We talk a lot about turning challenges into opportunities.
So here’s one to chew on: Recruiting and training the next generation of talent is not an industry issue. It’s your issue, and it’s a terrific opportunity for your firm to stand out.
Perpetuation of talent is just as important as perpetuation of management. And with that in mind, recruiting, training and developing your firm’s future talent should be treated the same as developing new business.
There’s a big difference between hiring when you need it versus having a plan in place that allows you to build a stronger firm in your own way, on your own time. Every firm is unique, with customized needs. What works for your organization might not work for another. And if what works for your firm does work for another, don’t you want dibs on the talent?
Recruiting the way you want gives you control over whom you’re inviting into your business culture. Hiring and developing a talent strategy that is customized to fit your own unique model will go a long way toward the long-term sustainability of your organization.
A 2012 study conducted by The Institutes and The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation revealed that a mere 5% of Millennials were “very familiar” with the insurance industry and the types of careers it offers. Five percent! So while Millennials don’t know what commercial insurance is right now, they are there for the taking. They want to learn, and they want to be challenged. Sharp firms that “get it” have every opportunity to seek them out and get them excited about their career options in our business.
Spoiler alert: The industry isn’t anywhere close to solving the problem. If your strategy is to sit back and wait for talent issues to be solved for you, then you’re just setting your firm up for failure. Hiding behind what the industry does or doesn’t do will only drain the business you’ve built of the resources it needs to identify and train exciting new leaders.
Your employees and future employees are your most important asset. You wouldn’t dare skimp on technology, so don’t skimp on training and developing new talent. Yes, talent acquisition is expensive and time-consuming, but it’s absolutely necessary to building a strong and sustainable brokerage firm. If done right, that talent will ultimately strengthen your business model and increase the value of your firm in the long run.
We work in an industry in which the majority of the workforce is facing retirement over the next 10 to 15 years, so the importance of recruiting young talent and having a strategic plan for developing your future leaders is clear.
You can’t grow without seeds.
How much your firm spends on cultivating the next generation of insurance leaders is a direct reflection of how serious your firm is about the next generation of the business it built. You can retire off into the sunset, or you can make a difference. The future is yours to own.