Insurance industry critically 'talent short' according to recruiting expert

Insurance industry critically 'talent short' according to recruiting expert

Insurance industry critically 'talent short' according to recruiting expert The insurance industry is “one of the most candidate or talent short” in Australia, according to a regional director at a major recruiting firm.

Jane McNeill, regional director of Hays, spoke to Insurance Business on the release of the Hays Quarterly Report which details the key trends for the coming quarter in insurance jobs and spoke candidly about the challenges facing those in the industry.

“The insurance industry, I would say, is one of the most candidate short or talent short industries that I’ve experienced in 27 years in recruitment, 15 years of those in Australia.

“Insurance has been, in all that time, incredibly skill short and the demand has picked up in the last two or three years – there isn’t a huge difference from this year to last year but there has been an ongoing, steady demand both on short-term, temporary, casual positions and on the permanent side.”

Citing the continued climate of natural disasters in Australia, McNeill sees the demand to continue having been “the biggest growth area in the insurance sector,” whether that be claims staff, loss adjustors or on-the-ground assistance.

With such a lack of fresh talent in the industry, McNeill is calling for a change in tactics within the industry to try and bolster the ranks.

“There needs to be a bit of an industry switch. One of the challenges in the insurance industry is that it is incredibly candidate short but all insurers and employers tend to want strong experience and, at the end of the day, there just is not enough experience to round.

“I think the more forward thinking ones if they’re willing to take people on at a fairly junior level and start to train them up, even if it’s in the claims area if they took people with good phone skills, the intelligence to deal with the claims handling, and actually trained them they are going to increase the pool of candidates available.

“My advice would be to look at bringing more junior people and even more graduate training programs because there is such a lack of new talent coming into the industry.”
16 Comments
  • Just an Observer 28/01/2015 10:08:02 AM
    Would agree 100% with this comment.

    But after 38 years in Insurance I can only say that the industry only has itself to blame.

    With mergers, down sizing, out sourcing, change in direction etc. etc. companies have little if any loyalty to staff. So staff naturally don't really talk the industry up.

    Experienced people are under valued and in some case treated with what can only be described as contempt. especially by the younger generation of know All's.

    Second class third rate management are put in place because they are "safe" and can be relied upon to say YES when required.

    End result, people that do come into the industry don't stay past 5 to 10 years etc.

    Industry has a lot of soul searching to do if it wants to change things.

    Only problem is that 38 years ago when I started in the industry many of above problems already existed. So after 38 years would could say nothing has changed/ improved.
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  • Darren Walker 28/01/2015 10:15:22 AM
    It disturbs me that recruiters like Ms McNeill seem to view insurance claims as the area you send the dummies to work in. If she and others are unable to sell the many and varied roles and skillsets required within an Australian insurer of the 21st century, we really will have a problem.
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  • md 28/01/2015 10:18:47 AM
    years ago the insurance companies were one of the biggest "out of school" employers, now I believe with all the regulations and red tape it has made it harder to get juniors to enter the industry, everyone wants experienced people, without the big insurers training juniors to feed the whole industry its no wonder there is a shortage.
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