Insurance is facing stiff competition on all fronts, but perhaps the most dangerous of all is the war for talent. Where will the next underwriters come from?

Insurers and underwriters are faced with a multitude of issues—increasing competition, concentrated distribution and pricing that remains under pressure. But a hidden risk that is possibly more dangerous than all of these is the shortage of talent. We can all agree that underwriting is becoming more complex and that we are going to need skilled people to drive underwriting in the future. The question is: can we attract the right talent?

Despite the importance of the insurance industry to the well-being and peace of mind of almost every individual, the current outlook for the industry in terms of future talent is somewhat bleak. Baby boomers are set to retire and, disconcertingly, carriers do not seem to have an effective recruitment strategy. And when they do successfully recruit talent, they fail to provide the career path and engaging experiences that millennials expect.

Underwriting Workforce of the Future - Talent Gap Disconnect

Accenture’s recent US College Graduate Employment Study set out to understand what millennials are looking for when they apply for their first job. The results suggest new talent entering the workforce prefer roles that use and build on their previous education. They are looking for individualized experiences and a tailor-made career path that cultivates their personal growth, which began during their college career.

When we compare this to common practices in insurance and underwriting, we can see that the talent gap that carriers are facing isn’t due to insurance not being ‘sexy’ enough. It’s that insurers have failed to keep pace in creating the strategies needed to attract and retain this talent.

In my next post, we’ll explore how carriers can start to change their underwriting talent strategies to better attract the underwriters of the future.

Special thanks to Evan Gladstone who helped me with this post.

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