The insurance workforce is undergoing a radical transformation. Faced with demographic changes, the drain of institutional knowledge as seasoned employees retire, digital disruption and the increasing role of data analytics in everyday business, insurance must adopt a completely different approach to hiring, training, retention and management.

Consider these facts:

  • The labor force participation rate is expected to decline by 2.2 percentage points by 2020 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Almost 30 percent of the workforce of the U.S. financial services sector, including insurance, is comprised of employees aged 55 and older. This is exceeded only by the healthcare, nonprofits, government, and utilities sectors (“Preparing for an Aging Workforce,” Society for Human Resource Management.)
  • The average age of a U.S. insurance agent or broker is 59; one in four will retire by 2018. These trends represent a “brain drain” as institutional knowledge retires out of the system (McKinsey & Co.).
  • The probability that computerization will lead to job losses within the next two decades is high for insurance occupations: 0.92 for agents, 0.98 for auto damage appraisers and claims and policy processing clerks, and 0.99 for underwriters (“The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerization,” Frey and Osborne, 2013).

Perhaps the biggest trend is the last one, as digitalization permeates every segment of society, including the insurance workforce.

In “Talent in the Digital Age: Insurance Perspectives, Insights and Ideas for the Future,” Accenture examines these trends – specifically, how digital disruption is changing insurance HR, and the emerging and future HR models that insurance is beginning to introduce.

The study zeroes in on the five areas most affected by digital disruption:

  1. How work is organized;
  2. What work is performed;
  3. Who performs the work;
  4. Why, when, and where people work; and
  5. How work is led and managed.

I will be away for the next few weeks but when I get back I will take a closer look at how digital disruption is affecting each of these work areas in the insurance industry.

For more information, register to download:

The insurance workforce of the future: Why will so many insurers fail to achieve their digital potential?

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