The insurance industry is aging. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 50 percent of the industry workforce is older than 45 and only 26.67 percent of employees are under the age of 35.
In order to prepare for the future and successfully build a bench of bright, young talent, insurers must focus on engaging and recruiting young professionals and recent college graduates, yet recruiting this emerging group of talented individuals is challenging. The Wall Street Journal ranked insurance 97th out of the 100 most desirable industries for college graduates. The insurance industry is seen as behind the times and offering little in terms of career development. Young professionals are looking for an industry that is fresh, exciting, edgy, modern and trendy—and insurance is falling behind.
How can organizations differentiate themselves from this blighted and inaccurate view of the industry?
Highlight what makes your organization desirable to the younger generation. Millennials want guidance, mentoring, a quick climb up the company ladder and a sense of purpose in their work. Showcase how your organization fulfills these workplace preferences. Foster a collaborative environment, promote mentorships, encourage new and innovative ideas and demonstrate social responsibility with volunteerism and community service projects. Remember to emphasize the perks and hot button trends that can be found within your organization. Flexible workplaces, updated technology and compensation are all among the top perks sought after by recent graduates and young professionals.
Position your company as tech-savvy, cutting-edge, employee-focused and innovative. Millennials want their employers to understand the importance of updated technology, so make sure your company is in tune with what is needed for your team to function at the highest level.
Any discussion about Millennials and technology is incomplete without a focus on social media. Your company must be present and engaged in social media—and using it for recruitment and engagement. If you are not, you are missing your target audience. You should have a general presence on social media sites including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The younger generation leverages social media as a standard part of the job search. It is a major red flag to candidates if you do not have a social media presence.
Insurers looking to attract Millennials need to re-think their workforce strategies. By updating their company image and embracing a fresh company culture, insurance organizations can combat the skills gap and talent shortage by becoming more accessible and attractive to the next generation of leadership.