Revive Your Recruitment and Selection Strategies: The Drive to Hire

Posted by Richard Jacobson

This blog entry is part two in Jacobson’s Insurance Recruitment and Selection series, which provides insights into updated recruitment and selection processes and strategies for the modern workplace.

The insurance industry is enjoying a return to its pre-recession strength. Low unemployment rates and positive revenue growth projections are resulting in an increased focus on building staff. Today, more than 66 percent of insurance organizations are looking to increase their staff—the highest percentage reported since the economic downturn in 2009. But what exactly is driving this renewed focus on hiring? What are the key motivators behind today’s insurance hirings?

Industry retirements are impacting the insurance hiring drive.

Since the economic recovery and the return to business as usual, insurers are taking a second look at suspended projects, organizational needs, and current gaps and discovering themselves in need of qualified talent. The hiring freezes and personnel cuts of the recent recession have created an understaffed industry. Further adding to this dearth in talent is an uptick in industry retirements fueled by the aging workforce. In fact, the industry faces a talent gap of nearly 400,000 positions by 2020.

Addressing these growing skills gaps is a concern, with 30 percent of organizations pointing to understaffing as their primarily reason behind planned staffing increases. Increases in business volume and expansion top the list of staffing growth drivers at 57 and 54 percent respectively.

New regulations and compliance requirements are driving insurers to grow staff.In addition, a number of recent industrywide changes have created new mandates and regulations that insurance organizations must address. From the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s major provisions to new filing and reporting requirements, insurers face immense pressure to keep ahead of a growing number of new requirements and processes. Unfortunately for many insurance organizations, they currently lack the talent necessary to complete these tasks. As a result, they are looking to expand their current bench of professionals.

Many insurers are also taking advantage of the positive economic climate to take a second look at their previously suspended projects and initiatives. Often, they are finding it daunting to undertake some of these larger projects at their current staffing levels. As a result, they find themselves looking for talent to successfully undertake and complete these tasks.

Faced with this growing demand for talent and an increasingly challenging labor market, how can insurers fill their employment gaps? What qualities should they look for in today’s potential job candidates? Stay tuned for the next installment of our Recruitment and Selection blog series!