New Blood Drives Growth: Fact, Not Fiction
High-growth firms in the insurance industry have a staff that is on average 2.5 years younger than their average-growing counterparts. High-growth firms are defined here as the firms with top 25% organic growth in 2018; these firms grew 18.5% compared to their average counterparts which grew organically at 7.6%.
As the baby boomer generation continues departing the workforce, the talent shortage will only become more of a challenge for executives. This is especially concerning for industries like insurance that require a high level of sophistication.
Think about some of the ways new blood can positively impact an organization:
1. ENERGY AND EXCITEMENT
They want to succeed and prove themselves. They still have their “hustle.” They may even foster social connections from within their work community.
2. HUNGER TO CONSTANTLY LEARN
They tend to have pursued more education than their prior-generation counterparts. Forty percent of millennial workers aged 25-29 had a bachelor’s degree in 2016, compared to 26% of baby boomers in 1985.*
3. INNOVATION AND NEW PERSPECTIVES
They approach problems with a fresh set of eyes and may challenge the things you’ve been doing the same way for a long time.
4. TECHNOLOGY ACUMEN
They are the first generation of digital natives and are not only comfortable with technology but EXPECT it to be integrated into every aspect of work. Expectation pushes innovation; forcing companies to modernize and get relevant.
If you’re going to hire less experienced employees, you should have the following in place to better attract, retain, and develop them into future high-performers and even leaders of the organization.
- Onboarding and training programs: Continuous, not just for the first year (or first week).
- Mentorship plans: They want to look up to someone, not necessarily be told what to do. Find someone who emulates who they aspire to be when they “grow up.”
- Path to ownership they can earn (not given): Subjective and objective criteria that can be used during the interview process to sell candidates on your approach to hiring “Future Owners” not just “Producers.”
- Purpose and transparency: What is your firm doing to contribute to the greater good in the world? How direct and honest are you with your employees with your company’s financials? You don’t have to share everything, but you must tie their hard work into a bigger picture impact they have on the organization’s success.
- Leadership programs for top performers: Top firms hire curious people who are constantly trying to learn and improve.
- Career paths: How can they earn a promotion or more responsibility? Very few people want to be a Customer Service Representative (CSR) for the rest of their life. Do you have a plan you can share with them to go from CSR1, to CSR2, to CSR3, to Account Manager 1, to Account Manager 2, to Account Executive and the skills they need to master in each level?
- Flexible hours or work from home opportunities: They want work to fit their life, not life to fit their work. Allow work from home days once they’ve proven to be productive.
It is getting more and more difficult every year for employers to attract and retain top talent. That will continue for the foreseeable future. You are not just competing for talent against other insurance firms, you are competing against technology companies, energy companies, media companies, the list goes on and on.
If you want to succeed in the war on talent, some of you may need to break out of your shell and open your mind to a different approach to acquiring, onboarding, training, developing and retaining your top talent. If you don’t, your competition will.
*Source: Business Insider, Hillary Hoffower September 24, 2018, https://www.businessinsider.co...