IIG News

Why not insurance?!?

Is the insurance industry unattractive for people entering the job market? Well, I do not think so, in fact I think it is probably one of the most fascinating industries to have a career in. Conversations I have with peers and partners in the industry often, very often in fact go to the topic of retaining and attracting talent to the industry. Why is this the case?


When I consider how the world has shifted significantly due to technological advancements and these changes have meant that the expertise, we need in the industry has changed. In addition, the regulatory landscape, that too has changed a lot since I joined along time ago… These regulatory and governance matters also require skills we never had or even needed in the past. So, what am I getting at. Well, this, the industry has opened up to other career opportunities that attract professionals from the legal, engineering, data scientists, actuaries, IT (many facets thereof) and the list goes on. Insurance is not the boring industry with men or woman in grey suites and it has not been for some time now.


If this is the case, why then do we not attract new talent into our industry? I would venture a guess and it is a story most of us know. “I stumbled into the industry,” story and that is because from the outside the industry does not seem appealing as a career choice. It is an unknown to most people who are considering a career path to think insurance. How does a how does a software designer end up in the insurance industry? The insure-tech segment has boomed in the last decade and so the industry requires skills never needed before and diversity of thought and experience to meet the needs of the ever-changing landscape. We use data scientists today because we have so much data and we can use that to make better decisions, but we need skills like data science in our industry.


We need to showcase the industry in different ways to show the youth on what the broad scope of opportunities that exist in the insurance industry. We need to partner in better ways as an industry with educational institutions and youth programs to create the awareness of what career opportunities exist in our wonderful industry.


Another aspect to consider is that there are a number of people exiting the industry through retirement. Those are invaluable silks with so much intellectual property that should be passed onto a new generation of insurance professionals. We should not lose the opportunity to bring those thinking about entering the industry and those leaving the industry together.


When I think about the career, I have had in the insurance industry. It has given me so many opportunities that I believe I would never have gotten in another industry. I have been able to develop new skills like public speaking. I have met the most amazing people from all parts of the world and many of those relationships still exist today many years later. I have learned about industries such as the aviation or manufacturing industries and dealt with large and small clients.


I am more than convinced that we should be attracting more people into the industry. While this is a global problem, I would say that with the youth unemployment in South Africa where it is today, we may have a unique opportunity to attract the youth and retain them because this is truly an industry where anyone can find a career and a home for themselves. Because as a career why not insurance?


Article Written by Shaun Scandling | Managing Director of HDI Global South Africa