There’s a real and palpable talent crisis in the industry that is causing tension between the old guard of the insurance industry and millennials, the fastest-growing consumer base and workforce. If the recent tech industry boom has taught us anything, it’s that young people will work long hours at high-pressure jobs—but they must be passionate about what it is they do and receive mentorship that helps keep them engaged.
At this year’s Valen Analytics Summit, presenters including Rob Darby, president of Berkshire Hathaway, and Martin Welch, CEO of Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Co., discussed how to attract millennials and utilize their skills—along with industry veterans—to create a more modern and competitive insurance company. Here are a few things that help them when screening potential candidates:
1. Look for analytic aptitude
Candidates need to demonstrate an ability to solve hypothetical business problems and have a core knowledge base of analytic tools and methods, especially as the use of predictive analytics becomes more widespread for insurers. This is especially important as many current employees may not have that skill set, so making sure each group can learn from one another will be important in creating a balanced dynamic.
2. The issues that matter
Millennials value certain things about company culture, including work-life balance and flexibility. In addition, a survey from The Institutes found that more than 30% of millennials value working in teams, signifying that cooperation and mentorship is extremely important to them. Insurers already have built-in mentors in their organization in the form of their current employees, and need to embrace this new responsibility to help the two groups click and learn from each other.
3. Highlight opportunities for growth
It is imperative to show not only how your company plans to innovate and evolve as the industry changes, but also that it offers competitive salaries. Additionally, employers should give a clear idea that there will be regular reviews and feedback, as well as encouraging horizontal opportunities at the company. This will help combat the job-hopping that is apparent with Gen Y.
4. Let millennials have a voice
Allocate time within your company for two different kinds of meetings—those run by millennials and those run by tenured insurance professionals. Meetings hosted by experienced staff should share industry knowledge and insights, and help newbies understand the insurance ecosystem. Meetings run by the younger talent in the organization can focus on strategies to help improve the company’s customer engagement through online and social platforms, as well as share insights or discuss initiatives into how to recruit more millennial talent.