Insuring the Future of a Workforce: The growing challenge of recruiting graduates to the insurance field

Insuring the Future of a Workforce: The growing challenge of recruiting graduates to the insurance field
By: Mike McDonough
It’s a buyer’s market. We hear it all the time in the recruiting industry. 89% of college seniors don’t have a job lined up after graduation. And with recent grads facing unemployment at a rate of 9% after school and 6% from ages 22-27, it certainly seems like employers should have their choice of qualified, low-cost applicants knocking at the door.
In some industries, this is absolutely the case. College grads face a competitive job market that still hasn’t normalized after the great recession. Companies have realized how to get by with less staff, smaller budgets and have reaped the benefits of more experienced workers looking for new careers. The problem? In insurance, the workforce is aging, and it’s getting harder to find people to step into these roles that are opening rapidly.

Facing a Graying Workforce

The median age for an underwriter is 53. Think about that for a minute. That means that the average underwriter will be out of the industry in 10 to 12 years. In fact, according to LifeHealthPro, the underwriter industry will face a 50% turnover rate in the next 15 years.

Now for the real problem – the industry is growing. Nearly 45% of insurance companies anticipate adding staff. But the candidates aren’t there.

At the current rate, college graduates looking for an underwriting career will only fill approximately 15% of the anticipated open roles. So despite the fact that more recent grads are having problems finding a career, hiring for the underwriting industry is about to hit a competitive peak.

A great career…that few are pursuing.

But underwriting is also an increasingly appealing career option. Based on a poll from CareerCast, underwriting ranked 67th on their list of the Top 200 Jobs of 2014. On that list, underwriting had a higher hiring outlook than any other job that preceded it. Unemployment in the insurance industry is incredibly low at only 3.1% That means less applicants in a field that is growing rapidly. With such a secure future on the horizon, why aren’t more recent grads flocking to a career in underwriting?

It’s simple, recent grads don’t care about security.

At least not like previous generations. Today’s grads value experience, networking and the ability to quickly move up in an industry over stability. That can make the underwriting industry a tough sell, especially as they see a graying workforce becoming so prominent.

When the right employees aren’t finding you, find them.

With the competition for underwriting candidates higher than ever, finding the right employee for an open position seems nearly impossible. Applicants with the necessary analytical skills and technical knowledge are hard to come by, and traditional job postings are often failing to reach this niche market. That’s why more applicants and organizations are turning to recruiters. It allows highly sought after candidates to find the right position for them, and assists hiring managers in finding qualified applicants in a competitive field. For more information on how a recruiter can help navigate the underwriting industry, contact us and let’s start a conversation.

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