Canadian Underwriter

Alongside the hard market, brokers face talent crunch

July 4, 2022   by David Gambrill

Help wanted sign in office window.

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Canada’s hard market continues to be brokers’ Number 1 concern, with impacts being felt in several key areas — namely, workloads, resources, pay structures and work satisfaction, our 2022 National Broker Survey found.

“Companies not wanting to write risks,” one senior broker from a mid-sized firm put it frankly in the anonymous comments section.

In fact, the hard market is the top challenge for brokers across Canada, by a wide margin (76%). That’s slightly higher than last year’s 74%. Canadian Underwriter’s February survey asked more than 250 brokers nationwide about challenges to the broker distribution channel.

On top of the hard market and rising workloads fueled by the pandemic, brokers said they’re facing a talent crunch – 69% indicated finding qualified workers was their biggest challenge, 7% higher than two years ago.

“Finding qualified workers is a real challenge,” commented one experienced broker at a large firm. “Training and promoting from within works well but replacing the position at the lower level isn’t always so easy. This is an industry reputation issue, and we can do more to fix that…but the real problem is the demographic disruption every industry is facing.

“Treat your people well. Opportunities for them in our business are like a city bus, another one comes by every 20 minutes.”

Of the brokerage principals identified in the survey, 63% of men and 85% of women identified recruitment as the biggest challenge facing their brokerages.

The data shows finding qualified brokers is more of a struggle for mid-sized brokerages (20-99 employees) and large brokerages (more than 100 employees) than for small brokerages (fewer than 20 employees).

For example, only 51% of small brokerage principals said recruitment is their biggest challenge, whereas the numbers shot up to 90% of mid-size brokerage principals and 91% of broker principals from large brokerages.


This article is excerpted from one that appeared in the May issue of Canadian Underwriter. Feature image courtesy of