Chalmers Insurance Group Marketing Manager, Tia Gagnon, was interviewed alongside NHAIA colleagues in The Standard, January 2019 edition.
Nearly 400,000 insurance professionals are expected to retire from the industry within the next few years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the looming talent gap is a pressing concern at both the insurer and agency levels, it represents an enormous opportunity for young people who have entered the business in the last several years.
We have taken the opportunity to reach out to young insurance professionals throughout New England to ask them about their experiences. While some of them were born into insurance families and destined for careers at their parent’s agencies, others made their way into the industry after starting out in another career path. The following pages contain edited excerpts from the questionnaires they filled out. They are young, intelligent, enthusiastic and excited about their futures in the industry.
And so are we.
What do you think the industry should do to attract new, young talent?
Company leaders need to offer better internships that allow young professionals to gain experience and explore different opportunities within the industry. Interns should not be pushing paper in your back office. They should be given the opportunity to be the face of your organization, boost their resumes and find great mentors. Understand that providing internships is not only for the good of your company but for the good of our industry.
We need to provide younger talent the chance to grow with the company by recognizing their potential, being transparent and outlining their career track and allowing them to influence company culture. Top talent needs to see that they are well supported and their managers are invested in their success; they are making an impact through their work; their ideas are valued; they are a part of something bigger and encouraged to make a difference.
The industry is often accused of being slow to adapt to technology. What are your thoughts on that?
For a trillion dollar industry, we are known for being pretty slow on tech uptake. We have the resources at our fingertips to make the lives of our clients and co-workers so much easier! We all expect ease of doing business when we commit to working with any company, so we are no longer competing with other insurance companies but all companies. Industry leaders know this and are improving by concentrating efforts on, investing in and becoming early adopters of new technology. If we stop fearing the advancement of technology and start innovating by using these tools to our benefit, we can change the perception of insurance as the dinosaur of finance.
Read more from young independent agents in The Standard