The insurance industry continues to settle into new working environments, grapple with the effects of “the Great Resignation” and prepare for a potential recession. While 2022 brought continued unpredictability, insurance organizations were provided an opportunity to embrace change and begin to define clear parameters around longer-term working expectations.
Now, at the beginning of 2023, there are several areas hiring managers, human resources teams and company leaders must consider and reevaluate as they establish competitive talent strategies and prepare for a successful year.
Focusing on Future Needs
The pace of change continues to accelerate, making it vital for firms to look beyond their immediate needs and what worked well in the past. Define your department or organization’s goals for the coming year, take a fresh look at how you’ll meet those goals and adapt talent strategies accordingly. This includes considering both internal factors, such as pending retirements, potential modernization initiatives, and expansions into new products or markets, as well as external factors like economic conditions or increased competition. Let this influence how you approach recruiting, developing and retaining the right talent to most effectively move forward.
Emphasis on Upskilling and Reskilling
As business priorities shift and more repetitive tasks are delegated to automation, many employees will be able to leverage their skills in new ways. In the latest World Economic Forum The Future of Jobs Report, it’s estimated reskilling will be required for half of employees worldwide by 2025. Take a look at your current workforce; are the right people in the right seats? Are there emerging areas or needs where their talents and skills could be developed to better support the organization’s goals?
Being creative and open to lateral moves can help ensure individuals stay productive and relevant within the scope of the organization’s greater needs.
Broad Succession Planning
Voluntary quits within the finance and insurance industry remain elevated, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, The Jacobson Group’s recent 2022 Insurance Industry Succession Planning Study found 38% of insurers have no succession plans in place. As industrywide reshuffling persists, defining who can step into key roles in the event of a planned or unforeseen vacancy helps limit disruption and ensure ongoing viability. The most effective succession plans take a comprehensive look at the organization and include positions beyond the executive ranks, extending into middle management and essential individual contributor roles.
The Virtual Environment
In-office expectations continue to evolve, and leaders are exploring different tactics and determining best practices for their organizations’ unique needs. However, virtual meetings and interviews are the new normal, and the ability to work remotely has become a priority for many professionals. In fact, 88% of property and casualty insurers are planning to maintain hybrid environments and 53% plan to continue offering full-time remote work, according to The Jacobson Group and Aon-Ward’s Q3 2022 Insurance Labor Market Study. Rather than placing strict parameters around working hours and locations, determine how your employees work best and what contributes to their productivity. Then, aim to cultivate positive and engaging environments within that context.
Reimagined Company Culture
In hybrid and fully remote environments, corporate culture is experienced much differently than it was in the past. As professionals adjust to long-term virtual work, it’s important to rethink how to connect individuals across multiple geographic locations and ensure employees have a shared understanding of the organization’s values and vision. Prior to the pandemic, many aspects of culture were demonstrated physically and working relationships were developed more organically. Now, insurance organizations are tasked with evaluating traditional tactics and activities in the scope of the current environment. Being proactive and exploring how culture is demonstrated within areas such as company perks, management styles, internal communication, organizational charts, leadership visibility, and more, is essential.
Formal Retention Strategies
A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report shared the median tenure for employees aged 55 to 64 is more than three times higher than the median tenure of younger employees (25 to 34 years old).
As the workforce continues to mature, securing individuals’ long-term loyalty may present a challenge. Additionally, now this often must occur within virtual and geographically diverse environments. In the coming year, managers need to focus on understanding individuals’ current career satisfaction and future goals, and develop more formal retention plans to avoid losing them to competing organizations.
Acceptance of Remote Hiring
Although many professionals now feel comfortable meeting in person, remote recruiting is here to stay. Hiring managers must lean into the benefits virtual interviews offer — such as expanded talent pools and the opportunity to interview individuals across locations. This eliminates travel expenses, improves ease of scheduling, and provides the ability to move through the interview process at an accelerated pace. For more experienced roles, we’ve seen organizations leverage this extra time to incorporate additional technical assessments, helping further confirm candidates’ skills and potential fit. Becoming comfortable conducting effective interviews and making hiring decisions without meeting an individual in person will be even more important in the coming year.
Embracing and Adapting
Moving into 2023, embracing the current working environment and adapting accordingly is essential for coming out ahead. Consider the skills and talents your team will require moving forward, refresh your talent strategies in the context of the hybrid environment, and determine how to remain agile as needs shift in response to internal and external factors. The virtual world is here to stay and those who lean into it, while uncovering and leveraging its opportunities, will be best positioned for success.
Topics Talent Training Development
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