Millenials entering the workforce are likely to pass on a career in the insurance industry, according to a recent survey conducted by the Hartford Financial Services Group. But the industry can leverage technological innovation to hook new recruits.
The company’s “2015 Millennial Leadership Survey” measured millennial interest in various industries in order to gauge their preferred line of work. What it found is a genuine disconnect between insurance companies and the current generation, otherwise called a “Gen Y gap”, the Hartford said.
The month-long survey conducted in August polled 797 people ages 18 to 34. Of those participants, 73 percent said they think the insurance industry is “boring” and only 4 percent viewed it as an appealing way to make a living.
The bright side for the Hartford and its insurance peers is millennials are increasingly interested in technology – and the insurance industry is investing in the key emerging technologies preferred by this cohort. Roughly 36 percent of survey respondents said they want a job in tech, and another 54 percent said they would value learning tech skills from prospective employers.
“There are some really cool opportunities [in insurance] in tech, digital and data,” said Susan Johnson, head of diversity and inclusion at the Hartford. “The survey findings give us additional validation that what we are doing is right. We just have to double down on understanding what is important to millennials.”
The Hartford attracts millennials to its IT department through its leadership development programs, which target college students interested in operations tech data, Johnson says. The Connecticut-based company is also a member of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s InVest initiative, which is a school-to-work insurance program that allows students to earn internships and potential employment upon graduation.
Johnson says the key to attracting “Gen Y” going forward is to accurately inform them about the industry. It is a great path to good pay, benefits and work diversity, she said.
“I don’t think millennials have a lack of information as much as it is the wrong information about the insurance industry,” she said. “They have preconceived notions and we have to help with that
Insurance finished 16th out of 18 different sectors identified in the survey. Other poor performers included retail, construction and manufacturing, all at 7 percent. Arts & Entertainment topped millennials job wish list at 40 percent, followed by education, 36 percent. The Hartford’s research was published on Nov. 19.
Other factors important to millennials included: opportunities to explore a variety of career paths, flexible work schedules as well as quality health, life and disability insurance.
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