One of the biggest issues facing the captive insurance industry, indeed the entire insurance industry, is filling in our next generation of workers and leaders. I was listening to Bob Hartwig of the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, talking on A.M. BestTV on recommendations on how the insurance world can and should attract the next generation workforce to our broader industry.
His number one piece of advice was to articulate a clear path for candidates looking far down the road on what is expected and what opportunities lay out there – even ten years out. Students are really looking for what opportunities lay open to them, including wages and benefits. That isn’t to discount corporate responsibility: young people today are looking to work for an organization with a positive mission and workspace, and take into consideration corporate responsibility, whether locally or globally. Just understand good wages, benefits and opportunities for advancement are as important to newer entrants into our industry as it was to us all those many years ago!
Other good advice from Bob included:
- Use relatively new colleagues in your particular company as an ambassador for new entrants to see how they got to where they are now, as well as give advice on the pathway. Students in risk management programs can relate and identify with that person and allows them to see where they might be in the same timeframe. Companies that bring these ambassadors into the classroom tend to get a lot of resumes very quickly.
- Get an early start – some of the best students often have jobs six months before they graduate! With a strong employment rate, it’s very competitive for good candidates.
- Institute a formal training program for new hires. Show them they will be give the training and guidance they need to do a good job and advancement.
- Institute an internship program, even for sophomores becoming juniors, as those students are clearly showing early interest and will be more likely to convert to employees.
- Support risk management and insurance (RMI) education through direct recruitment at the programs, but also through scholarships and donations to the programs themselves.
- Look outside your immediate geographic area for promising candidates. Many insurers limit recruiting to narrow geographic regions and don’t expose new hires to a full range of opportunities, nationally and internationally
All good advice to get the flow of candidates flowing!
Registration for the VCIA Annual Conference opens May 1st. We look forward to seeing many of you there for another excellent program! Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.