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The Future of Insurance Is in the Hands of Millennials Part 2: How to Hire Them Now

Posted on December 01, 2016 by Daniel Taibleson in Digital Insurer

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You may feel out of touch or challenged when hiring millennials for your agency, but research shows they are vital to the long-term success of insurance. Hiring young producers, those born between 1980 and 2000, helps business when you provide them with the right tools. The 2016 Reagan Consulting Best Practices Study found millennial agents drive organic growth, while multi-generational agencies are the most likely to achieve long-term independence.

A fourth of agents are expected to retire by 2018. Now is the opportunity to hire millennials who can not only replenish your workforce, but who can also help you capture this powerful market of consumers and keep them engaged with your business.

Benefits of Hiring Millennials for Insurance

If you're like many insurance agencies, you probably feel challenged when it comes to engaging with millennials. Gallup reports while millennials are the largest generation in the United States and will dominate the market for years to come, they are the generation that is the least likely to be fully engaged with their primary insurer. Even if they've bought insurance from you, they may not care about the benefits you provide for their well-being (yet!).

One of the most significant contributors to the problem is that millennials can't relate to many insurance agents. Insurance Business America magazine reports, the average age of an agent is 59. As millennials become the most prominent generation around the world and in the workplace, they bring a unique skillset that gives employers in insurance and beyond advantages, including:

  • They're technologically proficient. Millennials have grown up with media and are the most tech-savvy generation. They can quickly master various devices and know how to successfully connect with others who are using tech-powered marketing such as social media. They can make your agency more up-to-date in the tech world by suggesting innovative ways to use insurance-focused technology. Plus, they can use tech to connect better with millennial prospects and current customers.
  • They'll work hard for you if they believe in your mission. The University of North Carolina reports millennials value meaningful work over high pay and prioritize a sense of accomplishment in their jobs. That's great news for agencies that invest in the development of their employees, since millennials are motivated to produce great work if their employer's goals resonate with them and if they are recognized for their efforts.
  • They’re self-starters. Millennials comprise a generation that is confident and believes in their leadership abilities. UNC reports 30 percent of millennials started a business in college, while 65 percent say personal development is the most important factor to them in the workplace. Millennials have entrepreneurial spirits, which position them to be great salespeople and leaders who inspire their coworkers.

While most millennials won't study an insurance-related field in college, millennials are the most educated generation, according to Deloitte University Press. While they may never have considered a position in insurance, recruiting intelligent millennials from other fields of study or who are working in other industries is now a proven framework for success.

Benefits Millennial Workers Want in an Insurance Agency

Retaining millennials in roles is often much more challenging than getting them to apply and take a position. Gallup calls millennials "the job-hopping generation," since they are the generation most likely to move freely among companies. In order to attract and retain top millennial talent, millennial workplace expert Lindsey Pollak, author of Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders, points out the factors millennials crave in a workplace.

  • Training and development: The generation that is most educated wants to continue learning. From cross-departmental trainings to leadership workshops, access to learning opportunities is attractive to millennials.
  • Coaching and mentoring: Millennials don't just want a boss -- they want a cheerleader. They want to feel like everyone in a higher position than them can help them expand their skillset, so they can someday take on a leadership role of that magnitude, too.
  • Leadership opportunities: Speaking of leadership, even if a VP position isn't open at the moment, millennials want to know they're on the path to achieving higher roles and want to be leaders in some sort of capacity now. Whether it's leading a small team, taking charge of a meeting, or being the key point of contact in a campaign, millennials want to be able to show off that entrepreneurial spirit and flex their leadership muscle.
  • Customization whenever possible: According to Gallup, millennials expect flexibility in the workplace, whether that's giving them the freedom to set their own work hours, or setting up a career plan that caters to their goals rather than the company's. This isn't necessarily bad, since higher engagement felt at work means more production from your millennial producers.

Get the attention of millennial job prospects by using social networks such as LinkedIn to reach out to them. Create a college internship program that is open to a variety of majors to inspire interest while millennials are still in school. Display the warm and welcoming culture you have at your business on your company jobs page. Create a video tour of your office, with testimonials from your team, and upload it to a YouTube page. Empower your current millennial staff members to reach out to contacts they think would be ideal team member fits, even if they have never considered working in insurance before.

Agency Principle Ashley Brower-Whitney discusses the importance of company culture, how to develop and maintain culture, and technology’s impact on culture:

Go hire millennials, now!

As we covered in our previous post on millennials, capturing millennial customers for your insurance business is vital to stay alive in an ever-evolving world dominated by technology. Recruiting and catering to millennial talent can invigorate your agency, improve the work of your current older team members, and get your product and service to more ideal new millennial customers. And who knows -- you may find out you actually think Facebook and Instagram are awesome, too.

Learn more about how you can empower millennial hires with the right tools.

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Daniel Taibleson

As a content marketing manager at Vertafore, Daniel acts as the Editor-in-Chief of the blog, uncovering and telling stories about the intersection of insurance and technology.





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