Unglamorous Reputation is Insurance Industry Biggest Hurdle
Our dynamic industry offers a fulfilling career that provides stability and professional growth. So why are we facing a talent shortage?
By Lindsay Mather, VP, Human Resources
I’m going to let you in on a secret.
Working in insurance is far more complex, dynamic and interesting than people assume—admittedly far more so than I anticipated when I first started in the industry 11 years ago.
Why is this a secret?
Because we have done our industry a great disservice by not broadcasting the many benefits of choosing a career in insurance.
Now we’re facing a talent shortage and continue to struggle with people happening into insurance instead of actively seeking it out.
To turn this around, we need to put our energy into proudly sharing the career benefits and ramping up efforts to educate and train the next generation of insurance professionals.
Insurance Career Perks: Stability, Growth and Variety
I grew up in an oil and gas family, and started my career working for a small drilling company. I never considered working in insurance and was skeptical when a close neighbour suggested I apply at Rogers Insurance.
I ultimately decided to apply as the boom-bust cycle of oil and gas was starting to take a toll.
Rogers Insurance initially won me over (and continues to do so with its independent, employee ownership model and dedication to fostering a fun, productive workplace). But it didn’t take long for me to appreciate the unique perks associated with a career in insurance.
Stability Doesn’t Mean Boring
The insurance industry goes through ups and downs like any other sector, but the more challenging times typically do not negatively impact our staffing levels.
Case in point: Rogers Insurance did not layoff a single employee and actually hired throughout the biggest global pandemic of our time—which just so happened to coincide with a hard insurance market. (To put it simply, a hard market is when there is greater demand but less capacity for coverage. This typically results in premium increases and more stringent underwriting. One common cause of a hard market is an increase in claims due to catastrophic events, such as floods and wildfires).
The prudent, proactive measures our company took to protect jobs played a role in this. But so did the fact that, as much as people may begrudge it, insurance is a consistent need. This contributes to relative career stability.
So do challenges such as a hard market, which can make it challenging for individuals and businesses to secure certain coverages, especially at affordable prices. This makes insurance brokers all the more valuable as they have the knowledge and connections to secure the most comprehensive coverage at the best available price.
Furthermore, the insurance needs of businesses and individuals are constantly changing as threats continue to evolve and emerge. Again, an insurance broker’s expertise and ongoing education makes them invaluable.
Plus, the evolution of insurance keeps things interesting.
Change Keeps It Fresh
Insurance needs are constantly evolving. The devastating impacts of climate change and the rampant rise in cyberattacks are just two examples of how insurance needs are evolving in response to modern risks and hazards. In response, insurers often revaluate the risks they are willing to assume, and new coverages are introduced to the market.
There are also changing federal and provincial government regulations, which impact the way insurance companies operate, the products that are offered and more (for example, Bill 41, which is reforming the price and medical benefits of auto insurance coverage in Alberta).
Simply put, there is no status quo.
Brokers must be dedicated life-long learners to stay well informed of all these changes. There is literally something new to learn every day—which is exciting and keeps boredom at bay.
Choose Your Own (Career) Adventure
I argue this benefit is specific to brokerages, which offer a plethora of career paths to traverse and grow as an insurance professional.
Brokerages offer a variety of roles, in both personal insurance and business insurance, including:
- New business specialists
- Business development specialists
- Client care specialists
- Technical assistants
- Account executives and managers
- Claims specialists
- Risk managers
No matter your education background, you can find success as an insurance broker (so long as you complete the necessary licensing and designation requirements).
Career options are of course not limited to brokers. We also hire for the corporate side of the business—such as financial services, IT, HR, administration, and marketing and communications. The benefits of career stability and variety are just as applicable to these individuals as to brokers.
Starting the Next Generation on the Right Track
We are losing our most experienced employees to retirement.
Unfortunately, the insurance industry has not groomed enough people to replace the knowledge we’re losing.
As mentioned above, our industry has done a poor job of enticing people to join us. Another significant challenge is that very few post-secondary institutions offer insurance and risk management programs.
To combat this, Rogers Insurance recently launched our in-house training program called R-Career Track.
Our hirees learn from our very own in-house experts, are prepped for licensing exams, and rotate through and work alongside our various departments.
This gives individuals the opportunity to develop foundational insurance knowledge and get a taste for the brokerage role that is the best fit for their interests and skillset. Upon completion of the program, these individuals will continue to grow their careers with Rogers Insurance.
R-Career Track is a unique investment in the continuous training and onboarding of future generations of personal and commercial insurance brokers. I’m so proud of this innovative training program that will help young professionals jumpstart their careers as brokers—and help us to reframe the reputation of insurance to that of a desirable and exciting industry.
So, if you’re looking for a stable, dynamic career, why not join us in insurance?
Rogers Insurance is currently hiring for R-Career Track, with our next training session starting in October. You can learn more about R-Career Track and our other available job opportunities here.
Lindsay Mather is the Vice President of Human Resources at Rogers Insurance. She is passionate about creating HR initiatives that contribute to a positive, productive and fun culture that benefits the organizations and encourages employees to be successful.