A new initiative is launching to help fight the insurance industry’s talent shortage and recruitment issues. The roundtable lunch event will host almost 80 carefully selected university students and showcase the variety of insurance career options.
Blake Oliver Consulting, the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) and Insurtech Australia have teamed up to debut their idea in Melbourne at the RACV City Club on October 06. All the students’ expenses will be covered.
A similar roundtable luncheon will follow in Sydney during March 2023 in what is expected to be a twice yearly showcasing of insurance industry career possibilities.
“We’ve come up with what we think is really quite a diverse and interesting event,” said Daniel Marsh (pictured above), managing director of the insurance specialist recruitment and consulting firm Blake Oliver.
Marsh said they’re in the process of reaching out to university students across Victoria and NSW to select 78 to attend each event.
He said the gatherings will have 13 industry tables each with seating for nine. Four tables will represent underwriting firms, four will be brokerages, two for legal companies, one for a claims management firm, one for a reinsurer and one for an insurtech or start-up business relevant to the insurance industry.
“Each table will have three company representatives so hopefully a state manager or CEO, an HR person and then maybe some sort of young gun who’s come through the business. Then there will be six places for students,” he said.
He said there will also be guest speakers, very likely his event partners, ANZIIF’s CEO Prue Willsford and Simone Dossetor, CEO of Insurtech Australia.
“This is a formal sit-down lunch event where these students who otherwise wouldn’t necessarily consider a career in insurance could find themselves sitting next to the CEO of a global insurance company who can tell them all about the industry,” said Marsh.
The main idea, he said, is to catch the attention of students who may not have considered the industry as a career and impress them with a wide range of career possibilities.
“The companies then have access to all 78 students who attended on the day and they can choose to employ them or they can choose to keep in touch with them while they finish their degrees and so potentially give them a gateway into the insurance industry,” he said.
Each company that attends the event will have a secure log-in page to access the details of each successful student.
“It’s limited and it will be a hot ticket,” said Marsh. “So, we’re not inviting companies to this. We’ll be telling companies about it and they’ll have an opportunity to sponsor a table and be there.”
Marsh added that it’s important companies send “people with credibility and status” because this high value event is an opportunity “to really push the insurance industry and to really advertise it,” he said.
Marsh said they’re reaching out to students through career centres at La Trobe, Swinburne, Monash and a number of other universities.
“So every student will go through an application process. First of all, they have to apply with a CV. Then if they’re successful at that stage they have to do a full video interview which will give us a rundown of who they are, what their course is, what their majors are in and when their graduation date is,” he said.
They’re also engaging with university lecturers in a range of different faculties and asking them to nominate students.
“We’re reaching out to lecturers and providing access to the event and the website and encouraging them to have a look at it. We’re suggesting they nominate one or two of their students who they feel will be a good fit so we get a high volume of students coming through the application process,” said Marsh.
The most promising insurance industry candidates will then be chosen.
“We think it’s a really exciting event, completely unique and if insurance companies see this and back it at least they’re trying to do something new to help fill their talent gap,” added Marsh.
As the insurance industry’s talent crunch continues, Gallagher Bassett Australia is adopting another strategy to ease the crisis. GB is formalizing career pathways that can take an employee from one contrasting department within the firm to another.
GB’s CEO Pete Nicholson said, historically, inter-departmental career moves were encouraged informally but now GB is in the process of formalizing these mechanisms.
“So, moving from claims to corporate and corporate to claims for that matter, which will also help our people understand the real detail of what we do and how our operations work to assist people in times of need,” he said.