Battling Back

I received a letter from a senior-level insurance executive on the impending war for talent. It’s worth sharing.

By Adam Potter

I received a letter from a senior-level insurance executive the other day who, upon reading our spotlight in the November 2017 issue on the impending war for talent, brought up some interesting points on how to address this crisis in our industry. It’s worth sharing.

Yes, we are losing talent, especially mid-level to senior talent, usually to “retirement.” But some companies (in an effort to cut costs) have deliberately accelerated the process by offering early retirement packages to senior staff or, given the focus on staffing budgets versus results by many companies, mid-level and senior managers often retire early voluntarily.
Once they’ve officially retired, most claims professionals are content to leave the workforce behind, sip pina coladas, and play shuffleboard. But some—and I suspect more than you think—would love to work part-time at a much-reduced rate by serving as a consultant on large losses or as mentors to newly hired claims staff. And in an industry that no longer provides much in the way of training compared to a couple of generations ago, it would be a wise investment and help bridge the talent gap.

It’s an exciting and outside-the-box approach that places value on experience, and it’s an idea that is also echoed in this month’s Voices column on page 42. In it, firm founder Claire Rush explains how she utilizes an “of counsel” approach to staffing her team, ensuring that it is fully stocked with talent and experience at a moment’s notice while also providing the ease and flexibility that many of her attorneys desire later in their careers.

Will these innovative approaches win the war for talent? Perhaps not in and of itself—we must still be better while recruiting from colleges and universities—but it’s a fresh idea that might help us take back some lost battle ground.

Adam Potter is the chief executive officer of CLM. He can be reached at adam.potter@theclm.org

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