Canadian Underwriter

Is the war for talent industry-wide?

February 25, 2022   by Jason Contant

Searching for the best candidate for the job

Print this page Share

Finding talent for the risk management sector is a little easier than it is for brokerages, a RIMS board director says.

“There’s a lot of people who go into risk management who want to stay in risk management, so the field tends to grow, and the resources tend to backfill [themselves] a little bit more,” says Tina Gardiner, manager of risk management services at the Regional Municipality of York (Ontario) and RIMS board director.

Gardiner acknowledges there is a “realignment” happening as people flip careers or switch between companies. “There are some brokers and some other insurance professionals that want to tap into being in the risk management field,” she says, adding that some risk managers with resources have also been developing their own talent. “And then there’s always the risk managers who are working in one area who want to try a different company. So, there’s some flipping around.”

The Canadian P&C insurance industry as a whole is facing a wave of retirements, and the risk management sector is not immune. “Right now with some retirements, there are a fair number of risk management jobs posted,” Gardiner notes. “There are some pretty senior people who have been in their jobs for a long time who are retiring as part of that whole ‘Great Retirement’ thing that’s happening.”

This, in turn, is creating openings and the ability for others to move into higher-level positions. “I don’t know so much that there’s poaching as much as there is in some of the other fields of the industry, but there’s definitely opportunities for some risk managers to grow.”

Gardiner made her comments in response to a question from Canadian Underwriter about whether there is a ‘war for talent’ and the poaching of talent in risk management as well as other areas of the industry.

The pandemic has also given the industry opportunities to try people out in different areas. However, the need for more talent resourcing has been identified. “The actual recruitment of talent, depending on what part of the country you’re in, is a challenge,” says Steve Pottle, chairman of the RIMS Canada Council. “Here in the British Columbia area, I think it’s very much a challenge.”

And that’s not just specific to risk management. But recruiters have become savvier in terms of understanding what the risk management function is, including understanding certain certifications or designations are required for positions, Pottle says. “In fact, what it also has done is spin off the idea of these micro-credentials,” he says, referring to options such as taking one or more courses.

Luckily, the talent pool has been broadening by remote working, Gardiner says. “That gives opportunities for people not to have to live near work.” Pottle agrees, saying the pandemic may have increased the risk management talent pool by making recruitment “a national thing” regardless of where a person may live.

“There’s also a bit of a realignment happening within the industry, too,” Gardiner says. “So, you’re seeing some movement, not just from brokerage house to brokerage house, risk management job to risk management job, but you’re actually seeing brokers jump into risk management jobs.”


Feature image by