A HIRING MANAGER’S BIGGEST MISTAKE? MISREADING THE TALENT SHORTAGE LIFECYCLE.
In October, the BLS dropped a heart-stopping .9% unemployment rate for the insurance industry. This hit us right where it hurts. There’s not enough talent to go around, especially for unfilled highest impact positions.
Those of us in the talent acquisition business know it does feel like a fight. And this one, experts are telling us, will go on for the longer term.
There’s a tendency among struggling hiring managers to assume (hope) the talent shortage is linked to the pandemic and economic downturn. Their expectation is “this too shall pass.” At some point, the thinking goes, the market will settle down and we’ll be “back to normal.” The thing is – this is normal, and has been for years in the insurance industry. And .9% unemployment doesn’t help.
A panel of recruiting experts at GEM’s 2022 Summit agree that talent acquisition is only going to get harder. A corroborating September headline from Barron’s warns, “The labor shortage will get worse and may last for decades.”
You read that right. Decades.
It’s time to get real as we face the challenge. The alternative is to enter the struggle underprepared and waste a lot of time and money AND to lose candidates–and even some of your best employee along the way.
Many leaders mistakenly choose to see the current talent scarcity as a fleeting phenomenon. It’s not. It’s not a “trend” (trends pass), and from most of the experts’ best guesstimates, we can expect the lack of experienced insurance candidates to persist.
The final consensus? Talent shortage is the “new normal” and the sooner we accept it, the better prepared we’ll be for what’s ahead.
Back to GEM. This well-known recruiting platform hosted a talent summit last month and talent acquisition pros weighed in. They agreed that maneuvering through the challenges ahead will depend on systemic improvements and a willingness to embrace changes in workplace culture, updated and automated processes, and implementing a wider search for candidates by means of alternate channels and sources. A more complete Talent Strategy is their recommendation.
GEM’s 2022 Talent Summit Key Takeaways
- Adopt a long view for your companies’ workforce needs and develop understanding of the new preferences and habits of potential candidates.
- Develop a strong adaptive and agile culture that welcomes automation-driven processes and diverse and remote work teams.
- Update your hiring brand to reflect your adaptive and inclusive culture.
- Assess hiring strategies and goals to align with evolving roles and technologies.
- Offer opportunities for upskilling and reskilling to new and existing employees.
- Expand recruiting sources and channels to include top talent, regardless of geographic location.
As the talent shortage continues, Leaders will find it necessary to be flexible and strategic.
“I’m in Houston,” Cris said, “and our team of recruiters place insurance professionals all over the country.” The new wave of candidates, he points out, tend to gravitate to hybrid, remote, or even project work. “We’ve got that covered; we know our insurance business community very well.”
Talent acquisition speakers at the GEM conference acknowledge rapid changes in the insurance work culture. HR, Recruiters and Business Leaders are tasked with implementing appropriate technical and strategic improvements and widening the search to include alternate sources of talent nationwide.
Now is the time to evolve and innovate to assure access to the best people to grow your insurance team.