What the Next Generation of Insurance Talent Looks Like

Victoria Taylor | September 14, 2020

90% of insurers have a long-term plan to implement tech so they can attract top talent pull quote

As more and more insurance professionals retire, the glaring generational gap in the industry continues to worsen. Up-and-coming workers often don’t see the allure of pursuing insurance over other sectors, and it’s starting to take a toll on agencies and brokerages across the country.

Today, the average age of insurance agents in the US is 56 while the national average age of retirement is only 63-65. That means in the next 7-9 years, the industry is going to see a massive shift in the focus of hiring and retention efforts to initiatives that uncover rising talent.

The Benefit of Investing in Younger Workers

With 40% of the industry eligible to retire this year, there’s really not any other alternative. But young candidates bring more to the table than just putting butts in seats (or cubes):

  • They’re primed & ready for specific training. Just out of school or in the early stages of their career, candidates are ready to learn, with few past experiences to mold their habits or expectations. You can bring them in as customer service or business development representatives and in just three to five years, promote them into account management or outside sales roles. With a set succession plan in place, your team can smoothly transition when retirees do exit (and they can pass down valuable generational knowledge in the years before they go).
  • They’re tech-savvy. More than ever before, technology is ingrained (and essential to) our everyday lives. For younger talent though, this is totally normal. They were basically born with iPads in hand, taught how to type, interpret data, and analyze results all before graduating elementary school. Their knowledge can help keep your business on the cutting edge of innovation (and save an IT bill or two). Plus, in situations like now, where WFH is basically universal, they already have the skills to quickly adapt and move forward.
  • They’re less expensive. Less experienced candidates require less overhead and lower commission percentages. On the off chance that an experienced professional decides to leave their current role right now, they’ll demand a significantly higher salary than a younger professional. Obviously, the lower price tag comes at the expense of valuable knowledge and experience, but hiring a really experienced agent or broker is also likely a ticking clock — it’s unlikely that they are not going to retire in the next 5 years and then you’re back hiring for this position? (BTW – the average cost of hiring an employee in 2020 is $4,129).

Competing for Up-and-Coming Talent

The younger talent is out there, and despite common myth, they want to find a great job — there is just a bit of a disconnect between the reputation of the insurance industry and the reality of the work. To convey why insurance is an appealing industry to start your career in, you need to have a strategy in place (hint: it’s all about marketing what you really have to offer).

For starters, consider the technology that you’re using in house, and how it compares to what might be expected. 75% of young employees believe that access to tech makes them more effective at work. Using (and learning) tech is their norm so, when considering their career options, it’s likely that they want to pursue an innovative path (aka the current and best tech possible).

Don’t fall behind the competition: 90% of insurance agencies and brokerages have a long-term plan to implement tech so they can attract top talent. Something as simple as integrating video interview software in your hiring process can make a major impact on the way that young candidates perceive your company — 81% of candidates find digital interview platforms innovative.

Next, take a look at your benefits and culture. While the health insurance and 401K options will remain the cornerstone of benefits packages, each generation of workers has a different expectation from their employers.

Today, young professionals care about flexibility, choosing WFH roles with unlimited-PTO over in-office 9-to-5 positions. They’re shaping the future of the workplace and, combined with quarantine and the continued spread of COVID-19, it seems that they’re shaping work culture more drastically than anyone could have anticipated. Share your benefits and adapt your policies a bit if you need to do so to compete. After all insurance has often had remote work and WFH policies, they just aren’t well understood. 

Beyond just benefits though, young pros are driven by purpose and meaning. 84% of millennials say that making a difference is more important than professional recognition and 92% believe businesses should be measured by more than just their profits.

They need to feel as though their career (and company) are having a positive impact on the world at large, no matter how. Your values and mission should reflect your company’s purpose to attract motivated candidates that hold similar beliefs.

Act Now, and You Can Win the War for Insurance Talent

You’ve got your work cut out for you, but you have everything you need to start beating the competition (which is everyone hiring) and locking down young talented professionals. The more quickly you shift your hiring focus to rising insurance talent, the more confidently you can secure the future of your organization. You can even start hiring the right talent right now, with interviewstream. We’ll help you uncover top candidates, streamline your hiring processes, and save money doing it — schedule your free demo to learn more now.

About The Author

Victoria Taylor is the Marketing Communications Program Manager at interviewstream. She acts as our in-house voice, working to spread the word about our software far and wide. If you have any questions about this article or are interested in learning more about interviewstream, drop her a line at vtaylor@interviewstream.com!

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