Canadian Underwriter

Easy ways to attract top talent

March 1, 2023   by Jason Contant

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P&C insurance industry employers should appeal more to what prospective job seekers are looking for, rather that simply listing a series of duties in a job posting, an executive at a recruitment firm suggested.

“Job advertisements often can read more like job descriptions — there will be a list of duties,” said Mark Fenwick, senior vice president of corporate and professional services at Impact Recruitment. “No one’s gotten out of bed for the most part and thought, ‘What duties do I want to do today?’

“In my mind, a job advertisement should be more selling to the audience of why would you want to work for us. What’s in it for the candidate, and maybe [show] a portion of what you will do on your day-to-day, just to qualify. But you’re really trying to appeal to what the prospective job seeker is looking for.”

Fenwick made his comments following a question from Canadian Underwriter about what brokerages or other industry employers can do attract qualified talent given the industry’s current ‘war for talent.’

“There are more jobs available than qualified candidates in the insurance space,” he said. “So for the most part, the person you actually want to come and do the job is probably doing the very same thing right now for one of your competitors. You’re trying to position yourself in a light that appeals to them through employer brand and purpose, and not just, ‘Here are the tasks that you will perform for me…’”

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Appealing to future employees may involve showcasing things like your training and development opportunities, community or charity work, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, innovative compensation packages and flexible work arrangements.

A recent poll from Impact Recruitment found that, aside from monetary compensation, one in four insurance industry professionals consider flexible work arrangements such as hybrid or remote work options and hours the most important consideration when evaluating an employment offer.

“Offering flexibility where it can be offered is very attractive from a candidate standpoint,” Fenwick said. “We’ve seen more brokerages offering signing bonuses, in some cases to try and put themselves a step ahead of the competition, or build into offer letters guaranteed milestones of increases. It’s not that that has never happened prior to three years ago, but you’ve noticed it more.”

Job seekers should also expect a counteroffer from their current employer. But Fenwick cautions most people who accept a counteroffer end up seeking other opportunities again within a six-month period.

“I’d say certainly consider accepting it if the nature of the counteroffer addresses the actual root cause of why you’re looking to leave,” he said. “Try to take a step back and think about how practical or realistic is the nature of that offer — it could be an increase in responsibilities or a title change… You may promise more than you can actually deliver on the employer side.”

Employers may even consider a rewards and recognition program. But consistency is important, Fenwick said. “You don’t want to be dragging an introvert onto the stage. If you give one person praise publicly, then what you’re also doing is not praising everyone else. Those factors can tie into why people stay or go, if they feel they should have received equal praise and didn’t.”

Unlike some other sectors, insurance remains an industry where candidates have options.

“Insurance is still red-hot from a candidate perspective,” Fenwick said. “It’s really going to come back to what the experience [is], since you might not be able to keep everyone.”


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