“I think the industry is doing a great job creating awareness of the critical role that insurance plays in modern life,” said Martyn Wicht (pictured above), regional director for Australasia at McLarens, a global loss adjuster focused on the complex commercial claims space.
The Brisbane-based, third generation loss adjuster was responding to a question from Insurance Business. IB asked about the insurance industry’s well known image problem and if that impacts his firm’s recruitment efforts?
Wicht, like some other industry stakeholders, believes the industry has turned a corner.
“I think that’s starting to generate more awareness of the industry and attract a more diverse range of candidates to our industry,” he said. “We’re on the right track.”
Wicht’s firm is running its trainee scheme for the second year.
“I think the loss adjusting industry has a very important role to play in providing that on the job training, which is critical to the success, I think, of the role,” he said.
Wicht said the loss adjusting industry is “well supported” by AICLA and ANZIIF education programs and this aims to complement those programs.
McLarens is taking on eight trainees this year – twice the number of 2022’s intake, said Wicht.
“We’ve also expanded the lines of business,” he said. “In 2022, we were focusing on the property line of business and we’ve expanded that to forensic accounting and construction for 2023.”
The 12-month training program, said Wicht, is very structured.
“I think that has been part of our success,” he said.
The firm has recruited trainees since 2019 but with the assistance of an HR partner, the program, he said, is now much more structured.
“We specifically recruited a strategic human resources professional whose focus has been on developing the framework for our career and learning pathways,” he said. “That includes integrating the AICLA and ANZIIF educational programs to support the extensive on the job training in complex claims that we provide.”
The latest intake of eight trainees – double the intake in 2022 - started in April.
“We brought them all together for a two day, get to know each other and introduction to the business and induction program,” said Wicht. “One of the key elements of the training program is one-on-one extensive training covering all of the elements of the loss adjusting role in the claims process, which is very much on the job training.”
Wicht said this involves shadowing a senior person five days a week.
“The other thing is that a team approach to this program has been integral to its success,” he said. “Not all of our loss adjusters are supervising trainees, however, all of our loss adjusters are involved in the traineeship program, whether that’s by way of additional learning opportunities, lunch and learns - we cover those off once a month.”
Wicht said all parts of the business are involved in their traineeship program.
“I think the approach that McLarens is taking to the traineeship program is a unique approach,” he said. “The training is specifically targeted to the area of the business that we operate in, which is the major and complex claims space.”
He said, in the past, many loss adjusters developed their skills by adjusting in a high-volume, low value claims environment and progressed in that manner.
“Our training program required a different approach because we operate in that complex and large loss claims arena,” said Wicht.
He said clients have “embraced the program too.”
Candidates in the current training program come from diverse backgrounds.
“We use a number of resources from word of mouth to job boards that connect us to graduates,” said Wicht. “We’ve attracted candidates with various skills, degrees in law, engineering, accounting and also people from within the industry with backgrounds in broking and claims.”
Wicht said the diversity of a loss adjusting career means that many different skills are relevant. He said their traineeship program “presents a very unique opportunity” to match the skills of the candidates – either from previous education or work – with the “experience they have already gleaned.”
He suggested that their traineeship scheme is starting to make small inroads into the industry’s decades-old aging workforce challenges.
“The generation gap has been a topic of discussion for some time in the loss adjusting profession,” said Wicht.
Loss adjusting roles right across McLaren’s business, he said, are currently in high demand.
“I think many factors are influencing the need for loss adjusters such as the growth of insurance in developing areas and the recent natural weather events and future predictions have highlighted that demand will continue,” said Wicht.
He said he expects this demand to continue.
According to its website, McLaren’s Australasia based division focuses on, casualty, construction and natural resources, forensic accounting, property, marine and aviation.
A McLaren’s media release said the firm’s revenue in Australia grew by 25% this year. The release also said the business has grown from one staff member in 2014, when McLarens re-entered the local market, to more than 120 this year.
Are you an industry stakeholder? What would you do to attract recruits? Please tell us below