Recruit the next generation – or else

Recruit the next generation – or else

Recruit the next generation – or else "Where have all the Boomers gone?”

That will be the question 10 years from now when half of the insurance industry retires. If you have made your career helping businesses and individuals manage risk, you
understand the importance of this noble industry.

When a fire occurs, or a weather-related loss, an accident, or some other incident beyond the control of people or the commercial enterprises in which they work, insurance
is the vehicle that puts them back on their feet. Without it, no one would be able to drive, own a business or even afford medical treatment. Commercial insurance greases the wheels of our economy.

In terms of a career, insurance is the most fundamentally sound industry I have ever been exposed to in my 40 working years. In that time, I have seen entire industries come and go. I tell every college student and recent graduate I meet that they should consider working in the industry. I know of no other business where:

• Buying the product is not optional – people and businesses need insurance.
• The annual expiration date gives you a yearly opportunity to write new business.
• The 80% or higher renewal rate allows you to build a recurring “book” of business.
• The product itself constantly evolves, which keeps you learning.
• The end client is basically in the dark regarding both their needs and the details of the product they are buying, leaving them dependent upon a trusted advisor.
• You do not need a degree to get started, though many excellent undergraduate programs exist if you choose to invest in one.
• Job opportunities are limitless since multiple functions are required, including marketing, underwriting, claims handling, human resources, actuarial science, IT, administration, accounting, management – you name it. You can pretty much find a job, regardless of your degree or background.

Colleges and universities that are graduating students with insurance-related degrees have a 95% placement rate but fill only 10% of the demand. That means the responsibility falls to every person working in the industry today to actively recruit the next generation.

No matter how recruits get here, however, few small and medium-sized businesses have the necessary programs to train new recruits. Each employee faces years of learning until they can be a productive contributor to their company’s bottom line.

And then there is the issue of turnover. Millennials do not automatically feel committed to stay with their fi rst employer for a long time. Insu cient training, mentoring
and the lack of a clearly defined career path can quickly lead to their searching for a better work environment.

So why should you hire them and live through their learning curve, only to have them leave once they become productive? The answer is because you have no choice. If
you want to have sufficient staff to continue growing your company 10 years from now, your only option is to bring in new blood.

This is a great business – stand up and shout it to everyone you meet! And not all millennials will jump ship in three to five years if they are properly managed. The key is to not hire just anyone. The science now exists to swiftly identify recruits with the right DNA for your company.

Between sales DNA, behavioral style and driving forces assessments, you can place the right people in the right seats straight out of the gate.

Furthermore, you can accelerate their learning by giving them both insurance and customer service training in their first six months. That cuts a year o their learning curve.

Faster productivity for them means a quicker return on your investment, greater job satisfaction and accelerated career pathing, which will keep those millennials around longer – and keep you in business longer.

Mike Shannon is the founder and CEO of TriFit Business Development, which helps insurance companies grow organically through recruiting, developing their staffs and
accelerating the learning curve of new hires.