Despite the broad array of opportunities available in the insurance and asset management sectors, hiring remains something of a challenge. Perhaps because it lacks the glamour of some other industries, insurance and asset management companies have historically struggled to achieve the same levels of interest as other industries, such as law – particularly from younger generations. However, despite the aftershocks that have been felt across recruitment from the political shifts that have taken place recently, interest in insurance and asset management has held steady. In fact, some increases have even been reported.
An unintentional career?
If you speak to anyone who has built a career in insurance and/or asset management, chances are most will tell you it’s something they fell into. Many have been pleasantly surprised by the career they have built as a result but there is no doubt that these sectors face a profile challenge. Whether due to a lack of awareness or appeal, many candidates starting their career have historically not chosen to go straight for these roles. This is a problem, not just because of the need to recruit talent at a young age, but also because the opportunities of the industry are not being properly communicated.
The challenge of the next generation
Over the next 10 years or so, the wealth of knowledge and experience currently at the helm will begin to fall away. Insurance and asset management professionals who have progressed through the ranks will begin to retire and scale back. The biggest challenge for these sectors is to repopulate with a swathe of fresh talent to continue to drive progress forward. There are busy times ahead with likely changes to regulation, as well as embracing the benefits and challenges of tech, and the industry needs to continue recruiting to keep up.
Overcoming the issues
The most obvious solutions to recruitment challenges faced by insurance and asset management companies are to improve perceptions and to spread awareness of the opportunities that these sectors offer. Perceptions of insurance and asset management tend to be quite negative – a survey found that insurance was ranked among one of the least desirable industries to work in by recent graduates. Insurance and asset management organizations need to focus on rebranding to communicate to millennials that they offer the kind of tech-driven, meaningful work that those candidates seek. Embracing trends, promoting collaborative working, social responsibility and volunteerism will all help these businesses move away from the old fashioned, negative images that make these roles such an unattractive prospect.
While it’s true that insurance and asset management doesn’t sit at the top of the list of the most desirable industries to work in, it’s more exciting than many people think. Numbers of those seeking work at the start of the year were higher than expected and interest continues to build, particularly around the time of reporting of full year results (which tend to be impressive, particularly for asset management). Despite the speculation that the EU referendum result could lead to hiring freezes in asset management, there was an increase in recruitment activity in the months that followed. The insurance recruitment sector remains nervous about the impact of Brexit but most believe it will be able to adapt and thrive.
A bright future?
Like most recruitment sectors, insurance and asset management have something of an uncertain future given the nature of current world political and financial events. However, they have more potential than most to do, as well. Financial strength and versatility combined with an acknowledgement of the need to rebrand and adapt to attract more millennial candidates, means the future could be very bright indeed.
About the author:
Amechi Peirce-Howe is the director at London-based IT and Business specialist recruitment company, red10. With over 25 years experience in recruitment, he is always willing to impart his wisdom to those looking for a new job or career change.
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