Insurance Gen Z: Three Things They Want

Hiring authorities in the insurance brokerage community are desperately trying to identify and acquire young talent. I honestly don’t know what the average age of an insurance agency staff member is now…but it is old. Everyone knows this.

So how do we entice Gen Z young talent into the industry and what do they want?

After working with literally thousands of insurance candidates over the past few years in my recruiting business, here are my observations:

Career Development: Many Gen Z employees who leave their firm after a short time tell me that they are ready to work hard but they expect to see some professional growth. If not, they will not hesitate to move on.

They don’t need to be coddled but definitely need some mentoring and coaching. They want to professionally grow and advance too!

Solution: Assign young new hires a coach or mentor. The mentor should not be the supervisor, but a colleague with much more experience. Promote extreme ownership in everything they do.

People will be less likely to depart an organization if they have a close relationship (or friend) with at least one co-worker.

Mental Health Support: This is surprising, but I hear this more and more. Young Gen Z workers cite well-being and, yes, mental health, as a top priority in choosing and remaining in a company.

I saw a recent statistic in the WSJ this past weekend that more than 50% of college graduates admitted taking anti-depressants while in college. Mental health is a generational issue.

Solution: Encourage and promote staff to create their own collaborative “employee assistance groups” as a sounding board for staff to informally discuss everyday problems or issues that may or may not even directly relate to work. Sub-tribes will develop based on specific interests.

People are tribal in nature, and young people need a platform to informally converse, connect, and vent their frustrations with others.

Company Culture: Gen Z have a strong sense of belonging. Maybe it’s the time spent cocooning/playing video games and social media that makes them want to belong more at work.

How does your company culture embrace this? Are your leaders authentic? Is there a strong sense of purpose? Inclusion? Communication? Community?

What IS your culture?

Solution: Create a company culture that is consistently communicated where your leaders can be authentic and transparent. If leaders are not authentic and transparent up and down the chain of command, then staff members are not going to be either.

And Gen Z value a culture where they can be comfortable and be themselves.

Bonus: What does all this mean for a remote work environment? Interestingly, in a recent WSJ survey, only 4% of recent college grads want to work remotely full-time. 70% said a hybrid schedule is best.

I am not surprised.


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