After spending years learning how to hire people just like the people already there, the Insurance Industry is wakening to the exciting possibility that the Millennials (those born 1980 – 2000) may be the very best choice to fill the great void being left by the exiting Boomers (born 1943 – 1960 ). The Millennials or Generation Y, as some refer to them, are the second largest, if not the largest living generation of Americans, numbering from 75 million to (some say) over 80 million. Just their numbers alone, will have a significant impact on the world economy, for years to come.
This generation, the Millennials, characterized by their optimism, confidence, achievement and Street Smarts are prime targets to fill the workplace void being left by retiring Baby Boomers. No industry is needier than the Insurance Industry who is struggling, still wanting to hire older, more experienced candidates and overlooking the generation of worker that can revitalize it.
According to a study, in 2012, by the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, Millennials are unaware of opportunities within the industry. Yet the survey found that most Millennials wanted careers that solved problems and helped others (pretty much what insurance does). So, according to the survey, one of the largest of its kind, individuals within the Millennial generation want jobs that already exist within an industry that struggles to attract new and younger participants to fill them.
Why is that?
The Insurance Industry seems to be blind to the potential of a large portion of the current workforce and continues to focus on “retreads” (people who have already tried and failed within the industry) because it is easier to hire them than sell Millennials on the opportunity within the Insurance Industry.
The industry needs to repackage its opportunity story to match the wants and needs of the Millennials. When surveyed, the top three job choices among this large generation was; a job working with people, a job solving problems, and a job helping others. Now you tell me, is that what most insurance jobs are about? Yes, that is exactly what insurance is all about. Yet, this generation of hopeful and determined potential employees are not getting the message because it isn’t being shared. The industry needs a fresh, new message, a message of optimism. Here are 3 things the Insurance Industry can do today to begin attracting this bountiful generation of hopefuls and revitalizing itself:
- Focus on the positive future of the industry – our world could not exist without the insurance industry.
- Showcase the industry as one that solves problems – insurance is all about dealing with risk (solving problems) in a positive way.
- Show how insurance is all about helping others – insurance transfers risk from those who cannot to those who can manage it.
The old message of more money, security and selling is not the message that resonates with these workers, age 18- 34 (Millennials). While those results may still be a lagniappe to employment within the industry today, they are not what attracts this generation of hopeful, committed employees a new career.
Simply put, to attract a generation of Millennials, the message needs to be; an opportunity to work with other bright people, potential to grow and advance their career, working to help others and a real chance to be recognized for your contribution. Those outcomes create the compelling story that will attract this generation of hopefuls. Employing this generation of the concerned and committed, the Insurance Industry can revitalize itself by infusing an new energy into to a vital and necessary part of the economy. Insurance can, as it as always been, be a part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem.