Canada’s P&C insurance industry has been in the middle of the war for talent for a while now, so it would be well-served to take a look at some under-used or innovative approaches to hire and retain talent, as suggested in a recent Harvard Business Review blog.
Offer “micro-internships” (short-term paid projects) or apprenticeships that reach new candidate pools and allow employers and candidates to assess fit before committing to a full-time hire.
Figure out what work really needs to get done, and re-write job descriptions to focus on the skills and requirements most related to those specific roles, instead of relying on generic education or experience requirements.
Acquire companies with top talent — or enter into agreements to borrow and share talent with other companies.
Provide creative benefits, such as caregiver support programs, childcare services, and wellness perks.
Take pulse checks on employee sentiment to highlight opportunities for improvement in near real-time.
Employ inclusive, gender-neutral language in job descriptions to attract more diverse candidates.
Last August, the HBR blog authors surveyed 800 senior business leaders, 95% of whom said hiring and retaining talent was one of their Top 3 priorities. They found most companies were not aware of innovative talent practices and identified nearly 40 strategies to strengthen the hiring process or enhance the offer.
The talent issue is also front and centre in the Canadian P&C industry.
For example, a new Canadian Underwriter online survey of more than 400 P&C insurance professionals found talent acquisition and retention the top issue facing the industry today, as indicated by 44% of respondents who were asked to select from a list of 13 different issues provided.
Canadian Underwriter’s 2022 National Broker Survey of more than 250 brokers also found the talent crunch was a major concern – 69% indicated finding qualified workers was their biggest challenge, 7% higher than two years ago.
“Training and promoting from within works well, but replacing the position at the lower level isn’t always so easy,” commented one experienced broker at a large firm. “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.”