IMMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM STRATEGIES TO SOLVE TALENT CHALLENGES
According to PropertyCasualty360’s 2021 Independent Insurance Agent Survey, more than 73% of agency staff possess 20+ years of experience in the industry, yet newcomers—those with less than five years of experience—make up less than 6%.
This disproportionate data reflects a major talent crisis the insurance industry has faced for years. And with more and more industry professionals retiring every year, insurance organizations must seek out new strategies to address staffing issues, or else risk losing the ability to effectively deliver on their promises to clients. Below are four solutions insurance businesses can use to optimize operations and attract talent.
1. IDENTIFY AND ELIMINATE LOW-VALUE WORK
A low-value task is one that does not increase the value of your client relationship when done well but detracts from the relationship when done poorly. On the other hand, a valuable activity is one which, when performed well, increases the value a client captures from your relationship.
Low-value tasks should be optimized and delegated down or out of the organization. This liberates staff to focus on higher-value, more interesting work, and when combined with optimized processes, accuracy and efficiency increases and staff are more engaged.
2. GET STRATEGIC ABOUT TALENT DEVELOPMENT
Attracting millennial and Gen Z employees will be key to perpetuity. This will require that potential candidates understand that your career opportunity responds to many of the criteria that are important to them. For instance, many young workers prefer tech-oriented roles, with 51% of Gen Zers viewing technology as a top industry to work in.
While COVID has accelerated digital transformation in insurance, industry leaders must proactively seek out new ways to integrate technology into traditional insurance roles to better engage this demographic. In addition, young workers want to make a difference in their communities, foster closer connections with their managers and colleagues, and seek a clear vision of their career path and new opportunities for professional development. Aligning on these goals will be critical to attracting and retaining today’s younger talent.
3. DEVELOP AN INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Many people in the insurance industry say that they fell into it and were pleasantly surprised by how different it is from its reputation. Running intern programs not only provides you with some assistance but gives businesses exposure to potential employees and allows them to experience the reality of the business.
4. INNOVATE, INNOVATE, INNOVATE
Explore new, more efficient and cost-effective ways to run your business, such as automation and process improvement through lean management. By streamlining or cutting down on repetitive tasks, you can open your employees up to higher-value, more engaging work, helping you better retain them or even attract new talent.
THE OPPORTUNITY OF CHANGE
As the insurance industry looks to solve the staffing issues that many already consider a crisis, businesses should take a broader, more holistic view for longer term and even permanent solutions. Creating a more agile organization—one that painlessly and seamlessly responds to evolving market needs, new regulations, and seasonal fluctuations—has never been more accessible than it is today.