An injection of young blood is necessary to sustain the business of insurance.
A wave of managers expected to retire in the next few years combined with fewer young people considering a career in insurance could result in a shortage of talent in the industry.
Reaching out to college students, even when they’re just arriving on campuses for the first time, is one way to get more interest from a younger generation, according to David Chipp, assistant vice president and wholesale insurance broker at Brown & Riding.
At least, that’s how he got into the industry almost 20 years ago. A friend who worked for an MGA got Chipp a job and he took the opportunity because he needed to pay his way through school, with little to no experience in insurance beforehand. Really, Chipp said that millennials shouldn’t be worried if they don’t have that experience since, as in his case, he had skills from previous jobs that proved useful.
Grabbing the attention of a freshman then becomes critical, as does holding their interest until they finally receive their degree.
“I think it starts from the bottom with recruiting young people interested in insurance as they go into school, or also recruiting on campuses as people are graduating, and letting them know what opportunities are there in the insurance industry right out of college with just a bachelor’s degree,” said Chipp.
The company is connected with various schools around the country, including the University of Mississippi, known as Ole Miss. More than 40 employees call themselves Ole Miss alumni. It helps that Brown & Riding is big into college recruitment. Chipp personally hired someone out of college a few months ago who had interned for a retail broker during his college career, but felt the wholesale brokerage segment was where he wanted to start his professional career.
“Exposing young professionals to the different sides of insurance is helpful in them making a decision on where they see their opportunity to be successful,” he remarked.
Young people might also look to the industry as insurers adopt modern technology into their businesses and insurtechs challenge the traditional image of the insurance company.
“Attracting younger talent through technology is a good way to get their attention,” said Chipp. “There’s a lot of development right now with software and blockchain being implemented into insurance to provide better data that can be used for underwriting and pricing purposes and eliminate some redundancies in the data that may inflate costs to the clients.”
But it’s definitely on-the-ground outreach that Chipp sees as most effective in convincing young people to apply for the job.
“It still takes human interaction to get them to the point of, what is insurance and how can it be a career for me?” he explained.
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