Understand the next generation to attract them: CICA panel
To attract the next generation of talent, the captives industry must first understand what that generation wants – that means talking to younger people and getting creative in delivering that in a way that makes the industry attractive.
That was the theme of a panel discussion called ‘Engaging, Retaining and Developing the Next Generation of Talent’, which took place at the Captive Insurance Companies Association’s (CICA) annual conference, taking place in Tucson this week (March 6-8).
In the session, a panel of speakers with varied experience and perspectives discussed how organizations can engage with the next generation of talent –from both a recruitment and a career development perspective. Panellists ranged from young to veteran industry professionals, allowing attendees insight into various viewpoints.
The panel comprised: Diana Hardy, Audit Partner, RH CPAs; Molly Hentges, Account Executive, Gallagher Bassett’ Nick Hentges, CEO, Captive Resources; and Brittany Nevins, Captive Insurance Economic Development Director, State of Vermont.
Nevins said: “During the pandemic, a lot of younger people took a step back and reconsidered what they are doing with their lives. But to attract that generation, you have to understand them and what they want. You need to talk to that generation and understand them first – what are they looking for? People increasingly want work-life balance and meaning in their lives.”
She admitted too though that the younger generation also needs to be open to learning from their more experienced peers. “It is hard to admit, but we cannot just make demands. We need to do this through incremental change.”
Molly Hentges, daughter of Nick, also on the panel, also stressed that attracting people and keeping them long term are two distinct things. “You need to understand their expectations of their employer – a diverse workforce is important as is flexibility and work life balance. Those are big differentiators for people. What can the employer do to help that employee be the best they possibly can?”
Hardy agreed that retaining talent can be a challenge. She advocated organisations being open and honest about an organisation’s goals – ideally on a personal level. “It is about understanding the goals of people and opening communication channels while working towards a common goal,” she said.
Nick Hentges agreed that the industry has evolved through the pandemic for the better and embraced things like home working – a change for the better. But he also advocated the importance of employees getting to know each other, and thus a balance between home and office working so that is possible.
He also criticised those who make generalisations about millennials – and some of the even younger generations. “I think this generation have an incredible amount to officer and real passion. We should not generalise. Also, I love working with the younger generation because I also learn from them. It keeps me young,” he said.