When I joined AIG — and the insurance world — in 2020 as global head of talent, the industry had already acknowledged that new and more diverse talent were necessary for its continued success. The challenge insurance organizations face is effectively reaching these candidates.
One of the best ways to increase awareness and interest in insurance careers is to be creative. That’s why I challenge myself and our industry to consider these five ways to attract new, diverse talent.
Consider diverse skillsets.
The insurance industry has a long history of being a catalyst for change. Taking the time to consider broader skillsets will lead to more diverse candidates and better prepare organizations to face future demands. For example, the industry needs colleagues who are:
- Digital-first thinkers across our positions.
- Agile and can navigate change seamlessly.
- Data-fluent and able to drive fast decisions knowing what our customers need, how they prefer to interact with us, and more.
- Talent magnets on the lookout for new and diverse colleagues.
Expand educational and professional experience expectations.
In the past, most professional insurance jobs required a bachelor’s degree, but organizations should think differently about what an employee can contribute and consider removing this requirement for certain roles. For example, AIG recently made a direct-from-high school hire for a professional role. The ability to provide an individual right out of school with the opportunity of a salaried job gives us access to new talent.
The insurance industry also benefits from removing the unnecessary stigma associated with professionals who have taken time away from the industry. By piloting a “returnship” catered to women who temporarily left the workforce to be full-time caregivers, we are tapping into a valuable pool of professionals that had not received due consideration.
Insurance companies also can provide conduits that encourage talent to bring their skillsets to the industry. For example, AIG offers apprenticeships with the objective of placing these well-trained professionals at our company.
Present career opportunities that contribute to the greater good.
The next generation wants more from their employers than compensation and benefits. They want to work in an environment where they feel they belong and are contributing to social good.
This requires that recruiters and hiring managers showcase the insurance industry’s noble purpose to serve people in their time of need and help them move forward.
Wellness and a company’s corporate social responsibility record are also important priorities for job seekers who want to see good work brought to the forefront. For example, AIG’s social media posts about our companywide wellness days off drive engagement among our colleagues to share their stories about how they spent time to recharge.
Leverage partnerships and digital communications.
Embracing collaboration and taking advantage of digital opportunities can also help attract diverse talent who may not have thought of a career in insurance before.
As a hiring manager, consider sharing a social post when you have an opening to help recruits get to know you and the role, and feel more comfortable with the idea of joining your business. Also, virtual career fairs can highlight opportunities and what differentiates your business.
The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) Talent Hub is a unique platform designed to help diverse job seekers find internships, apprenticeships, scholarships, training programs and more. The IICF’s Inclusion in Insurance Forums also present opportunities for us to gather as an industry to discuss how we can move diversity forward.
Don’t underestimate the importance of tone from the top.
As we seek to increase diverse representation, the example set at the senior-most levels has a positive cascading effect. Showing diverse executive appointments sends a message to managers that teams across the organization should reflect the diversity of those we serve.
These hiring decisions do not move the needle without simultaneous focus on retention, development and advancement of diverse talent. This requires providing resources, learning opportunities, dedicated development and mentorship programs and forums that enable a sense of belonging for all colleagues.
Prioritizing effective outreach, as well as development and advancement of this talent will help our industry take a major step toward a more inclusive, successful future.
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