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How AI Can Attract Millennial Talent to the Insurance Industry

There is no doubt that AI-driven technologies are reshaping the insurance space. From revamping how carriers interact with their customers, to digitizing claims, distribution underwriting, and pricing, its capabilities seem endless. Beyond these advantages, automation and cognitive technologies can also unlock an enormous and long-overdue opportunity to change how the insurance industry is perceived by today’s workforce.

Why is this important? The average insurance professional is 45 years old, which means that within the next 15 years, the industry is estimated to lose half of its current workforce. This issue is compounded by the insurance industry’s low appeal to millennials. According to The Hartford’s 2015 Millennial Leadership Survey, only 4% of respondents indicated that they were interested in having a career in the insurance industry.

Luckily, these stats can be improved. Much of the industry’s ability to appeal to future generations of employees rests in the hands of insurers themselves—and more specifically, their ability to embrace digital transformation. AI and other innovative technologies can be great allies in helping refresh the insurance industry’s image, attract highly qualified talent, and increase employee retention to ensure the industry’s long-term success—even after impending mass retirements.

Despite how much it has evolved over the years, the insurance space still isn’t perceived as a particularly “sexy” industry. So, it’s no surprise that it is often overlooked by up-and-coming job seekers. According to Board of Innovation, one of the easiest ways for insurance companies to “rise above their old and stuffy image” and become more attractive to the millennial market is by implementing innovative technology.

Fortunately, today’s AI-driven technologies are built to work with existing systems, allowing for easy, seamless integration. This is a win-win for both insurers and potential employees as AI can help develop new ways of working that appeal to the millennial generation without sacrificing the integrity of the profession itself or wasting valuable time and resources.

Just as consumer expectations have evolved over the past decade, millennial employment expectations vary drastically from their predecessors’. Millennials covet a healthy work-life balance, financial rewards, a positive work environment, and, perhaps most importantly, they want to feel as though they’re making a difference with the work they do. Coined as “The Purpose Generation” in a recent Korn Ferry survey, the majority of millennials feel the primary purpose of business should be “improving society,” rather than just “generating profit.”

By handling the repetitive, mind-numbing tasks, AI-driven technologies can give employees more time to focus on creative, human, and value-added work, supporting their purpose-driven approach to business. In fact, a Vertafore survey found that 49% of millennials believe automation and other technological advances streamline tasks and enable them to focus on the most important aspects of their jobs—like building deeper relationships with their customers.

We’ve all heard the old adage: Happy employees equals happy customers. To set this flywheel effect in motion, employers must focus on creating a positive, and therefore productive, workspace.

One way to significantly boost employee morale is to provide teams with career advancement or development opportunities. Gallup found that 87% of millennials rate "professional or career growth and development opportunities" as important to them in a job—far more than the 69% of non-millennials who say the same.

Learning new technology—like how to use AI to create a more seamless work and customer experience—is a prime opportunity for employees looking to reskill or take on more responsibilities. It gets employees excited about what the future holds and creates a deeper sense of purpose.

Deloitte’s 2018 millennial survey found that just 28% of financial services respondents expect to stay with their current employer for the next five years. When taken into account with how long it takes for insurance companies to make a new hire—about 49 days to fill a non-exempt position and 97 days to fill an executive position, according to a recent Jacobson Group-Aon study—it’s no wonder retaining an experienced staff is a major concern for insurers.

A lot of companies are already using AI in some way for HR and recruitment purposes. Specifically, AI is being leveraged to identify the best candidates possible upfront to reduce employee attrition rates in the long run. According to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 report, companies are also leveraging AI to identify employees who are disengaged or at risk of leaving. These cognitive systems use this information to provide training recommendations or suggest job openings to re-engage these employees and keep attrition rates low.

If you’re still battling whether to look into AI and other human-machine collaboration, know this: Insurers that invest in AI could boost their revenue by an average of 17% and their employment by 7% by 2022. These technologies can bring a new shine to a severely outdated industry and attract new talent that will see it through its next stage of growth.


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