2 September 2021ArticleAnalysis

Close the talent gap by telling the captive story

“What can the industry do to effectively attract the next generation? The answer may be more simple than we think: we have to tell our story.” Grace Grant, Gamma Iota Sigma

Talent risk is not one the insurance industry, as a risk-centred business, can afford to overlook. Talk of the talent gap, in which a substantial workforce decline is upon us due to baby-boomers’ ongoing waves of retirement, coupled with the Great Resignation following the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to be a concern.The insurance industry isn’t the only sector facing this reality, but it continues to be hit hard due to the ongoing challenges it faces in telling its story in a compelling way. Why does an industry that is stable, recession-proof, and multi-faceted, continue to face a talent gap?What is being done to meet the hiring—and, perhaps more importantly, retention—demands that this gap is creating and will continue to create? The answer is complicated for many reasons, with one consideration being the new and different hiring needs due to advances in artificial intelligence, other automation and emerging technologies, and expanding segments like insurtech.From a talent pipeline perspective, what can the industry do to effectively attract the next generation? The answer may be more simple than we think: we have to tell our story. The insurance industry has a captivating story to share, especially given the resilience and stability demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.The insurance industry struggles to tell its story in a compelling way, even though its story is indeed extremely compelling.A new approach
The industry needs to come together in a collective way if it wants to see widespread change. Investing in organisations such as Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), that are supporting the next generation of industry talent, is a great place to start.GIS, founded in 1966 at the Ohio State University, has a mission of promoting and sustaining student interest in careers in insurance, risk management, and actuarial science. GIS is committed to showcasing the industry’s breadth of opportunity to students of all backgrounds.Through educational programming, speakers, career fairs, professional development and beyond, there is an opportunity for every segment of the industry to show up and demonstrate all it has to offer.As the industry’s collegiate talent pipeline, with an ever-growing core of 5,000+ students of all majors from nearly 100 colleges and universities, and 35,000 alumni across North America, GIS is uniquely positioned to share the industry’s story with a diverse group of students and young professionals nationwide.GIS conducts an annual recruiting survey providing insights into what the next generation is looking for when it comes to internships, full time employment, the industry’s diversity, equity, and inclusion practices and more—further informing the industry’s recruiting strategies.GIS has analysed this year’s survey, which represents 1,626 collegiate students and young alumni from 87 colleges and universities, including 49 percent of respondents representing minority groups, and recommends the following approach.First, expand your reach beyond a few target schools or states. Today, more than ever, we can connect with people across the world with the use of virtual platforms, so consideration of schools and students countrywide is strongly encouraged, particularly when considering 73 percent of survey respondents indicated they would be willing to relocate for the right job opportunity.Second, when it comes to recruiting for diversity, it’s vital that companies are investing in students year-round, not only through career fairs but through sending diverse speakers covering varying topics—eg, what is captive insurance, and what are the benefits to working outside the commercial insurance marketplace?Recruiting for diversity authentically entails year-round engagement and an expanded reach, keeping in mind students today consider diversity in terms of diversity of thought, diversity of background, diversity of major and education, diversity of race, and beyond. Thoughtful recruiting must be done by sending diverse representation from your companies and considering all these different ways to engage with students beyond the career fair.Third, organisations are encouraged to empower continued learning, whether during an internship, mentorship, or upon full-time employment.Professionals who have a broader understanding of the insurance landscape will bring more value and feel more connected to the company which lends itself not only to effective recruitment but to a higher likelihood of retaining valuable employees.Partners
It’s very important to support the growing collaborative industry efforts and take advantage of the opportunities they present to engage with talent. Organisations such as GIS will allow your firm to streamline its recruiting efforts, expand its brand position, connect with top talent across the country, and showcase the industry’s story in a compelling way.GIS receives essential support from its 50 Sustaining Partners who have made a three-year investment and receive unrivalled benefits, first access to students, maximum brand awareness, exclusive recruiting and promotional opportunities, year-round inclusion in GIS programming, and active engagement in GIS’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.GIS’s Sustaining Partners play an active and integral role in shaping a diverse talent pipeline for the insurance industry. To learn more, visit

.As the talent gap widens, it’s no longer a problem for human resources teams to tackle alone. What is your organisation doing to combat talent risk and build its talent pipeline? What part will you play in sharing the industry’s story to attract the future of talent for our industry?