11/1/2010

Education is Power in More Ways Than One

New Study to Examine Insurance Industry Needs to Provide Top Programs and Fill Baby Boomer Gap

By Staff Report

We know the insurance industry has a significant challenge ahead in filling positions soon to be vacated by Baby Boomers. Insurance carriers across the board are seeking the best possible sources for top candidates from a pool that is much different than those leaving.

"According to a 2010 McKinsey study, the number of insurance workers 55 or older has increased by 74 percent in the last 10 years, compared to a 45 percent increase for the overall workforce," said Jim Jones, Katie School of Insurance at Illinois State University. "This means that 20 percent of the insurance workforce is near retirement age (compared to 15 percent of the broader financial services workforce). Furthermore there is a perception that claims has less to offer the next generation than even other professions within the insurance industry."

The industry has a brand challenge with younger workers. The perception of opportunities and life enhancement does not rank high on the career food chain for this group. The good news is that the industry does match what the next generation is interested in—intellectual challenge, opportunity, work-life balance and providing significant value to society. At present, it's a best-kept secret, so to speak.

However, while there is lack of awareness by students in high school or college about career opportunities and the fact that the industry does have what they look for, several organizations are dedicated to developing increased awareness and talent, and higher education institutions have been adding insurance focused programs every year. Understanding the criteria of the insurance carrier and marrying that with the unique makeup of the student is critical to making sure those programs churn out candidates who are knowledgeable about the industry, excited about the opportunities and ready to dive in.

Inside the insurance industry, leaders have examined the horizon and know the type of employee they will need to power through this challenge. Educational institutions and organizations need that knowledge to create powerful programs to feed the chain upwards. By sharing that information, we can be certain the best and brightest will be attracted to one of the best opportunities available—a career in insurance claims industry.

To that end, the Katie School at Illinois State University in conjunction with Claims Advisor is conducting a study of what skills, abilities, attributes and motivations are needed to thrive in the claims environment of the future. Please help by giving us your opinion by going to the following website and completing this confidential survey.

To participate in the "Hiring Professionals in the Insurance Industry Survey,"

By completing the survey and voluntarily providing your contact information you are eligible to win one of four $50 VISA gift cards.


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