Recruiting, Talent

How Can You Attract Cross-Generational Insurance Agents?

The war for talent spares no industry! As we’ve previously discussed, employers in blue-collar industries are struggling to attract talent, and the same can be said for employers in the insurance business.

Insurance

Source: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

Despite common assumptions to the contrary, a new report released by Vertafore, an insurance software solutions firm, reveals that professionals in today’s cross-generational insurance workforce are attracted to and want many of the same things from their roles and workplaces.

“The Insurance Industry Workforce: A New Generation of Opportunity” report offers a detailed look at what draws workers to the industry and offers insights for employers that are competing to attract and retain top talent in the candidate-driven market.

The good news for employers: The majority of industry workers see insurance as a long-term career. However, a desire for more modern technology tools and work/life balance highlights opportunities for where employers can improve.

Stop with the Stereotypes!

As we know, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials make up a large portion of the workforce, and now, employers must be prepared for the next wave of workers: Generation Z. Many employers are concerned about appealing to and creating workplaces for generations that are seen as having very diverse perspectives.

But Vertafore’s research shows many common stereotypes don’t play out in the insurance industry. For example, Millennials have a reputation for being “job-jumpers,” but 42% see themselves staying in their current role for 10 years or more. Another 33% plan to stay in their role for 3 years or more.

Similarly, Baby Boomers are often characterized as “tech-averse,” but 73% say technology solutions in the insurance landscape have increased their overall efficiency. In addition, nearly 6 out of 10 Boomers believe automation and other advances will streamline their work in the future, enabling them to focus on the most important aspect of the job: meeting with clients and serving their needs.

Contrary to Popular Opinion …

If the world of insurance sounds like a bore, think again! The survey data show positive commonalities in the generations seeing the opportunities and benefits of a career in insurance. Almost three-quarters of Millennials plan to stay in insurance for as long as possible—only slightly behind 79% of Gen Xers.

Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials all ranked the ability to work directly with people in their communities as a top driver of job satisfaction, followed by the ability to be creative and maintain a healthy work/life balance. Interestingly, 67% of Baby Boomers—the highest percentage of all three age groups—ranked creativity and autonomy as the factors they liked most about an insurance career, ahead of even compensation.

Eighty-six percent of all respondents said they would highly recommend a career in the insurance industry to a friend. That’s great news for employers and recruiters, considering that employee referrals are a primary source of hiring.

“For years, there’s been a lot of talk about Millennials in the workforce, how they’re so ‘different’ and what employers must do to manage this generation,” says Kristin Nease, Vice President of Human Resources at Vertafore, in a press release announcing the report. “But our study has confirmed that employees of all ages want the same things—engaging, rewarding and challenging work, which the insurance industry plentifully provides.”

What Insurance Workers Want

When trying to recruit workers into the insurance industry, it helps to understand what these workers want out of their employers and what they need to be successful in their careers. Respondents were also united in their views that insurance industry employers must offer greater flexibility, career growth opportunities, and more modern tools in order to meet the expectations of today’s multigenerational workforce.

Millennials and Gen Xers both reported that after compensation, a better work/life balance would most influence them to consider seeking a new employer, while Baby Boomers preferred work/life balance over pay. All three generations ranked clear career growth opportunities as essential to attracting the next generation of talent.

In addition, younger workers indicated that the onboarding experience needs a dramatic overhaul. Respondents cited a steep learning curve on agency management solutions as a significant challenge.

Get Ready—Gen Z Is on the Way!

And with Gen Z on the cusp of entering the workplace, the survey’s youngest respondents provided some insight into what employers may hear in the coming years. For example, nearly all Gen Z professionals said they believe technology helps them strengthen customer relationships, but they are more skeptical that it will increase their overall efficiency. This may be because, as digital natives, Gen Z workers have higher expectations for their office technology.

“For the most part, the industry is providing the type of engagement and opportunity today’s employees demand, but the data shows there are some clear areas for improvement,” Nease says. “For insurance employers in particular, modernizing is a must to attract and retain talent.”

To see the full results, click here.