The CII’s Daniel Pedley says the insurance industry must do more to attract young if it is to have a vibrant future

The phrase ‘war for talent’ was coined back in 1997 by the consultancy firm McKinsey – and is as relevant today as it was then. The landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees is fiercely competitive and one that the insurance sector is potentially losing out on.

A key component of any talent management strategy is developing a pipeline for future entrants into the industry. Ensuring there is a conveyor belt of good young starters is vital for the future competitiveness of any sector, not least insurance.

Yet, when questioned most young people would not consider a career in insurance – a real future risk for firms and the profession as a whole.

The CII, in conjunction with market research firm ComRes, asked nearly 2000 16-20-year-old students for their views on insurance and, in particular, a career in the sector. Only 18% said that they would consider working in insurance.

When we delved deeper into what students had to say, image is clearly a problem. More than half (53%) believe insurance to be ‘uninteresting’.

Only 28% of students would be proud to tell their friends they worked in insurance. Compare this to accountancy (46%) and law (69%) and you can see what recruiters are up against.

It is not all bad news though. Students who had taken part in the CII’s Discover Risk initiative, which promotes the various career paths insurance has to offer, were almost three times more likely to seriously look at working in insurance than those who had not (51% vs 18%).

This demonstrates there is a clear need for more information about insurance to help the talent stream into the sector. In addition, our survey also showed that students are hungry for information and practical experience of our sector.

Employers have a crucial role to play, whether through supporting Discover Risk events, developing links to local schools or offering work experience.

If more firms showcase what our sector has to offer, for example the social value angle, the international opportunities or simply the sheer array of jobs on offer, the more chance there is to have to banish the notion among the young that insurance is boring.

For more information on supporting the Discover Risk initiative contact:

To read the full report, Bridging the Gap, click here.