Survey uncovers insurers' top worries about attracting, training talent

By Gary Linnell

ProWEB Wire (Industry News)

Insurers' top concerns include training and attracting a new generation of underwriters, according to a recent survey conducted by insurance software provider First Best Systems.

According to First Best, the insurance industry is facing a growing shortage of qualified and experienced underwriters as older underwriters continue to retire.

The findings found that "few insurers have leveraged technologies that appeal to Gen Y, facilitate real-time training and collaboration for new hires and teams, and capture underwriting expertise for knowledge-sharing purposes."

When asked about their greatest concern for hiring and training new underwriters in the near term, 35 percent of respondents cited "ongoing training, underwriting skills and knowledge sharing."

Meanwhile, 30 percent listed "finding and attracting qualified applicants" as a concern, while 15 percent cited "generational expectations" and another 15 percent said "employee retention" was one of their main challenges.

When it comes to methods for training and sharing best practices among team members, 38 percent cited "meetings" (primarily weekly), while another 38 percent answered "ad hoc collaboration and information sharing."

Meanwhile 15 percent said "ongoing training and personal mentoring" was their method of choice, while 15 percent said they still use paper-based internal manuals. Finally, just 20 percent reported using technology such as instant messaging, intranets, blogs, or e-mail to collaborate with and educate underwriters within their company.