What sort of reaction do you get when you tell people you are in the insurance business? The misconceptions can be many; in actuality, the insurance business is a noble profession that keeps the economy running strong. Insurance careers are varied, fun even! Insurance agency jobs are a fantastic option for those looking to make a difference in their local communities. It’s time to let this secret out of the bag and talk about insurance as a career and here’s why.
Boomers had already been retiring at a high rate, but it skyrocketed during the pandemic. Replacing them is a challenge in the insurance industry for several reasons. Many Millennials (age 27-42) are looking for a career where they can make a difference and have a positive impact – and they haven’t historically looked to the insurance industry as the answer. Some agencies are working to attract Gen Zers (age 26 or younger), but they haven’t done a great job of sharing the culture and the philanthropic nature of the business that might help attract this generation. Gen Zers are very social media savvy and research companies to determine whether they fit their ideal employer.
Another major challenge? Insurance isn’t known for being the most exciting career. Many think of a nerdy pencil pusher giving boring lectures on policies and premiums or a used car salesman type person trying to sell them something they don’t need.
As you build your talent pipeline, here are three ways to tell a more accurate story about the insurance industry to attract the next generation of insurance professionals to your agency.
Insurance is a noble cause
Insurance agents are trusted advisors, and their work is a noble cause – helping individuals and businesses prepare for what could be some of their worst moments. Anyone can sign up for a policy online, but when they’re looking for more personalized protection, they come to independent agents. Agents offer support to people seeking peace of mind for their business, families, and lifestyle. Local agents offer a special relationship – listening carefully, learning about someone’s needs and concerns, then providing education, guidance, and solutions. Ultimately, insurance agents help people sleep more comfortably at night knowing everything they have worked for is adequately taken care of.
Insurance is a stable industry
Insurance is attractive for anyone seeking a stable career in a proven industry. After all, the U.S. insurance industry dates back over 250 years to the days of Benjamin Franklin. Long known for being “recession-proof,” insurance is an industry that often survives economic downturns and is even recommended as a safe investment option.1
Insurance is also becoming a more welcoming and inclusive environment. Women make up about 57% of the insurance workforce2 and most major insurance carriers feature Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which help create more diverse and inclusive work environments.
Agencies are putting a stronger focus on hiring those with soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, moving away from the competitive, cut-throat culture. Another positive change in insurance is the shift to client-focused strategies, instead of sales-based. The industry continues to focus on improving client experience, enhancing technology, and expanding accessibility.
Insurance has a strong impact on the community
Independent agencies have always supported their clients through the toughest situations – tornadoes, hurricanes, automobile accidents, just to name a few. It might make sense that’s why insurance is one of the top industries whose employees volunteer their time.3 Initiatives like rebuilding homes, funding scholarships, and providing equipment to first responders is part of the fabric of the insurance world.
Then there’s the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), which awards approximately $2 million annually to nonprofits around the country.4 Volunteerism in insurance has grown steadily over the years, particularly in corporate-sponsored events. For example, Travelers insurance has multiple employee volunteer programs, ranging from building playgrounds to supporting small businesses to feeding schoolchildren. These changes are partly due to the rise of millennial workers who prefer to work at companies that are involved in charitable causes.
How can you make a difference?
Get involved and speak in local schools and workplace programs. Create internships for young people in your agency. Share your stories and what you love about working in the insurance business. Consider programs like Invest, a non-profit insurance education organization, offering free resources to share at the high school and community college level to encourage these younger generations to pursue insurance and financial industry careers. Invest is FirstChoice’s charity of choice. All industry professionals can partner with Invest and use the resources available to encourage young people and individuals looks for career changes to consider the insurance field. There is something for everyone.
What can FirstChoice do to help?
In order to compete for the best and brightest talent coming up the younger ranks, you need to take a fresh look at what you’re projecting to those candidates and how your “story” will appeal to them. Doing that can take time and knowledge that not every agency has. When beginning to evaluate your talent strategy it is important to be honest with yourself about your capabilities. Joining a network like FirstChoice, a MarshBerry company, can offer solutions to the complex challenges of recruiting and retaining the right talent.
If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint , would like to get involved with Invest, or to discuss your talent attraction strategy, please email or call Diane Wagner, Vice President of Education & Strategic Planning, FirstChoice, at 704.831.8715.
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