February 3, 2023 by Jason Contant
Flexible work arrangements remain a top consideration for aspiring Canadian P&C insurance professionals, according to a new poll from a Vancouver-based multi-disciplinary recruitment firm.
The poll from Impact Recruitment found that, aside from monetary compensation, one in four professionals consider flexible work arrangements such as hybrid or remote work options and hours the most important consideration when evaluating an employment offer.
Christina Launay, Impact’s vice president of marketing, told Canadian Underwriter a range of industry professionals were asked about the most important factor when joining a new company. Options included flexibility/remote work option, core values that align with the potential employee’s own values, potential for career growth, and people and culture.
“Although a gradual process in the insurance industry, some brokerages are finding ways to be more flexible or creative with their working arrangements, offering ‘work from anywhere’ policies or trialling four-day work weeks,” Impact noted in its 2023 Salary Guide: Insurance Edition for the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto Area (GTA) markets, where the firm is based.
By offering flexible work, hiring managers have been able to take advantage of a wider candidate pool, the recruitment firm said in its report, published Thursday. “However, this isn’t a reality for the brokerages that remain heavily paper-based and lack the systems required for remote or hybrid working. No matter the reason firms may be slower to digitize, those that aren’t able to offer the flexibility today’s insurance professionals desire will, unfortunately, find it increasingly difficult to attract and retain talent.”
But regardless of a firm’s remote or hybrid work policies, it’s critical they are communicated clearly to candidates early on in the interview process, Impact recommended.
“In speaking with our insurance recruitment team, I can tell you that demand for flexible work has increased since before the pandemic and we’ve noticed a similar trend in other professional services industries such as law and public practice accounting,” Launay said.
The insurance salary guide highlights current industry hiring trends and provides up-to-date salary data for insurance professionals based on approximately 100 placements over a 12-month period. Launay said salary data was collected through interviews with more than 600 industry professionals across Canada (mainly in B.C. and Ontario) over the last year; the poll received nearly 200 responses.
The report also found that as demand for skilled insurance talent continues to rise, salary expectations across all experience levels remain significantly higher compared to previous years.
“As a result, many brokerages are having to rethink compensation packages, realigning them with market expectations and even offering signing bonuses in a further attempt to get top candidates over the line,” the guide said. “In situations where budget doesn’t allow for meeting overall compensation expectations, employers are looking at the perks they can offer to help secure their preferred candidates.”
While Impact has published salary guides for a variety of industries (such as legal, technology, accounting), this is the first guide for the insurance industry, Launay said. The plan is to make it an annual publication.
Feature image by iStock.com/PeopleImages