Insurtechs are continuing to disrupt the insurance industry, while pushing traditional insurers to focus on modernization initiatives and how they can best leverage the capabilities of data and analytics. While global insurtech funding has significantly declined following record highs in 2021, it remains above pre-COVID levels. As insurtechs work toward greater growth and profitability, having the right talent in place is essential — especially for those operating with a leaner staff.
The competition for insurance talent is high amid the greater industry’s intensifying labor market. According to The Jacobson Group’s Q3 2022 Insurance Labor Market Study, conducted in partnership with Aon-Ward, overall recruiting difficulty remains at its highest point in the study’s 13-year history. Technology roles are reported as the most challenging to fill; yet, they are also in the greatest demand.
Whether you are an insurtech organization hiring individuals who will directly contribute to your company’s immediate vitality, or an insurance company looking to further enhance productivity or customer experience through automation, there are a few key areas to consider as you identify and retain the individuals who can most effectively move your organization forward.
Take a people-focused approach.
Although some insurtechs have recently reduced their staff sizes, incumbent insurers are fiercely competing for technology talent, resulting in a limited candidate pool. In today’s tight labor market, retaining current employees should be a top priority; professionals are being actively recruited by other companies and won’t hesitate to move on if they are unsatisfied with their current role or work environment.
Create a culture that prioritizes its people, their professional growth, and a sense of connection and belonging, rather than solely focusing on funding or reaching a specific business goal. Your people are your greatest resource and essential to long-term success. In fact, Gallup reports departments with engaged employees are 23% more profitable than those with unengaged staff.
Spend the time to get to know your team, as well as what they value professionally and personally. What are they looking to achieve within their careers? How can you support them in reaching their goals? What can you do to make them happier in their current positions?
Investing in your organization’s people and creating a positive and supportive atmosphere not only benefits your relationship with current employees, but is often a key differentiator when attracting new talent.
Make your open positions appealing.
There are currently a record number of open jobs within finance and insurance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Presenting your open positions in a way that resonates with candidates and communicates your company’s attributes is essential. Depending on your particular organization, this may include the opportunity for professionals to take on a broader span of responsibilities, contribute to your company’s early growth stages and make a true impact on its long-term trajectory. Stand out in the saturated job market by highlighting opportunities for advancement, exposure to new projects, team culture and any other factors that make the position and your firm unique.
Additionally, ensure you’re staying as competitive as possible regarding total rewards and working arrangements. Most professionals — especially within the technology space — will expect the latest software, emerging technology and tools/company infrastructure to support innovation and the ability to do their jobs without interruption.
Competitive salaries and flexibility also remain high on most candidates’ lists of requirements. Communicate your organization’s stance around flexible hours and remote work, as well as any other perks and benefits that can help you meet candidates’ individual needs.
Bring in different perspectives, skills and strengths.
Effective innovation and collaboration depend on hearing numerous perspectives and viewpoints. Consider how you can cultivate a well-balanced team with varying strengths, personalities and skillsets. If your organization primarily consists of individuals with tech-heavy backgrounds, ensure you also bring in individuals with a depth of insurance industry knowledge, to help effectively meet industry regulations and avoid potential fines.
Balance harder technology skills with well-developed soft skills, thinking beyond the data. As you define your goals for specific positions, identify the transferable interpersonal skills that are necessary for success. Weigh difficult-to-teach soft skills alongside an individual’s past experience or technical acumen. In a quickly changing industry, the ability to apply core skills to a variety of situations and shifting priorities is essential. For instance, agility, a growth mindset, problem-solving abilities and a future-focused outlook are all beneficial in an individual’s ability to pivot as priorities, needs and roles evolve, which is especially common for insurtechs.
For management roles, ensure individuals are not just high performers within a function, but also able to effectively lead and motivate others. Consider skills such as coaching, empathy and emotional intelligence. Effectively communicating complex concepts and influencing conversations and decisions is also essential in many roles, especially for those directly interacting with key stakeholders and customers.
Whether you’re an insurtech organization or any other insurance organization embarking on modernization initiatives, the ability to bring in the right people to push these initiatives forward is essential. Stand out by rethinking how you attract talent, focusing on employee engagement, and cultivating a team with a broad array of strengths and skillsets.
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