Many leaders in the risk management industry are aware of the difficulty we are currently experiencing with regards to attracting new talent. It’s evident to me that there are not enough collegiate programs set in place to funnel qualified graduates into our industry let alone expose students to the many outstanding careers that are available.
Even more pressing is the fact that one-fourth of the insurance industry workforce is expected to retire by 2018. So, before our current group of leaders enter into retirement, we need to ensure that there is a sufficient talent pool available for the important transfer of knowledge that must take place to not only ensure the perpetuation of our industry, but also the quality of service that we provide to our clients.
The time to act is now.
One way to mitigate our impending loss of experienced employees is to reach out to wider range of college graduates. Those with degrees in liberal arts, science, mathematics and others can be perfectly suited for risk management related careers. Sometimes colleges are unable or unwilling to expose students to the wide variety of professions available after college so we, as an industry, should be willing to accept them with open arms and expose them to the opportunities we have to offer.
Another avenue worth pursuing is to reach out to individuals with backgrounds and prior careers that are unrelated to our industry. I’ve found that many enter our industry from backgrounds other than insurance and risk management, but quickly adapt and seize the opportunities that are presented to them. They offer talents and experience that can benefit us and I feel it’s worth the effort to attract qualified candidates wherever they may be found.
Of course, let’s not forget our veterans. They offer a serious talent pool that is sometimes unrecognized and underutilized. People with prior military backgrounds come from a culture with mission accomplishment in mind. They’re taught to lead, be intuitive and to have a strong work ethic. All of these are qualities that our industry leaders are looking to bring on board to strengthen their team. This also applies to military spouses. They’ve learned to not only adapt to many different environments and situations, but to prosper as well. All critical skills in our industry.
In all, I recommend that we look outside the box when searching for the new talent we need to keep our industry thriving. Speak to your local colleges and universities. Instruct your human resources departments to broaden their searches. Be open to new ways of determining who is qualified to tackle the position you wish to fill. Don’t let qualified candidates get away because they can’t find us. For our industry to grow, it’s up to us to go find them.