EXCLUSIVE: An Australian insurance giant sits down with Insurance Business to discuss how brokers can attract young people into insurance and why it is so important they do.
Zurich spokesperson Michelle Hay, who has been instrumental in assisting brokers in attracting younger staff, unveils the important of finding the next generation.
IB: How does an insurance broker go about attracting a young professional into the industry?MH: It’s important to consider the value that your organisation can bring to a young professional's career and to ensure the job advertisement is positioned accordingly. As an example, younger professionals are attracted to Zurich as they often see it as a stepping stone towards an international career. Brokers should also consider what you would be able to provide in terms of development (both internally and externally) and what steps are involved to get there.
Why is it so important that a broker ensures they have a good amount of young workers in the company?
Zurich values diversity, so we really believe that a blend of both seasoned and young professionals is ideal. Our experience tells us that a good blend helps create a more stable environment where staff can share knowledge. The more seasoned professionals, for example, are able to share their experience by imparting their skills and knowledge. Younger employees are essential as they are ‘generation next’. We need to continue to have a strong talent pool so we can replace those that retire in coming years. Current recruitment strategies are a genuine opportunity to ensure the industry’s depth of talent into the future.
How does a broker sell working in insurance to a younger worker? Why would a young worker want to get involved in working in insurance?
First and foremost – we have a critical product that people will always need. Insurance and the insurance industry puts people, businesses and communities back on their feet after suffering a loss. It is important to tailor talent attraction messages around this – highlighting that you can have a long career in the insurance industry, with a job that can make a difference. For an insurance broker, their role is especially critical in providing clients with peace of mind and helping them during the claims process – a period when relationships with insurers matter most.
What does Zurich do to attract a younger work force?
Zurich has a unique recruitment strategy and philosophy for its Xpress Underwriting Centres in Sydney and Melbourne. We have a team of around 120 who are viewed as a talent pipeline into other roles elsewhere within Zurich. Each team member has a structured career path which ensures they can see career opportunities for progression. We also focus on the recruitment of both graduates and non-graduates who reflect the attitude and behaviours we are looking for. There are a number of channels in which we advertise and then we run an 'assessment day' where each of the candidates interacts in a group environment. This is essential in uncovering team players. These assessment days also provide an opportunity for Zurich to share what it can offer employees – essentially both parties are being interviewed, and the fit needs to be mutually beneficial.