Digital offerings are continuously transforming industries — and theinsurance industry is not immune. There are dramatic workforcechanges taking place as advances in technology significantly alterthe insurance business. The result is a more specialized workforcein which technological advances open the door to new and excitingtypes of work requiring entirely new skillsets.

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For example, video damage reports submitted by policy ownerscould replace the need for many appraisers’ site visits. Andseveral large insurance companies have received approval from theFAA to use drones to photograph homes and businessesdamaged by natural disasters or fires.

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This new nature of work will require insurance workers topossess different or enhanced skills, and employers will need towork on attracting and developing the right talent to address theseneeds.

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Only 2% of grads want to work in insurance

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Millennials are soon to be the largest generation in theworkforce, and in order to be successful, insurers will need towork on attracting these digital natives to their workplace.What’s troubling is that only two percent of recent college gradsare interested in working at an insurance company, according toAccenture Strategy’s 2015 U.S. College Graduate EmploymentStudy.

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Large insurance corporations have extra reason for concern —only 15 percent of grads want to work for a large company. Largecompanies across the board need to create fresh tacticsto attract new talent and develop the old.

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But there is good news! According to the same Accenture Strategystudy, interesting and challenging work are among the top valuesnew graduates are looking for in employers. And as new insurancejobs are created, insurance companies will increasingly look tofill roles such as data scientists, claims agents and productdevelopers, providing greater potential to attract this younger,hipper and more technically savvy workforce.

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To succeed in this, insurance companies must work to communicatethese new and exciting roles in their recruiting efforts.

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Insuring interest from millennials

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To seize on these opportunities, insurance companies need toidentify the skills required, and pinpoint where the gaps areto bring on new talent, or train current employees to learn newskills.

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This will require insurers to take a proactive approach ontalent acquisition, development and retention. Here are threethings they can do to stay ahead of the curve:

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1. Transform the employee experience.

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Identify innovative ways to engage with and retain currenttalent. Just as consumers expect seamless transactions, so doemployees when it comes to the products and services they need,such as options for managing tasks across multiple devices orphysical locations. Gamification tools effectivelymotivate and engage employees at work, but money and promotions arestill the most effective rewards.

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2. Re-invent on-the-job learning.

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Insurers must provide training and development opportunities inorder to help their employees perform at high levels in afast-paced world. Look to digital options that offer short,digestible learning content that will not only tap into the youngworkforce’s desire for increased knowledge, but also help reskillexisting workers.

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3. Re-shape the talent supply chain.

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Partner with colleges and universities to target students whowill soon enter the job market. This will allow insurers toposition themselves in a broader talent ecosystem while looking fortalent in atypical places such as technology start-ups, tradeorganizations, skills platforms and crowdsourcing platforms.

The cool new insurers

On the digital frontier, insurers are going to have to becreative to attract the best talent. One of the most significantchanges involves rethinking their approach to engaging and enablingtheir workforces to keep up with digital advancements and thedemands of digital savvy customers.

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Insurance employers also need to position their field as anattractive place to work by promoting the new cutting-edge and highdemand skillsets employees must possess. For example, promote thebreadth of knowledge required, based on expertise in STEM subjects,and digital skills needed in employees to aggregate big data andprovide real-time analytics. Or highlight the creativity andflexibility needed to maneuver through fast-changing policies andregulations and soft skills required such as problem-solving andcommunication to boost sales and offer personalized customerexperiences.

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Only those insurance companies that redefine how they identify,source and develop their talent will be recognized as leaders in anindustry transformed. Insurers willneed to make drastic changes to their workforce strategies toremain relevant and maintain a competitive edge.

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By doing so, they will also have the most highly-trained andhappiest employees who are using their unique skillsets to innovatethe insurance industry.

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