Life Insurers Tap ‘Soft Benefits’ To Hire, Retain Top Talent

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The Life Annuity Specialist article, “Life Insurers Tap ‘Soft Benefits’ To Hire, Retain Top Talent," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Dave Seeley about how life insurers are rethinking their hiring strategies. The article is excerpted below. 

Life Annuity Specialist

The industry is fighting for facetime in a growing youth-centric marketplace and an aging talent force, causing life companies to break from tradition and increasingly turn to a focus on employee wellness and quality-of-life programs. Several companies continue to explore digital distribution channels as well. 


The conventionally conservative industry has tended “not to align itself very effectively with the new emerging Millennial-type talent out there,” notes David Seeley, a consultant with Russell Reynolds Associates in New York. “So insurers in life and P&C are rethinking their strategies and more importantly, their cultures internally.” 


Life insurers are taking note by loosening their philosophies in terms of dress codes, adding incubator labs for cutting-edge IT initiatives, and creating employee-focused environments to attract a Millennial-aged crowd, Seeley says. The dress code of “at least one large global life and P&C insurer” has relaxed from the suit-and-tie model to simply jeans, he says. “It’s a huge shift.” 


Life insurers are rethinking their digital strategies against the impact of how talent plays a key role on that strategy going forward, Seeley says. “Not only at the operating level, but we’re seeing more trends on how boards will be structured differently than they have in the past.” 

Several life companies have built “a variety of comprehensive distribution channels” that differ from the traditional routes as they focus on more digitally-based and direct-to-consumer distributions. “It’s a fundamentally different strategy that these types of organizations are bringing into the life insurance industry,” he says. 

And while the industry is far from diving into e-commerce with humorous ads and snarky mascots, it’s moving more toward engaging customers on the front end with mobile apps or web sites with live intermediaries, Seeley says. 

“They’re not there yet, but they’re certainly trending that way,” he says. “There are certain carriers that are developing those capabilities and are truly prioritizing and thinking about how millennials purchase products, including life insurance.” 

Life insurers are looking more broadly for talent within the P&C industry, consumer banking, asset management, and the retail and e-commerce markets, Seeley says. 

To read the full article​​, click here.