Given the complete upheaval caused by the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, it’s no surprise that the insurance industry is now facing a crossroads regarding recruitment.

Talent acquisition and retention have reached a crisis point, with the number of unfilled jobs reaching an all-time high. Human capital has been the driving force behind insurance carriers for years and is quickly becoming a scarce commodity in the current market.

In fact, in 2022 alone, the number of insurance industry vacancies increased by a staggering 74% year-on-year. The number of insurance broker vacancies increased by 121.6%, demonstrating a rapid increase in the need for specialist talent in the industry.

Workplace attrition reached 18% for some leading UK insurance firms in 2023, with more than a quarter of the workforce leaving their positions in the last three years. This trend is only set to continue as more skilled and experienced insurance professionals retire, further exacerbating the talent shortage.

As the current insurance sector workforce ages out and recruitment struggles to keep pace, it’s clear that the industry needs to evolve its approach to hiring and retaining talent.

In this guide, we’ll explore the changing face of insurance industry recruitment and how organisations can adapt to attract and retain top talent.

The Talent Crisis in the Insurance Industry

While the insurance industry certainly isn’t alone in facing talent attraction and retention hurdles, there are specific roadblocks that are unique to this sector. These include:

An ageing workforce

As mentioned earlier, the current insurance industry workforce is ageing and leaving behind vacancies that are increasingly difficult to fill. As talent and skills continue to filter out of the industry, there is growing pressure on companies to alter their recruitment strategies to attract fresh, young talent.

Limited appeal to younger generations

The insurance industry has traditionally struggled with its image and reputation among younger generations. It’s often perceived as a career path that lacks excitement and innovation, which can be a significant turnoff for millennials and Gen Zs who value meaningful work and purpose-driven careers.

Lack of diversity

Despite efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within the insurance industry, there is still a significant lack of representation among different demographics. This not only limits the talent pool but also hinders innovation and fresh perspectives within organisations.

A change in the working paradigm

The expectations and preferences of the modern workforce have shifted significantly, with many now prioritising flexible work arrangements, remote work options, and a strong company culture. The insurance industry has been slower to adopt these changes, making it less appealing to potential employees who value work-life balance and a positive workplace environment.

A combination crisis

These challenges have combined with the disruption caused by the pandemic to create a perfect storm, causing significant disruptions in the insurance industry’s talent pipeline. As a result, organisations must be prepared to adapt their recruitment strategies to remain competitive and attract top talent.

Adapting to the Changing Landscape

As a leading insurance industry recruiter, Burton Recruitment understands the unique challenges facing organisations in this sector. We recommend the following strategies for adapting to the changing recruitment landscape:

Rethink your talent pipeline

Relying on traditional recruitment to provide a just-in-time specialist is a sure-fire recipe for failure. Instead, organisations must focus on building a consistent talent pipeline that can provide a steady stream of skilled professionals to fill in-demand positions.

The ‘4 Bs’ method of talent pipeline development is a valuable framework for building and maintaining a pool of skilled candidates:

  • Build: Actively sourcing and attracting candidates through various channels, including job fairs, career events, social media, and employee referrals.
  • Borrow: Utilising temporary or contract workers to fill in-demand positions while seeking permanent hires.
  • Buy: Acquiring talent through mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships with other organisations.
  • Bridge: Developing and training current employees to take on new roles within the organisation.

By implementing a continuous talent pipeline strategy, organisations can proactively address skills gaps and fill vacancies more efficiently.

Embrace diversity and inclusion

Diversity brings a multitude of benefits to an organisation, including increased innovation, creativity, and improved problem-solving. Inclusive teams are over 35% more productive, while diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time. Those stats speak for themselves.

As the insurance industry continues to struggle with a lack of diversity, organisations must prioritise creating an inclusive workplace that welcomes and supports people from all backgrounds.

Offer a more flexible work environment

As mentioned earlier, the modern workforce values flexibility and work-life balance more than ever before. Organisations that offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options and flexible schedules, have a significant advantage in attracting and retaining top talent.

In addition to keeping employees happier and more engaged, offering a flexible work environment can also save organisations money on office space and other related expenses.

Understand the importance of wellbeing benefits

Once considered a nice-to-have perk, well-being benefits have become a crucial factor for potential employees when considering job opportunities. The younger generation of workers places a high value on health and wellness, and organisations must acknowledge this when designing their benefits packages.

From mental health support to fitness incentives and work-life balance programs, organisations must tailor their well-being benefits to meet employee needs and expectations.

Adapting and Evolving

The sharp truth is that there are fewer skilled insurance professionals in the UK than there were 15 years ago, and the average age in the sector continues to rise. As the current workforce ages out, the industry struggles to use outdated recruitment methods to attract the next generation of workers, facing a talent crisis as a result.

Companies with the ability and drive to adapt their recruitment strategies, embrace diversity and inclusion, and offer flexible work environments and well-being benefits will be best positioned to attract top talent and overcome these challenges.

To find out how Burton Recruitment can help your organisation navigate the changing recruitment landscape and secure top talent in the insurance industry, contact us today.