Insurance Industry Presents Blueprint for Denver Startups
Note from one industry that has consistently attracted and retained high-quality employees
When you hear the words startup and Millennials in the same sentence, you’d be forgiven if the first thoughts that came to mind were offices with kombucha on-tap, ping-pong tables and perhaps a golden doodle curled up on a couch. Stakes are high as organizations compete to attract top talent, especially when faced with the fact that a new company is formed every two hours in the state of Colorado. In Denver alone, a city with explosive growth of more than 36,000 new residents in the last year, securing skilled labor can be an arduous task. One industry that has consistently thrived, perhaps surprisingly, in attracting and retaining talent is the insurance sector.
Vertafore’s fifth-annual "Millennials in Insurance" survey asked 1,252 professionals, including 384 millennials, about career preferences and priorities with results indicating other industries could take a page out of the insurance industry’s book when it comes to recruitment and retention.
INSURANCE INDUSTRY BREAKS MILLENNIAL MOLD
Of the many stereotypes associated with millennials, two of the most pronounced may be their love of avocado toast and their propensity to job-hop. While this may be the perception, results from the survey indicate the latter assumption isn’t rooted in reality.
With more than three-quarters – 76 percent – of Millennials surveyed indicate they have worked in the industry for more than three years and most – 72 percent – stating they plan to work in insurance as long as possible. Thus, Millennials are demonstrating career contentment.
Like many industries today, insurance is enduring a tremendous amount of growth and change. With competition from new entrants around every corner, how has the industry adapted to draw top talent?
According to the report, 65 percent of Millennials pointed to a healthy work-life balance and a similar percentage – 64 percent – touted compensation and financial stability as leading factors keeping them content. An additional takeaway: Millennials want flexible schedules, the ability to work remotely and a little office ping-pong during happy hour can’t hurt
PUT YOUR TECHNOLOGY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS
Millennials are among the most tech-savvy generation and use these tools to, not only make their work more efficient, but better communicate and build relationships with peers, customers and clients. This year’s survey found Millennials in insurance are leveraging technology more than ever.
Nearly 59 percent of Millennials surveyed stated they use social media to strengthen customer support and retention, and more than half of respondents – 55 percent – are using social platforms to increase brand awareness. In addition to using technology and social channels to maintain satisfaction with existing clients, almost half – 49 percent – of Millennials are using social platforms to generate new business leads, More than 60 percent stated technology has increased overall efficiency.
GIVE EMPLOYEES SOMETHING TO BRAG ABOUT
Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool when it comes to recruiting and this is even more true for cities like Denver that continue to see staggering numbers of transplants coming to the city for job opportunities. For insurance, more than one-third of Millennials in insurance – 36 percent – were recruited into the industry through employee- and family-referrals, with an overwhelming 87 percent recommending a career in insurance to friends, a 5 percent increase over last year’s findings.
To tap into this effective recruiting method, companies should evaluate national and local awards such as Best Companies to Work For, Most Admired CEO, GenXYZ – Nominate Here – and other company culture and achievement recognitions to give employees something to brag about. Startups looking to encourage employees to recruit family and friends can consider offering incentives to current employees who are able to leverage their personal networks and attract new talent.
Millennials are a sought-after segment of the workforce, bringing with them the ability to adapt and flourish in a technology-first environment. As Denver’s startup community continues to solidify its place as one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the United States, securing and retaining future talent will become a priority to thrive. Insurance continues to establish itself as a formidable industry, largely because of the ability to meet demands of employees who will lead it into the future. Companies in every industry and at every stage of development can and should turn to insurance to adapt and unlock the full ROI of their recruitment practices.
Kristin Nease is the vice president of human resources at Vertafore.