Dr. Mary Kelly: A Look at Recruitment Within the Insurance Industry

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Dr. Mary Kelly of Wilfrid Laurier University states that “It’s not news that the insurance industry is facing a talent crisis, or even a ‘talent cliff, as a speaker at a conference I recently called to this looming issue. In 2012 a study undertaken by the Insurance Institute of Canada noted that for every 10 employees aged 55 to 64 who could retire, the industry is only recruiting 4 under the age of 25. Their survey noted the recruiting is difficult because of the lack of qualified external and internal candidates, uncompetitive compensation levels and firms’ failure to accommodate work-life balance issues.

And then there is the negative perception of the industry – my undergraduate students think insurance is boring: it’s a job that involves pushing paper; or even worse, it is an industry filled with crooks working for companies trying to rip you off. We know different – insurance is a people industry, it’s an industry filled with those who care about their jobs, and about the people that they help. It’s an industry that can use individuals with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise.

Because of this, the industry’s first contact with students, whether it is through career panels, recruiting sessions or job fairs, is important. When I run career panels for my undergraduates, I note that students connect more closely with panel members closer to their age. Students want to know not necessarily what the panelist does on a day to day basis, but what drew them to that career, what they like the most about their job, want are the fun parts of their jobs and  what is their career (and salary!) path. They like hearing the “I didn’t grow up planning on being in insurance, but I’m here because..” stories. In short – students need to hear the stories that allow them to envision themselves in the insurance industry.

Firms need to invest in meaningful co-operative and internship opportunities for high school and undergraduate students. The “Take Our Kids to Work” day, an annual program run for all grade 9 students in early November, is an easy way to introduce a high-schooler to the insurance industry. Most students that graduate from WLU’s insurance and risk management concentration became interested in the industry either through a co-op placement or a summer job. And once they started working in the industry, and were given the opportunity to do meaningful work, saw the myriad of career paths available and received mentorship, they were hooked. Providing that first opportunity is invaluable.

Remember, in recruitment, as in many other areas of life, first impressions matter. ” Content created by Dr. Mary Kelly

To Learn More About Career Opportunities At ALIGNED Insurance Or Within The Insurance Industry Connect With An ALIGNED Insurance Advocate Today at www.alignedinsurance.com

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