Insurtech: A Role Model of Innovative Talent Success

October 15, 2018 by

Several years ago, technology announced its intent to rock the insurance industry. Some dismissed the challenge and saw the rise of insurtech as a minor disrupter. But times have changed. Funding is pouring in for major companies with revolutionary ideas and the sector reached $2.1 billion in financial volume last year. Insurtech is clearly here to stay.

The insurance industry is still in the early stages of digital transformation. Technology is driving business initiatives and agendas at an unprecedented pace. According to a PwC survey, 85 percent of insurance CEOs are concerned about the pace of technological change. In this age of disruption and transformation, the industry must adopt an “innovate or die” mantra or risk being left behind.

Insurance organizations should prioritize attracting and retaining the innovative minds necessary to reimagine their business models, rewrite their operations and redefine their workforces. There’s no one better to emulate when it comes to recruiting and engaging creative professionals than the very insurtech partners who are disrupting the insurance industry.

Attracting Innovative Talent

Insurers, long perceived as technologically behind, are now tasked with driving modernization within their workplaces to mitigate evolving risks and remain competitive. Many leaders agree that recruiting innovative professionals is a high priority. Innovation is the very foundation of insurtech, and the insurance industry can undoubtedly take a page from their books.

What appeals to candidates about the insurtech sector is its use of up-to-date technology, disruptive nature and creativity. Insurers must commit to leaving their outdated legacy systems behind and move closer to end-to-end modernization. Innovators cannot realize their full potential without modern digital platforms and equipment. Embracing the very advancements insurtech promises demonstrates that the insurance industry values innovation and a modern work environment.

Adopting the latest equipment and software trends is equally crucial to attracting Millennials and Generation Z, which is now more important than ever as the talent crisis continues to intensify. Having had cutting-edge technology at their fingertips since their teenage and even pre-teen years, emerging professionals are less inclined to tolerate outdated equipment and software, especially when they didn’t grow up wanting to work in insurance.

The lack of emerging talent interested in insurance careers is complicating recruitment strategies. It is no secret that many young professionals do not consider insurance a desirable career path, and it is not because the industry doesn’t offer opportunities that align with their interests. It is because the industry doesn’t share its story in a way that resonates with them.

It is crucial that insurance organizations promote their innovation initiatives to these generations. Organizations must openly tell the stories of their own modernization projects to illustrate their visions for the future and appeal to innovative and forward-thinking minds.

Drawing correlations between the industry and other items on emerging professionals’ career wish lists is also important. These generations are in search of secured career growth and benefits. Gen Zers, in particular, prefer financial promise and job security over mission-driven adventures. Insurance offers all of that and more. The industry provides a stable, financially-rewarding work environment and professional growth opportunities for its workforce.

Retaining Talent with Innovative Cultures

The small, nimble and flexible business models of insurtech startups offer an environment that is conducive to creativity and innovation. Wanting to infuse the same ideals into their own organizations, insurance organizations can look to insurtech for inspiration.

The startups define output by results and productivity rather than set hours and brick and mortar offices. They welcome casual dress codes, operate within flat corporate structures and encourage friendly competition to jumpstart creativity. Some insurtech leaders even host competitive events for their employees, such as in-house hackathons and code wars. These cultural elements set the stage for a creative, collaborative environment that fuels innovation and disruption.

It is no secret the insurance industry has historically maintained a conservative workplace culture. Amid a candidate’s market and a fierce war for talent, retention has become increasingly difficult for today’s insurance firms as employee loyalty continues to wane. Promoting an innovative, analytical and digital corporate culture, much like that of its insurtech partners, is vital to engaging and retaining the talent needed to drive future success.

Innovative minds also value continuous learning. Revisit training budgets and consider encouraging and sponsoring employees to attend industry, function-specific, technology, or analytics events. Participating employees appreciate their employers’ investment in their future and empowering employees with knowledge provides a diversity of perspectives from which to launch continued innovation.

Purposeful culture is not only key to improving retention, but also a catalyst to improving employer brand and increasing productivity. Incorporating modern benefits, such as flexible work hours and remote working opportunities, is just a start. Redefining corporate culture runs deeper than that. Organizations need to revisit their missions and goals, define a culture that supports innovation and then weave it into their corporate DNAs.

The industry’s insurtech partners are more than a tool for realizing innovation and modernization. They are a source of inspiration for recruitment and retention techniques that will attract the innovative professionals needed to ignite and sustain positive change industry-wide.