The past year has brought on many unknowns for job seekers. Adapting to virtual interviews, starting new positions in remote office environments and building connections over video calls are only a few of the ways most professionals have had to step out of their comfort zones. However, despite the pandemic, the insurance industry remains strong.
Our recent Q1 2021 Insurance Labor Market Study, conducted in partnership with Aon plc, found that overall, insurers are more optimistic than six months ago. In fact, respondents indicated staffing and revenue plans that are not drastically different from January 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixty-seven percent of respondents plan to grow revenue in the next year, up 9 percentage points from July 2020. Ninety-one percent plan to maintain or increase staff in the same time period, up 8 percentage points from July and just 1 percentage point lower than one year ago.
Unlike many industries, insurance has not experienced extensive layoffs in the past year. As we near the pandemic’s one-year mark, anticipated staffing reductions are down 8 percentage points from six months ago. And, of the insurers planning to reduce staff, fewer than 3% report the reduction will be by 2% or more. The most common driver for expected decreases is reorganization, while areas currently understaffed is the most common reason provided for anticipated increases.
Insurance carriers have seen steady employment growth during the pandemic, adding nearly 20,000 positions since March 2020. As organizations move forward with modernization initiatives and focus on creating more relevant customer experiences, there’s a continued need to bring in tech-savvy individuals. Technology and analytics roles are in the highest demand, according to the study.
With an industry unemployment rate of just 2.2%, the recruiting climate remains challenging and open roles in most insurance functions are at least moderately difficult to fill. Analytics roles are the most challenging, followed by actuarial and technology.
The study also found virtual work options and flexible schedules are here to stay, even as physical offices reopen. More than a quarter of insurers plan to provide occasional work-from-home opportunities and nearly half will offer flexible hours. Fifty-six percent plan to offer full-time remote work, up from 48% in the July study.
The Q1 2021 study ran from January 12 through February 5, 2021, and attracted participation from insurance carriers across all sectors of the industry. View the full report or results infographic for more insights.