Why is the Insurance Job Market Still So Tight (in WDC Region)?

With the weakening economic outlook, we have been waiting for the job market for insurance top talent to cool off a bit, but it seems to be actually getting tighter.

What is happening? I would like your input!

Based on my firm’s recent executive searches and conversations with my clients, there are three reasons that keep surfacing to the top – but I would like you to respond.

1. Not enough young people: I wrote a blog just last week that talked about three ways employers should be enticing Gen Z to their firms. It is not working.

Young professionals’ wants and needs are simply not in alignment with what a typical insurance agency is offering now.

In addition, the local WDC regional insurance agencies are facing increasing competition from the technology, financial services, and government sector for top young talent.

These three sectors continue to grow rapidly.

They also pay well with average starting salaries in the $80k+ range. A small or even regional insurance broker/agency cannot afford to pay this for young talent a few years out of school.

2. Top Talent is being retained: I have never had so many candidates take counter-offers from their employers. There are many reasons why one never should take a counter-offer, but they are. Money does talk. And employers are doing whatever it takes now to keep their stars.

3. Recession fears: Many workers in the middle management range ($75k – $130k) are scared by the continual drum beat in the media about, “A big reset/recession is about to occur…” I see their point but unemployment still remains at all-time lows.

The Solution? Employers can do four things:

1. Be willing to pay a premium for top talent. It’s what NFL teams have to do now for top skill players. Is a top Sales Producer or Account Executive a skill player? Absolutely. They can make or break your business.

2. Adjust the mission statement and work culture to be better aligned with what the younger worker is seeking. See my last Friday’s blog on enticing Gen Z. Link: https://www.mrfairfax.com/post/insurance-gen-z-three-things-they-want

3. Adjust your hiring strategies and workplace environment (commuting vs. hybrid vs. remote) to tap into the top talent that resides in some of the less expensive outer-lying areas of Virginia and Maryland.

4. Beef up Training: One option is to hire out of high school or even college at an affordable entry level and then train and mentor them. The issue here is that you have to have the training platform and infrastructure.

Additionally, hiring and training young workers is not efficient and many simply depart after a short time.

I want to hear from you though. If you are reading this you are most likely an insurance employee or employer. I welcome your ideas, thoughts, and feedback!


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