Insurance businesses have two opportunities to stave off the talent shortagecurrently impacting the insurance market in Singapore.
Danielle Warner, founder and CEO of Expat Insurance, told Insurance Business
that looking outside of the insurance industry and attracting Millennials to the industry are two opportunities to find the right talent for insurance businesses.
Warner said that when she founded Expat in 2009 she made a “unique decision” to “look everywhere but the industry itself” for talent and it has paid dividends.
“We attracted and honed in on attracting the right people with the right personalities, knowing that, as insurance experts, we could train and help people get the qualifications they need. We could teach them the technical tools of the trade to do their jobs.”
Armed with that knowledge, Warner said her firm has sourced talent from hospitality, IT, legal and engineering backgrounds.
“It is a big investment and you need to have some really strong on-boarding practices and training practices to indoctrinate them within the insurance industry but we believe it is easier to teach technical skills and the technical side of the industry to the right people than find the right people within the industry.”
With talent top of mind for many in the industry, Warner said that Millennials also offer another avenue out of the current talent shortage, but too many players insist on finding people with many years of experience who have solid knowledge of the in’s and out’s of different strands of the insurance industry.
“Actually that is not what is required these days,” Warner said.
“You need really open minded people that are going to ask lots of good questions, be super personable and find out what your business actually does and how you are best able to protect yourself against financial exposure and losses. It is people that do that.
“It is our responsibility within the industry to continue to bring new talent and encourage new talent to come in but the only way that is going to change is if the culture in insurance also changes.”
Warner praised the Singapore Government and the Monetary Authority of Singapore for their forward planning around fintech but said more could be done to help the industry change its culture.
“I think the only way to try and change the culture of the industry itself is from the top down and from the bottom up, at the same time. You have got to tackle it from every angle because it is so ingrained.
She said the perception many have of the industry is that it’s “old and stale” and that regulators need to think differently to attract younger workers.
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