Employees retiring? Learn 6 tips to recruit new insurance employees 


It’s Insurance Careers Month. Need help with recruiting new agency talent?

Agency owners, are you finding it difficult to find fresh talent and recruit new insurance employees these days? February is Insurance Careers Month, designated by the Insurance Careers Movement, a cross-industry initiative. As reported by Program Business, their goal is two-fold: to raise awareness of career opportunities in the risk management and insurance professions and support efforts to recruit the next generation of industry leaders. 

It’s a daunting task. Have you seen the statistics for our industry?

  • 25 percent of insurance professionals will retire by this year; by 2034, nearly 50 percent will have retired.
  • The insurance industry will have 400,000 positions to fill by 2020. Some 20 percent of experienced underwriters will retire within the next few years. 
  • Meanwhile, only 69 percent of American high school graduates are getting their college degrees within four years.
  • This will create a projected shortfall of 3 million workers with college degrees by later this year.
  • Less than five percent of millennials are interested in working in insurance.

(Note: These statistics were provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, McKinsey & Company and Deloitte.) 

As you can see, experts are forecasting a serious talent gap if something isn’t done quickly. 

Recruiting new insurance employees from college grads who know nothing of our industry isn't a new dilemma

We’ve interviewed countless insurance agents, brokers, underwriters and other professionals in the past two years, and every one of them has said, in effect, ”I didn’t start out in this career….This isn’t the field I thought I’d go into, but I had a friend…my dad…a buddy in the industry, and they told me I’d be a good fit.” It’s no different today: 80 percent of millennials are unfamiliar with the industry as a career option, according to InsuranceCareerTrifecta.org.

Related: Career advice from 6 Arrowhead women on how to advance through the ranks 

Six ways your agency can recruit new insurance employees

Your agency may be feeling the pinch already. If so, here are six ways you can begin to recruit new insurance employees:

1. Start an internship program (or ramp it up). Interns will want a good taste of all the job roles within your agency; therefore, design your program so that they spend some time shadowing each role. Your employees can create a list of tasks that an intern can help with; in return, they must be able to allocate time to explain their role and a little about the industry to the intern. Then create a job description and provide it to local junior colleges and nearby four-year schools. The result? You get free (or low-cost) help for a couple of months, and your interns have a good introduction to the industry. At the end of the internship, be sure to gather feedback as to how to improve the program. MyPath has compiled a list of the best practices for college-, student- and association-focused recruiting. View here.

2. Participate in career days at local colleges. Remember your last days as a senior, unsure of your next steps and concerned about your job options? Career days are a great way to introduce your agency to bright, about-to-be graduates in your quest to recruit new insurance talent. Use your millennial employees to staff your booth, as they’ll be most attractive and empathetic to these seniors. They should be prepared to share their story of how entered the field, and what they love best about it. Download additional career fair recruiting materials and ideas from InVEST.

3. Encourage your employees to post on social media pages, both theirs and your agency’s, why they chose the insurance industry and what they like best about it. Collectively, they will reach an audience size at least 10 times greater than your agency’s social media pages alone, helping you to recruit new insurance employees. If you have a recruitment page on your agency website, be sure to capture these testimonials there as well, along with a way for students to reach out to your team. Be sure to post your job openings on your various social sites and ask employees to help you spread the word on their social profiles as well.

Related: When are you an insurance agent vs. broker?

4. Get to know the staff in local colleges’ career offices. Learn all the options they offer and determine which you think will be the most effective for your recruiting efforts. Some host speed networking events, matching students with various employers for five-minute conversations. Others organize shadow-a-professional days, giving students several hours with your staff. Take advantage of the career office’s opportunities. Also provide the career office with a flyer you’ve created that touts the benefits of working in the industry and specifically for your agency. 

5. Hold Facebook Live events on a regular basis (monthly) so that students can join in, hear from various professionals on your team and ask questions. Again, it’s best that your millennial employees are present for these events. Publicize these Facebook Live events in your social media and at the various career offices.

6. Contact local chapters of fraternities, sororities and other college organizations, and arrange to speak at one of their meetings, or at least leave behind some recruiting materials.

The class of 2018 will be graduating in just a few short months; many are surveying their options now. So now’s a good time to get started planning your strategies to recruit new insurance employees.

Additional resources:

Retirees offer insight into recruitment 
Insurance industry response to talent crisis