Getting Creative

The war for talent needs a new weapon.

By Eric Gilkey

April’s annual CLM conference was packed full of memorable moments, both educationally and socially (I’ve got my photo with KISS to prove it). But I walked away from it wondering about the lack of creativity in dealing with a topic I hear about constantly: our impending talent crisis.

There were two leadership panel sessions during the show, each consisting of insurance CEOs and chief claims officers, and, at one point, everyone involved spoke up and said talent was the number one reason for their companies’ successes. But as one CEO noted, what used to be about retention is now about recruitment. Several mused about restarting abandoned training programs and “upping their game” when it comes to implementing new technologies in order to stay relevant and interesting to millennials. From my seat, though, the strategies posited in this “war” for talent didn’t quite measure up to the urgency expressed by all of these industry leaders.

There were a few practical ideas, such as allowing claims professionals to work from home, but for the most part the ideas lacked real spark. That led Managing Editor Bevrlee Lips to remark to me, “If you asked any of these executives why they got into the field, I bet they would say it was because they were offered a company car right when they needed it coming out of college. Why not go after millennials in a similar way with a school loan forgiveness program?”

That’s a creative approach, and it’s also a proven one. Just ask the public schools using that same tactic to attract new teachers to low income and rural districts. With school loan debt averages approaching $40,000, I think it’s an idea worth investigating.

Eric Gilkey is executive editor of CLM Magazine, a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance. He may be reached at eric.gilkey@TheCLM.org.

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