Industry Disruption and the Future of Talent: The Jacobson Group’s David Coons

By | March 20, 2017

From smart TVs and live streaming turning the entertainment industry on its head, to mobile health monitoring systems that are revolutionizing the way patients interact with their doctors, disruption is changing the way the world does business.

Within insurance, rapid technological advancements, evolving consumer demands and new regulations are opening the industry up to disruption. While some insurance organizations have embraced the potential of disruption, others are reluctant to accept the changes. Disruption is here to stay and only those organizations that adapt to this new business reality will find success.

Today’s “innovate or die” business reality requires a company culture that promotes and embraces evolution and innovation. But organizational ranks with highly innovative, creative and adaptable professionals can be challenging. Finding individuals with the in-demand skills to thrive in a disruptive environment requires organizations to rethink their current recruitment and engagement strategies.

How can insurance organizations adjust their strategies to best attract innovative talent?

Finding individuals with the in-demand skills to thrive in a disruptive environment requires organizations to rethink their current recruitment and engagement strategies.

How can organizations take advantage of growing industry disruption within their current engagement strategies?

Hiring for Today’s Disruptive Reality

Despite disrupters’ ability to drive growth and advancement, some insurance organizations are reluctant to keep up with marketplace advancements. Some 69 percent of executives are worried about the changes being brought by disrupters.

However, avoiding disruption is no longer an option. Organizations that fail to keep pace with today’s rapid technological changes face the risk of falling behind.

A key step in successfully embracing disruptive innovation is to broaden your organization’s horizons when hiring. Focusing on a unique mix of professionals who can think and work in highly different ways helps to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration. Already, 81 percent of insurance CEOs are looking to hire individuals with a broader range of skills ito ensure their success in a disruptive industry.

To better understand current disrupters and incorporate them into their business, organizations may want to consider employing subject matters experts. Many of these professionals have embraced the recent industry changes and have become specialists in disrupters. Their unique knowledge and skills can be drawn upon to address your organization’s specialized labor demands and fill a niche talent need.

Organizations should also think outside the box and look at young professionals with a passion for data analytics and emerging data innovation. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are often influencing — and even driving — many of the emerging industry disrupters. Much like organizations who hire young hackers to hack their data to find vulnerabilities, recruiting emerging professionals from the innovative STEM fields may provide your organization with an inside perspective into disruption.

Disruption as a Best Practice

The key to finding success in today’s evolving business reality is to change the way the industry thinks of disruption. One potential opportunity is to view disruption through the lens of potential talent. The advancements and technologies being introduced are exciting and, in many cases, groundbreaking.

These innovations present a unique opportunity to help the insurance industry combat the growing skills gap. The industry faces an increasingly challenging labor market, as widespread retirements and an aging workforce are creating an increased staffing demand that cannot be met. By 2020, the insurance industry is predicted to see a shortfall of 400,000 professionals. As a result, insurance organizations are scrambling to ramp up their recruitment and engagement strategies to close the gap. Unfortunately, insurance is competing against a number of industries that have more enticing public images.

This is where disruption comes in. Many of today’s professionals are looking for job opportunities that are high-tech and allow them to be at the forefront of innovation. Disruption is exciting, new and trending. Promoting organizational involvement with these ground-breaking changes may be the key to attracting talent to an industry that many consider boring.

Insurers need to make sure to build career interest around the technological advancements they are involved with. Providing insurance to driverless cars? Publicize that on your website. Using drones to assess damage for claims? Share your work on social media. Provide details on the projects your company is working on and, if possible, include employee testimonials to broaden your exposure. The key is to be present where the candidates are.

Disruption may be the push the industry needs in its current “war for talent.” It provides a great opportunity for organizations to infuse energy into the industry and revive their outreach to young professionals.

Disruptive innovation is rapidly redefining the insurance industry. In addition to impacting the way insurers do business, disruption is changing the way organizations think about talent. Only those companies that are ready and willing to embrace these growing changes will have the competitive capabilities to sustain growth and weather the growing talent storm.

About David Coons

Coons is senior vice president of The Jacobson Group, a provider of talent to the insurance industry. Phone: 800-466-1578. Email: dcoons@jacobsononline.com. More from David Coons

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Insurance Journal West March 20, 2017
March 20, 2017
Insurance Journal West Magazine

Hot New Markets; Agency Technology; Corporate Profiles – Spring Edition

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