panelists on how to retain young talent once you have them

  • Know the difference between a teacher and a coach, and be prepared to serve as coach to young employees
  • Look at employees as a long-term investment – provide mentoring and job-sharing opportunities
  • Get orientation right – map out job progression and define a path
  • Non-compensation benefits are important, people have been known to switch companies if the dress code is not flexible
  • Student loan repayment assistance is a great benefit to give to employees of all ages
  • Include young employees in the decision-making process and create an inclusive and open environment
  • The happiest employees believe their company cares about them, that care is best expressed through flexibility offered, not necessarily through compensation
  • Promote from within
  • Millennials like lots and lots of feedback, keep the lines of communication open (check out the performance feedback research done by the Neuroleadership Institute)
  • Once you hire for diversity you need to commit to keep that diverse workforce by providing a community within the company

 

 

The I.I.I. lists many resources on its careers in insurance page.

 

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