There’s a lot of talk in property/casualty insurance circles these days about how the industry is going to replace the huge wave of baby boomers that are beginning to retire and will continue to do so into the next decade.
Much of the discussion about how to attract younger folks often comes down to the question: What do Millennials want?
Although the birth date range for Millennials, or Generation Y, varies depending on which studies one reads, a recent Deloitte Consulting LLP report puts the range between 1982 and 1993.
Despite the recent economic downturn, industries across the board are looking at this generation, now mostly in their 20s, as a source for new blood and new ideas to replace workers who are beginning to leave the workforce in droves.
So what is this generation looking for?
The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation has conducted an extensive study on Millennials related to how to recruit them into the insurance industry. In terms of what this generation is looking for in a work environment, Griffith’s “Report on Existing Millennial Research,” a whitepaper published in November 2011, found that among other things:
- Millennials want meaningful, satisfying and challenging work they will enjoy.
- Millennials appreciate collaborative work environments.
- Millennials seek employers who demonstrate social responsibility through workplace efforts.
Unsurprisingly, Griffith found that this generation excels at multi-tasking. Millenials are “extremely comfortable with technology and have the ability to use multiple devices simultaneously,” the Griffith report stated. They also use “social media as a primary forum for communication and informational purposes.”
One surprising gem of information Griffith discovered in its research is that — contrary to the general assumption that most people have a negative view of the insurance industry — “Gen Y basically doesn’t have an opinion yet at all,” says Jason Terrell, director of the Foundation’s Insurance Education Institutes. “So there’s an opportunity to influence what they think.”
Terrell also says Griffith’s research has found that Millennials are looking for “the same things that everybody else is looking for, such as stability, salary, being able to provide for their family.”
Editor’s Note: For more on hiring trends in the property/casualty insurance industry see: “Insurance Jobs Outlook: Getting Better, Region by Region” (page N10) and “P/C Insurance Employment Report: Oil, Economy Fuel Insurance Hiring in Texas (page 22) in this issue of Insurance Journal.