Talent for Technology
How the right hiring strategy can help your company prepare for the biggest challenge in the insurance industry.
Ask any of the biggest players in the insurance industry and they’ll tell you that the biggest challenge facing the field is technology. In fact, based on a recent PWC survey, 44% of insurance directors don’t believe current leaders in the field will survive without adapting their tech. Whether it’s keeping up with the innovation of your competition, or keeping your systems ready to face an increasing workload, your staff’s familiarity with technology could be the difference between leading the pack, and playing catch-up. Here are a few hiring strategies that can help get your team ready to innovate.
Bring in new ideas
When you’re looking for new leadership or management, ask about their frustrations with their last position…and how they would have handled the situation if given the freedom to act. This will help you identify if you’re hiring someone who will talk about problems, or use their knowledge and new solutions to act on them. Most of the major insurance companies are facing the same challenges, so someone who had ideas on how to overcome obstacles at their old job will be able to put those ideas into action for you if given a chance, some support and the freedom to create change. Value ideas and new thinking as well as experience. Some of the best innovation comes from employees who want to solve a problem, and just haven’t been put in a position to enact change. According to FastCompany, you shouldn’t just be looking for success stories either. Failure and how they handled it can be very enlightening when talking to a candidate. Especially if they were trying to tackle a problem you’re currently facing. Knowing what not to do can save your team time, money, and resources. And the candidate’s next solution will be better informed because of their background.
Avoid idea ruts
Older generations are more familiar with technology than ever before. You can find talent with fresh ideas and innovative solutions across the age and experience range. The problem you want to avoid is those employees stuck in an “idea rut.” One simple phrase will let you know if you have a problem “that not the way we’ve done it in the past.” Whether they’re talking about their previous company or old work processes, tradition is the enemy of innovation. While there is value in consistency, you should be wary of any manager or candidate that values steady processes instead of improvement through technology or automation. In fact, Forbes sites open-mindedness as one of the most effective ways that leaders solve problems. And you want leaders in your organization, not rigid rule followers.
Ask about interest in new technology
An easy way to find out if an employee will bring innovative ideas to your company? Ask. If a candidate has interest in new technologies or processes that are becoming best practice throughout the industry, they’re likely reading insurance news and technology articles in their free time. This research will yield major benefits when they join your organization. Ask about what websites they visit regularly, if they have Google Alerts set for any specifics companies, or what tools they use to keep up with what’s happening. They should have specific responses like Feedly, Pulse, NewsBlur or other systems, not just general “I try to keep up with what’s going on” answers. How they respond will help you know if you’re hiring someone who is interested in new ideas and better ways to do things, or who will just follow the current processes in place.
Technology is exciting, but it can also be scary. If you’re on the right side of innovation, you could become an industry leader overnight, but if you’re trailing the competition, you risk being obsolete faster than ever. Your clients and customers are demanding faster, more accurate service and processes, available 24 hours a day. Hire the people who will help you deliver and you’ll find your clients and your bottom line in a better position than ever before.