John Tiene, CEO of Agency Network Exchange, warned insurance agents at the ANE annual conference today that an unprecedented workforce gap in the next decade will make it harder for independent agencies to find, recruit and keep new talent, and ultimately stay in business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the insurance industry will have an estimated 400,000 job openings by the year 2020.
“The workforce crisis will be hardest on smaller insurance agencies with aging staff in their 50s today. Fewer producers and personnel could have big impacts on revenue and customer service that will drive existing clients away,” Tiene said.
“Tech-savvy agents who embrace mobile technologies and social media will be in a better position to compete for talent.”
Nearly 50 percent of the industry’s workforce is above the age of 45, with only 27 percent under age 35 in line to replace them. Millennials, the largest group entering the workforce, make up 25 percent of the U.S. workforce today and will be 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020. (BLS)
According to Tiene, “Insurance companies are creating innovative internship and training programs that give Millennials an opportunity to explore careers in insurance and help attract talent from outside traditional channels.”
The keynote speaker at this year’s ANE Conference was Noelle Codispoti, executive director of Gamma Iota Sigma, an international fraternity for students of insurance, risk management and actuarial science. She discussed the talent gap statistics in the insurance industry and how Millennials are responding to recruitment efforts.
“Students starting in entry level positions today are more focused on company than cash,” said Codispoti. “Companies should be open to discussing not only compensation and career growth, but also the support they are willing to give the individual in terms of professional development, as well as the company’s community outreach efforts and commitment.”
The ANE conference was attended by more than 160 independent agents and other insurance professionals from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. In addition to the keynote presentation, the event featured breakout sessions for agency owners, producers, account managers and CSRs.