NU Online News Service, July 7, 4:19 p.m. EDT
Whether it's the recession or just a better job of recruiting, a New Jersey agents association says more recent graduates are expressing an interest in careers in the insurance industry.
The recruitment campaign at local colleges in New Jersey by the Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey and New Jersey Young Insurance Professionals has resulted in the collection of more than 350 resumes to date to the Project Y/Agency Staffing Assistance Program student-resume online database.
"Students realize that the insurance industry is a smart career choice, particularly in the current economy, as the field is recession resistant--people always need insurance," William R. Vowteras, president of the PIANJ, said in a statement.
Kim Voelker, director of the Young Insurance Professional Department of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, told National Underwriter that the recruitment program is in its third year and has developed a message that "promotes insurance as a viable career choice for young people."
Collecting resumes is only one aspect of the program, she noted. The other involves visiting at least 10 college campuses in the state and discussing with them the merits of choosing a career in insurance. Only students who express an interest in a career in the industry have their resumes taken and posted in the database for PIA members to view, said Ms. Voelker.
Last year there were 150 resumes collected. Today there are currently 280 active resumes, she said, noting that students are regularly contacted to determine if they are still available and interested.
"I can't say definitively that there is an increased interest in insurance," said Ms. Voelker, acknowledging that the recession could be having an impact. She said the increased numbers could also be the result of improved recruiting methods.
"We think we are getting better at what we do," she said.
She stressed that when members attend the job fairs at college campuses they don't accept resumes from everyone, but only students who verbally express an interest in the insurance industry.
While PIANJ and the YIPNJ have been at this for three years, the related organizations, PIANY and PIA Conn., have been at this for about a year. Both are forming relationships with colleges and working at getting the word out about the insurance sector.
"Each association is approaching this in a way that makes sense for them," she noted.
Access to the Web site is limited to PIA members at www.pia.org/IRC/asap/njresume.php.