Asinsurance professionals, we often hear about the issues surroundingthe recruitment of younger professionals. We're allegedly part of a"graying" industry, with a huge gap in the available talent betweengenerations. It's clear that there is an issue, stemming in partfrom a lack of awareness.

But how do we do it? How can insurance agents, carriers andother related professionals promote our industry to the best andbrightest young minds of tomorrow? There's no panacea, but I have afew ideas that you may want to consider:

o Be savvy. Does your agency have a webpresence? Do you post job opportunities there? Are you leveraginginternet job sites? Without making potential career opportunitiesknown to young professionals, they will never even have theopportunity to seek them out. Furthermore, take advantage of socialmedia tools for reaching out--social media is one of the hot topicsdu jour in the insurance community and with good reason. It'sbecoming an increasingly more common way for individuals to obtainnews and information, and even look for jobs. Twitter, LinkedIn,Facebook, etc.--make your presence known and position yourself asan organization that stays on the leading edge.
o Educate. The biggest challenge facing efforts inthe insurance industry to recruit younger professionals is pureignorance--oftentimes, cohorts in my generation simply are unawareof the industry and never have considered the possibilities thatexist within it. Start with your local schools--both high schoolsand colleges--and see if you can get involved in career days oreven speak to a class of students about the career opportunitiesavailable in insurance. Most teachers and professors are thrilledto have professionals come in and provide career insights to theirstudents.
o Get involved. You're not the only one thinkingabout the lack of young professionals in the industry--multipleindustry associations are working on developing future insuranceleaders. Take Project Y, the initiative launched by the New JerseyYoung Insurance Professionals to build awareness of careers. Alsointeresting is the Professional Insurance Agents of Ohio'sinternship program, which places college students in both agencyand company work experiences. By supporting these organizations,whether through sponsorships or taking on interns (in the case ofPIA Ohio), you are helping to promote insurance as a viableprofession.

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