These days, most industries struggle to recruit and retain the next generation of employees. How do you get them interested in the insurance industry? How can we make the industry more attractive to the youth? Here are some strategies:
There’s a perception of the younger generations in the workforce that characterizes them as entitled, self-centered, lacking work ethic, and expecting success overnight. These perceptions are not completely accurate descriptions—they are generalizations.
Further, it’s tempting to assume that those in younger generations lack major responsibility, including having spouses and kids to worry about. Although that may be true for some, it’s not accurate for all, so perpetuating that generalization can be damaging when networking with young people.
Of course, there always will be outliers who focus on other areas of their life that don’t include their career at a young age. That said, there are career-minded, hard-working individuals who are looking for a long-term, fulfilling career as well, which is why we should be mindful of generalizations.
Explore what’s important to them
Ask them what they’re looking for out of a career and show them how a career in the insurance industry can provide what they need.
Find ways to cater the industry to their needs and desires regarding their career aspirations. For instance, some employees who are new to the workforce may be more focused on material rewards and money associated with a luxurious lifestyle, so show them how they can have nice cars, houses, and live an extraordinary lifestyle while still providing for a family now or in the future.
Most importantly, let them know that a career in the insurance industry can provide them with everything they need to be successful and feel fulfilled.
There are practical steps you can take to create an attractive industry for the next generation.
No. 1: Commit to changing the face of your organization. To promote diversity in your staff, commit to evolving the face of your business (e.g., your employees, your website and your marketing should not look or feel out-of-date). These are all important factors to consider when recruiting folks and building your organization.
No. 2: Ensure your agency is progressive. That means being open and embrace to new technology and change. Welcome the unique strengths that the next generation brings to the table: energy, new ideas, and experience with technology. Take them seriously, treat them as equals and value their input and opinions.
If independent agencies are going to thrive in the next generation, they need to adapt, change and innovate. Try to avoid dated practices in recruiting and training young employees and be receptive to how innovative business structures affect them.
For example, avoid using outdated language in your job descriptions and opt for more progressive, gender neutral language. This may encourage people who normally wouldn’t consider your organization to apply.
Also, include the salary at the beginning of recruitment, so that by the time you get to offering the candidate the job, you’re confident that the salary you’re offering meets your candidate’s compensation requirements. This also helps you to avoid wasting time interviewing individuals who are looking for a different salary.
Looking for more information?
PIA offers members many resources to help you recruit and hire the best individuals for your agency. These resources include:
- Agency Staffing Assistance Program: A comprehensive tool kit designed to help members recognize, recruit, hire, and train strong employees.
- Agency Journey Mapping: Resources to help members with agency perpetuation, business succession and ownership transfers.
For more information, PIA members can access numerous resources on this topic by logging onto the PIA website (www.pia.org) and searching through the PIA QuickSource library.
Shirley Albright, CPIA, CISR
Shirley Albright, CPIA, CISR, joined PIA in 1983 and has worked in many facets of the association over the years. In 1995, she was an integral part of establishing the Industry Resource Center to include the development of the software system to record and track all incoming and outgoing inquiries. She quickly moved from industry resource representative to assistant director and eventually to her current position as director. Currently, Shirley oversees the daily operations of the Industry Resource Center to include the triage of thousands of incoming member inquiries. Her other accomplishments include obtaining her New York state property/casualty broker’s license, CPIA and CISR designations.