A new report from The Jacobson Group and the Ward Group — an Aon business unit — predicts a lot of hiring by insurers next year. Insurers are looking for people with technical skills — like everyone else — but they are also seeking soft skills.
Among the soft skills is — surprisingly — courage.
Looking at all insurers, 63% are planning on hiring staff and 66% say growth is the reason. In personal lines alone, 72% are hiring. That’s the largest percentage of the lines explored.
The biggest need reported is technology. Though they’re ahead of the other insurers in technology, even personal lines insurers are in need of that service.
Other needs? Lots of them:
Jacobson spokesman David Coons says the aging industry workforce makes the hiring more urgent than with other industries. Executive, technology and actuarial staff positions are the hardest to fill. To stem the problem, insurers are using employees about to retire — and their intellectual capital — to mentor and coach younger recruits.
These recruits — Coons added — are much more technology-oriented than their mentors. They’re also finding that insurance isn’t as stodgy as the imagined. “Insurance is embracing big data, embracing artificial intelligence, and these are things that are appealing to young professionals,” he said.
Laurie O’Shea is part of Korn Ferry’s insurance practice. She said the tension between traditional insurance and the new technological reality is now shaping the industry.
“Insurance companies have these huge legacy systems and need to find ways to reach the consumer in an innovative ways. They also want to innovate and have captive agents who they also want to enable in a highly technological environment” she noted.
“Some companies are attracting digital talent by transforming their physical space, part of their office complex, to resemble the offices and rooms at Silicon Valley companies.”
Jacobson is helping with the effort to offset the ongoing Baby Boomer generation retirements by actively seeking employees from college campuses and college programs. The program is called the Insurance Careers Movement. The program lets insurers promote their careers through social media, online content and other sources.
Other than technology skills and other skill sets, industry recruiters are looking for people with courage. Coons said these are people willing to make tough decisions. They are people who are comfortable leading
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