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In with the new

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Source: AIR | Aug 2017

Global GIF

As the millennial generation enters the workforce, the insurance industry faces a tough challenge - how do we get these innovative and tech-savvy people to join the industry?
 
   This was the question that a panel at the IIS Global Insurance Forum attempted to answer. Panel chair Donal Corcoran, Head of Consumer Insurance at AIG Canada was joined by Zach Brown, Principal and Portfolio Manager at Milliman, Dawn Miller, President and CEO of AXA Insurance, Monica Tigleanu, Senior Financial Lines Underwriter at Beazley and Clemens Philippi, Regional Manager, Market Management Asia at Allianz.
 
   Panellists spoke of the different methods that could spark the interest of the possible next generation of risk managers. Amidst a generation that are deeply engaged in social media and the sharing economy, the nebulous ‘insurance industry’ might seem like the type of white collar enemy they would shy away from. “It’s not a popular career choice,” said Brown. “According to a Lloyd’s study, insurance placed 18th on a list of career choices,”
 
   “And we may not have the time to develop a modern approach to attracting talent towards the industry,” he added.
 
   “Communicating the inherent human nature of the industry is vital to attracting top talent,” said Corcoran. Millennials need to know that insurance, at its core, deals with people and not just financial matters.
 
   “Insurance is everywhere around us, offering opportunities for the established workforce and graduates coming from universities,” said Miller. “It is very important to bring talents together - to immerse the talents within the organisations. Top management must take the responsibility to develop training strategies and to create business KPI to evaluate the efficiency of the new workforce.”
 
   She added that ‘stretch projects’ were a great way to develop top talent within the industry, as there was no better way to grow within the industry than to do the actual work.
 
   Tigleanu agreed, saying that proper mentoring and coaching are the best tools for developing talents in the insurance industry. “The company should open the discussion regarding the development of a particular talent, and you want to do it early because people with high potential can feel trapped and pressured and eventually burn out.”
 
   However, developing a young talent to become a future leader within the industry is not just about numbers and policies. Soft skills and communication ability is just as vital, according to Philippi. “It is important to take people with hard skills and work with them to develop soft skills,” he said. A 
 
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