25 Percent of Captive Insurance Workforce To Retire in 5 Years, Says CICA President
From: Captive.com, March 23, 2017
The 2017 Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) Conference, Defying Disruption, provided a bookend of sorts concerning the need to attract and retain new talent within the captive industry. The 2017 Conference was the final time Dennis Harwick, president of CICA, will preside over the event. President Harwick announced in June 2016 that he would step down as president in June 2017 after more than a decade at CICA’s helm. In his opening remarks, he noted that 25 percent of the captive insurance industry workforce was on track to retire in the next 5 years.
He certainly set the stage for the keynote address and session topics to focus on the need to attract and retain new talent to the captive insurance industry. Lindsey Pollak, a leading expert on the millennial generation, addressed the attendees on the topic of “Generational Disruption—Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders.”
Her talk was built around the theme that generational change is not a problem to be solved—it is an opportunity to be optimized. One surprising thing was a polling question, which revealed 45 percent of the audience had been in the captive insurance industry for 5 or less years. This suggests captives are starting to attract the new professionals necessary to replace aging boomers.
Ms. Pollak suggested three key ways today’s workplaces needed to change in order to attract and retain the younger generation of workers.
- Senior management has to become adept at providing professional development and coaching to new professionals.
- Younger talent values variety and the ability to customize their jobs. Ideas to explore include communication options, career pathing, work locations, work hours, employee benefit flexing, and rewards.
- Younger professionals want transparency. Management should explore town hall meetings, reverse mentoring, apprenticeships, and continuous feedback.
By following these suggestions, the captive insurance industry will make itself an attractive option for younger professionals who will be necessary to fill the slots vacated by all of the founding generation.
A follow-up breakout session, “Finding and Attracting the New Captive Workforce,” took a deeper look into the evolving issue and ways to stem the talent shortage. The insurance industry as a whole will need to fill 400,000 positions by 2020, and graduates from university risk and insurance programs will only meet 15 percent of this need.
The problem is compounded by several hurdles.
- Less than 1 in 10 young professionals are interested in working in insurance.
- The insurance industry is tied with the defense industry in second-to-last place in terms of overall public interest.
These issues are further exacerbated for unique challenges faced by captives, including the following.
- Critical skill sets are often not taught to undergraduates in the areas of statutory accounting, insurance portfolio management, and technical insurance contract verbiage.
- Younger professionals perceive the captive insurance industry to be boring, be lacking innovation, and have limited earnings potential.
The panel made a pitch for the Insurance Careers Movement, an industry collaboration to attract a more diverse talent pool to the insurance industry. (Also see Insure MyPath.) The growing use of temporary staffing was also discussed.
For the captive insurance industry to avoid a major disruption, the ability to attract and retain new people into this industry will certainly be critical. CICA did the industry a service by elevating this issue with the keynote address and a follow-up in depth discussion.