The crunch is on! As analytics and big data shape the future of the insurance industry and the demand for high-quality talent continues to grow, insurance organizations are faced with the difficult task of finding experienced data and analytics professionals amid a challenging recruiting climate. Already, the U.S. is expected to see a shortfall of more than 260,000 analytics professionals as early as next year.
Fortunately, the hunting ground for qualified, experienced professionals does not have to remain confined to the insurance industry. In fact, analytics presents insurance organizations with a natural opportunity to broaden their search for talent to other industries. Insurers should look beyond insurance-specific talent and consider employees from financial services, health care, Internet-based technology, retail and other consumer-driven fields. These industries all provide access to cutting-edge, forward-thinking, skilled individuals who are capable of fulfilling the industry’s growing analytics needs. In addition, broadening the search outside of the industry allows insurance organizations to enrich the current talent pool and increases the chances of finding the right candidate.
Companies should look for candidates with a well-developed combination of skills including problem-solving, information technology, quantitative analysis, technical architecture and hands-on experience working in areas such as data mining, data modeling and data gathering. Don’t overlook “soft skills” that are key to success, including presentation and communication capabilities. Analytics professionals are often required to interact across job functions, so being able to speak the language of business and “translate” tech speak is an important quality for a standout candidate.
Interviewers should provide ample opportunities for potential candidates to showcase their analytical skills. Ask candidates about past projects, including those that may not have gone well. Focus on questions that will uncover their communication and problem-solving abilities. Allowing candidates to discuss obstacles and roadblocks can provide insight into their ability to overcome challenges and move initiatives forward. Prompt the candidates to describe their communication strategies or how they have assisted in solving a business problem in one of their past roles. These are great leading questions to assist you in determining if a candidate is able to influence decision makers and communicate clearly and effectively.
The demand for analytics talent is growing. This is the perfect opportunity for insurers to reach individuals who may have previously overlooked the industry as a career option and to bring in fresh talent to fill the ranks.
Where is your organization turning to fill its current analytics talent needs?