In a recent survey, we asked our LinkedIn audience, including insurance industry leaders, risk managers, and claims professionals, about their largest recruiting challenges. 37% of our respondents stated that a shortage of applicants is their most significant problem, closely followed by attracting new talent with 32% of the vote. Budget restraints and skill gaps were also listed as issues, but held significantly less overall concern. So how can recruiters develop the most attractive positions to potential candidates with a smaller pool of applicants?
“Today, there are fewer applicants than in years past, and each applicant has more career options to choose from,” said JR Maxfield, Director of Talent Acquisition at Safety National. “When competing for talent in this market, an organization must make every candidate interaction count. Little things like engaging and timely communication, or even a well-trained interviewer with a compelling elevator pitch, can be the difference between hiring a great candidate and a job remaining unfilled.”
These tips may help organizations or recruiting teams attract risk management and insurance professionals.
1. Create a strong referral program.
If you are waiting for candidates to stumble through your door, you might be waiting a long time. A recent poll conducted by Business Insurance showed that 53.7% of Baby Boomers stumbled into the insurance industry, but that number dropped to 46.9% for Gen X and only 18% for Millennials. That same report stated that the most-common path for Millennials to enter the insurance industry is learning about the field from family and friends (35.5%) and through school or university curriculum (26.6%).
Recruiting top talent requires a multifaceted approach, but strong referral programs and a deliberate emerging talent strategy that includes universities with and without insurance-specific curriculum are a strong start.
2. Understand the attraction of growth opportunities.
When responding to Business Insurance’s poll, 42% of respondents listed “growth opportunities” as what attracted them to the insurance industry, which is the highest response received across all three generations. When recruiting, this insight helps develop the program’s messaging to understand what is important to potential candidates.
With growth opportunities listed as a significant factor in choosing a career, highlighting your internal development programs can be a critical recruiting tool. Additionally, it will drive retention. If your organization lacks internal development programs, consider creating them. Those with these programs should ensure they are included in their recruitment strategy and employment marketing.
3. Focus on a culture that sells itself.
Reputation plays a critical role in recruiting top talent. With the transparency of job review sites, social media, and some states now requiring salary listings, candidates can develop their own opinions before the first interview is even scheduled. Focusing internally on your employees and culture can help externally with candidates. That includes gathering regular feedback through employee surveys and knowing exactly where improvements can be made. Changes may be easier said than done, but they are critical to long-term sustained success.
Consider how your organization’s benefits compare to competitors and differentiate yourself where possible. The benefits offered by an organization speak volumes about its values and progress. Ensure those benefits are sending the message you want to convey to candidates.