What Millennials Want from a Career in Insurance
By Ben Deda, VP of Marketing
With nearly 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, it’s more important than ever for industries of every shape and size to find ways to attract, retain, and satisfy the next generation of workers.
We recently surveyed nearly 3,500 insurance professionals, including 1,556 millennials, to understand how insurance can meet the needs of this new generation. While there is some debate around exactly who makes up one of the most talked-about generations, for the purpose of this survey, we defined a millennial as being between ages 19 and 35, and a baby boomer as aged 55 or older as of August 2017.
So, what is it that millennials are looking for when it comes to their careers? In this blog, we break down the key things you need to know about how to attract and retain millennial talent.
Benefits of a Career in Insurance
The first thing to know is that the millennial generation, which now makes up the largest generation in the workforce, has a particular checklist in mind when pursuing a career path.
Professional development tops the list of priorities, as 63 percent of our survey respondents chose opportunity for growth as the leading motivation for selecting a particular career. Rather than jumping from job to job, as millennials are so often criticized for doing, two-thirds (67%) of millennial respondents have been in the insurance industry for at least three years and, more importantly, don’t have plans to leave anytime soon. So how do agencies capitalize on this information? Creating transparent and linear growth opportunities within your organization will ensure your youngest employees stay engaged for many years.
As millennials climb the professional ladder and enter into more advanced positions, 50 percent report that they prioritize work-life balance over everything else. In today’s modern workplace, millennial professionals may look for less traditional schedules outside the typical nine to five. Providing different options like remote workdays and more flexible hours may help you attract and retain new talent.
Where to Find Millennials
The great news is that 82 percent of millennials would recommend a career in insurance to others. Word-of-mouth will be the biggest asset when attracting new talent, as 39 percent of respondents have already been recruited through friends. Outside of tried-and-true personal referrals, 20 percent of workers aged 19 to 35 are answering job postings using websites like Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor.
An online presence is imperative for getting noticed by the next generation of talent. Posting jobs across multiple sites, including social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, increases visibility and maximizes recruiting efforts. When it comes to capitalizing on referrals, offering incentives to current employees is a great way to increase motivation to bring in new talent.
The Future of Insurance and Technology
Despite widespread hype around InsurTech startups, only 13 percent of millennials said they were concerned about disruptors like Trov, Metromile or Lemonade competing for business.
Perhaps that’s due to the fact that insurance companies are adopting technology more aggressively in order to remain competitive. Over the past year, usage of social media and communications technologies has increased significantly as a strategy for improving customer service. Video messaging was used by agents 75 percent more often in 2017 than in 2016, while Instagram (+50%), instant messaging/chatting (+41%), and texting (+14%) have also grown in usage over the last year.
Overall, the majority of millennials (59%) are satisfied with their company’s use of technology and feel that they’re adequately armed with the tools they need to compete and succeed (78%). By continuing to both integrate updated tech into your agency and understand which tools millennial employees need and want to be successful, you’ll be able to maintain momentum and garner loyalty with your younger workforce.
The industry is clearly making strides towards attracting and retaining millennials, but there’s still work to be done. Companies that adapt to meet the priorities of the millennial generation, like offering better work-life balance, more transparent, linear career growth opportunities, and a diverse suite of technology tools, will undoubtedly reap the rewards of a loyal, high-achieving young workforce.
It may sound like a chicken-and-egg scenario, but the more insurance companies continue to embrace the young professional workforce, the more they’ll continue to foster the technological savviness needed to keep pace with innovation – and further attract millennials to the industry.