Whether you’re an insurer, a broker or an underwriter, attracting new faces into the insurance industry can be a difficult challenge. Indeed many would describe the lack of young people in the sector as one of its key issues.
Yet one company has managed to buck the trend. Chaucer, the specialist Lloyd’s insurance group, has been voted as the ‘Top Company for Graduates to work for 2016/17 in Accountancy and Insurance in the smaller employer category’ for the fourth successive year by The Job Crowd, a graduate job review website. With that in mind, Insurance Business UK
reached out to Catriona McCaughey, talent and development consultant at Chaucer, to find out the secrets behind the company’s success.
“We’ve been running our graduate programme for a number of years,” she said. “We make a bespoke programme for each business and what their needs are – over the years we’ve had an underwriting programme, a claims programme, an actuarial programme, as well as programmes on the management side as well. It’s really about working with the company and ensuring we have something in place that meets the business’s needs.”
While it’s all well and good to have suitable programmes in place, perhaps the real challenge is in piquing the interest of young people who often have the perception that the insurance industry is dull and boring.
“Insurance definitely isn’t seen as the most exciting industry,” continued McCaughey, “but I do believe that’s changing and a lot of that is down to the work the CII
is doing. They have a website called Discover Risk which appeals to graduates and school-leavers and they do a lot of heavy promotion for the industry within schools.
“They try and bring insurance to life and they run workshops and have interactive games where they get people working in teams to rate risk – it’s activities like that which help to make insurance seem a bit more exciting and bring younger people into the market.
“Another thing to do is to link insurance to those big events that are happening. Let people see that it’s not just about car insurance and home insurance – it’s also about major events in the world, like earthquakes and other disasters. We can bring people into the market by linking it to these events.”
Of course the industry is not just focused on attracting younger people – there is a drive to bring in a more diverse range of employees too, whether they be female or from different ethnic backgrounds. However, McCaughey believes this is something that can be achieved just by offering a more rounded effort to bringing in younger people generally.
“We’ve had a high proportion of female graduates come through our graduate process,” she said. “However, we don’t do anything to attract them specifically. The key is just to treat all applications equally.
“We’ve done a lot of research and found that young people aren’t just interested in money and the financial package – they also want a company that has a clear CSR proposition, a company that gives back to the community, so we do our best to communicate that as much as possible and get involved with local charities. They also want companies that offer genuine opportunities for career growth with a clear perspective on what their role will be and what their expectations are.
“The situation in terms of attracting young people to the industry is changing – it’s a slow change, but it’s definitely changing and changing for the better.”
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