COVID-19: The catalyst for solving the insurance industry talent gap?
The looming talent shortage in the insurance industry was a hot topic prior to COVID-19, and the rush to digitize since could be key to narrowing the gap. The stats show that one-third of financial advisors will retire in the next ten years and in the independent broker/dealer channel, the expected rate of retirement rises to 40.7%. The insurance industry has undergone more digital transformation in the past two months than it has over the past five years, and this is good news when it comes to attracting and retaining younger talent.
“We’ve failed this newest generation of advisors because we’ve asked them to join the industry and then trained them on how to fill out paper forms.”
This observation comes from David Stewart, EVP and COO of Financial Horizons Group, on a recent Breathe Life hosted Webinar. David’s remark is just one of the insurance industry’s image problems. In addition, the industry is perceived by outsiders to be stuffy and staid, and younger generations don’t understand its critical importance.
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the game. It’s forcing the industry to make massive strides in digitization across the value chain and underscoring the important role of life insurance in securing a family’s financial future.
It’s clear, based on countless conversations we’ve had with industry leaders, including during our latest webinar, that the industry is not going to backtrack on this progress post-COVID-19. These new digital initiatives are here to stay, and these partnerships with InsurTechs could represent one of the most powerful recruiting tools available to the insurance industry.
It’s exciting to see the insurance industry make so much progress modernizing in such a short period of time. Automation and artificial intelligence will relieve advisors from manual tasks, allowing them to focus on what they do best – providing clients with advice and guiding them through these important financial purchases. A renewed sense of purpose for advisors also plays an important role in recruiting the next generation. 57% of millennials are interested in work that helps other people, and 20% want jobs that give them opportunities to learn. The modern, digital insurance industry represents both.
While the impacts of Covid-19 are massive and difficult, there will be positives that result such as the acceleration of digital transformations. A modern, tech-enabled advisor experience will have a hugely positive impact on the perception of the industry and its recruiting power. Soon we will begin to see a new generation of advisors, who – thanks to technology – will truly get to embrace the advice-giving nature of the role and play a big role in bringing financial security to more consumers.