Millennials and Gen Z Add Value, Diversity and We Need Them
With the average insurance agent 59-60 years of age and readying for retirement, insurance agencies are now facing a long-predicted talent gap. A shortage of insurance professionals, combined with a tight labor market, is affecting agencies’ ability to recruit and retain talent, and some principals are finding fewer options in their perpetuation planning.
The good news is agency owners can benefit by tapping the Millennial generation, along with Gen Z and, more broadly, an increasingly diverse workforce.
What’s in it for you?
The Millennial generation, or Gen Y (ages 24 -39) is currently the largest available workforce, with Gen Z quickly making gains to overtake them. Characterized as tech-savvy and full of expectations, both of these populations of next-gen insurance professionals bring valuable skills for agencies seeking to expand their technological capabilities.
What they lack in insurance experience and training, these (mostly) digital natives bring a range of valuable skills to the workplace, including communication, marketing, technology, customer service, sales, and data analytics.
How do you attract them?
Understanding what the younger generations are seeking in a career is key to attracting and keeping them in your agency. Most want a workplace that offer them purpose, flexibility, development and mentorship, along with a decent salary. Take steps to ensure your agency offers and values these things. Then, make sure job candidates are aware of the rewarding career that awaits them at every step of the recruitment process, including your job description, where you post it, and during the hiring process.
- Purpose. When disaster strikes, you are there to help. Insurance helps people, and having the right agent matters. Since working with people in their communities is a top driver of job satisfaction, local insurance agencies can offer a very rewarding career.
- Flexibility. Agencies offering flexible hours or work-from-home options are attractive to the younger generation.
- Training & Development. While courses and designation programs can provide product and technical training, much of the institutional knowledge needed to be successful is acquired on the job. Whether you have one employee or forty, having a formal training program and policy is important.
- Mentorship. Enabling (and expecting) experienced staff to share their knowledge and insights with younger agents through a mentorship program will help the mentees hone their goals and take the steps necessary to pursue their careers.
Having a cross-generational workforce is not without challenges, but studies show that there are more commonalities than differences across generations when it comes to career goals. With a baseline of understanding and modernizing, your agency can reap the benefits of investing in the next generation of talent.