How to solve the recruitment crisis

Our industry habitually frets over its apparent lack of appeal to graduates considering their career options.

So I was not entirely surprised, to learn, in your article about the CII’s Talent Initiative (News 27 March 2008), that insurance is one of only two UK industries not anticipating any growth in graduate recruitment over the coming year.

While the CII is obviously to be applauded for promoting apprenticeships and graduate recruitment programmes, we should not neglect to develop the undoubted pool of talent we already possess.

We face stiff competition for graduate recruits from other financial services firms – and arguably stiffer still to retain them once we have. Let’s not ignore the talent pool we already possess. Academic qualifications are no substitute for the practical experience and entrepreneurial flair that are so crucial to a successful career in insurance.

What we need is training and development focused on building technical, regulatory, marketing and management knowledge around these core skills. I firmly believe the firms who succeed will be those who invest in practical insurance-focused training and nurture fresh talent from within the industry.