The Great Resignation: What Does This Mean For the Insurance Industry?
November 22, 2021
As many as 56 percent of insurance companies are planning to increase staff in the next year, making 2022 a big year for industry growth.
But with the U.S. experiencing what’s been dubbed “The Great Resignation,” how will insurance companies manage to bring on the talent they need to grow?
What’s “The Great Resignation,” anyway?
With roughly 10.1 million job openings and 8.7 million unemployed individuals, we’re currently in the midst of a labor shortage paired with record unemployment rates. While that may seem unfathomable, it’s important to remember that we’re still dealing with a global pandemic that created both restrictions and opportunities for the American workforce.
While early on in the pandemic, professionals held off on career changes in favor of job security, from spring 2021 to the present, the U.S. has seen an ongoing trend of employees voluntarily leaving their jobs. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise considering the different ways the COVID-19 pandemic impacted people.
For example, pre-existing conditions, family members with pre-existing conditions, or general safety concerns during a global pandemic shifted expectations in terms of workplace safety. Many companies stepped up to meet those growing workplace safety standards; some companies didn’t. As a result, individuals had the opportunity to witness the value employers place on employee health and happiness, and rethink their career expectations accordingly.
For some, school shutdowns changed child care responsibilities – parents needed to handle both homeschooling and work, and that family time became a priority. For others, the pandemic was an opportunity to do some serious soul searching – work-life balance became non-negotiable. And today, more than half of Americans looking for new work cite flexibility as their primary reason for seeking new employment.
But research shows that “The Great Resignation” impacts industries differently. So, it begs the question, how will it impact the insurance industry? And what can companies do to offset any of these consequences?
How will this impact the insurance industry?
Insurance isn’t immune to the effects of “The Great Resignation.” But perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s manifesting slightly differently within the insurance industry (we insurance professionals love to be different).
According to the Jacobson Group’s third-quarter labor market study, the insurance industry is in the middle of what is being called “The Great Reshuffle.” Like “The Great Resignation,” “The Great Reshuffle” marks a trend where industry professionals are exploring their career options and rethinking their role with current employers.
If you’re thinking, that sounds exactly like “The Great Resignation,” just hold your horses. We’ve pulled together some of the ways “The Great Reshuffle” differs significantly from what we see with “The Great Resignation” across other industries:
Insurance professionals tend to stick with insurance
The insurance industry is special in that insurance professionals tend to love the industry and often won’t leave it. Whereas other industries are dealing with employees rethinking their professions entirely and considering jumps from, say, transport to agriculture, that isn’t necessarily the case with insurance.
There’s a steep learning curve with the insurance industry, but overall, insurance professionals report very high job satisfaction. Even if, in this “Great Reshuffle,” insurance professionals are rethinking their jobs with their current employers, they likely aren’t jumping the proverbial insurance ship.
The average age of insurance professionals is higher than other industries
This isn’t a total coup for insurance. When it comes to long-term industry stability, we’ll need to find a way to attract young professionals. But in the current labor shortage situation plaguing the U.S., this is a win for the industry.
Since, for instance, the average age of a life insurance agent in the U.S. is 59, we don’t face nearly the same crisis of staying power seen across other industries today. However, while these insurance professionals aren’t changing jobs now, they are dangerously close to retirement, which gives the industry the same risk of a labor shortage as every other industry, if only delayed by a few years.
And at the same time, the industry is changing
The insurance industry is currently experiencing a period of growth and change stemming largely from investment in insurtech. As a result, the types of professions available within the industry are increasing beyond the traditional positions of producers, claims managers, and actuaries.
For instance, over the next year, the top two roles insurance companies are looking to hire for are in technology and product management.
That means there’s an abundance of opportunity for industry newcomers to contribute to an exciting period of change within the industry. Maybe insurance wasn’t the original career goal, but as we’re rethinking how our careers and values align, perhaps it should be.
Take it from those of us here at AgentSync, insurance is the industry to be in. See how AgentSync supports your hybrid team with our tools.