The Next Generation of Talent

With those born at the peak of the Baby Boom having reached 65 years old, here are five ways to attract the next generation of agents and brokers. 

Six hands over a desk stacked on top of one another

Like other industries, insurance is undergoing a talent crisis. The Baby Boom’s peak was in 1957, and talent born that year has now reached the typical retirement age of 65, leading to record high retirement numbers. As a result, the World Economic Forum expects Gen Z and millennials to make up more than half of the tech workforce by 2025. 

Contrary to their predecessors, Gen Z and millennials think differently about where, when and how they work. Those thoughts must be considered when trying to attract and bring this talent profile onboard. To further complicate things, when surveyed on potential career choices,

Gen Z and millennials ranked insurance below mining and manufacturing, according to research conducted by ACORD. This is due in part to the fact that any industry rumored to have manual, time-consuming and error-prone processes will keep them away in droves -- a perception that, unfortunately, many Gen Z and millennials have about the insurance industry. It will require investment in technology, as well as some cultural and process changes internally to engage this group and encourage them to consider a career in insurance. 

Read on for five ways to attract, recruit and retain the new generation of talent, ensuring you have the right talent, in the right role, at the right time. 

Embrace Digital Transformation 

Gen Z and millennials are digital natives. Not only do these tech-savvy generations expect cutting-edge technology as consumers, they also expect it in the workplace. There’s a belief among these generations that if an organization isn’t adopting the latest technology, it’s not likely to be around in the long run. A lack of technological investment deters serious candidates and is often one of the reasons existing employees become frustrated and leave. 

Digital transformation reduces manual tasks and processes, empowering employees to see beyond their day-to-day tasks. Freeing their time gives them more flexibility to concentrate on meaningful and rewarding work like client retention and enhanced customer experience. 

Your brokerage can make your business more appealing to a workforce expecting instant, customer-centric experiences by implementing a digital strategy that enables: 

  • Innovation: Using digital technology to transform business operations. 
  • Flexibility: Providing mobile-friendly applications and remote work options. 
  • Security and Sustainability: Future-proofing the brokerage to ensure business longevity and stability. 

Reimagine Job Descriptions 

Brokers face an enormous task when they post a new job, and how you write your job descriptions can make or break finding top talent. 

You might already be opening your job description with a promotional summary of your brokerage, but does it tell a story about your culture, work environment and plans for the future? Be sure to include details that distinguish you from your competitors, including higher compensation, greater flexibility, better work/life balance, increased learning and development opportunities and mental health and wellness support. These are all compelling benefits to the evolving profile of insurance brokers and are likely to intrigue candidates. 

We all know that insurance is a jargon-based industry that uses countless acronyms. This may turn off candidates, especially those looking to break into the industry. suggests avoiding internal or industry-specific lingo, acronyms or other terms candidates are less likely to search for or understand. 

See also: 5 Ways Tech Can Draw Young Talent

Emphasize a Diverse and Inclusive Culture 

There is no longer a “typical” profile of an insurance professional. Their ages and origins are different — they speak multiple languages and have different beliefs, practices and backgrounds. According to Deloitte, Gen Z and millennials see diversity as something that boosts performance, especially when senior management teams are diverse insurance brokers. They must then demonstrate a commitment to workplace diversity and recruiting. While this can be challenging in a flexible work environment, leveraging digital communication channels, such as interactive webinars, community channels, a company intranet or other online collaboration tools, can create a culture in which you purposefully develop a sense of belonging, diversity and inclusiveness.

Aligning with Gen Z and millennial values is key. Nearly two in five say they have rejected a job because it did not align with their values. Meanwhile, those who are satisfied with their employers’ societal and environmental impact, and their efforts to create a diverse and inclusive culture, are more likely to want to stay with their employer for more than five years. 

Revitalize the Onboarding Process 

The onboarding process shifted considerably during the pandemic. New hires didn’t meet their team in person, and training was virtual. Even though many brokerages have returned to working in the office full-time, 75% of Gen Z and 76% of millennials prefer a hybrid or remote working situation. Your brokerage must adjust to this pattern, especially during onboarding, if you want to keep them. 

Onboarding a new hire remotely (or a mixture of in-person and online onboarding) is here to stay. Consider integrating technology into your employee orientation processes to simplify compliance aspects, such as filling out paperwork and learning the basic rules of the organization. For instance, by using digital documents, the employee can confirm they have watched presentations and video material explaining the organization’s rules using a digital signature.

Developing programs that include on-the-job learning, social learning and formal learning in a format of the candidate’s choice, whether digital or in-person, will demonstrate that they’re a valued team member and that you’re committed to making their integration a success. 

Provide Career Development Opportunities 

It has become essential to provide career paths within your business. A new study by Amazon finds that almost three-quarters of millennial and Gen Z workers are planning to quit their jobs in 2023 due to a lack of skills-building opportunities. Millennials and Gen Z want to know there is room to grow if they join your brokerage, so providing them with a clear path to future development can help attract and retain that talent. Some ways you can do this include:

  • Identify clear goals to work toward: Collaborate and clearly identify their career goals and then come up with a development plan to achieve them. 
  • Create a mentorship program: Offer opportunities to be paired with mentors who can help guide their careers with the company. 
  • Promote from within: Consider hiring from within when a position becomes open. If you know you will need to fill a position in the future and it aligns with one of your employees' career goals, create a cross-training program that will enable them to earn that spot. 

See also: 3 Reasons Millennials Should Join Industry

Every corner of our industry is facing a talent crunch. In addition to recruiting more producers, marketers and customer service representatives (CSRs), we also need more actuaries, accountants, social media experts, data analysts, benefits experts, IT professionals and experienced managers.

Potential candidates need to know that the people working in insurance are problem solvers with bright futures and use their talents to help their communities. Using these five points can aid in not only attracting and retaining the new generational talent, but also fostering an environment that promotes growth and embraces change, allowing your talent to count on having a long and fulfilling career in insurance.

Phil Yob

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Phil Yob

Phil Yob joined Applied Systems as senior director of talent acquisition in January 2022.

Yob has spent all of his 17-year, post-graduate career in the talent acquisition space, spanning multiple verticals, including sales, marketing, ops, tech and healthcare. His most recent experiences are centered on the health and fintech spaces, specializing in global hiring initiatives and hiring solutions for vertical SaaS companies.

Yob has a BSBA management, HR, from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania and earned his MBA from the University of Illinois. 

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