Insurance Market Review Q2 2021

March 30

One year on from the initial shock that words like “lockdown”, “pandemic” and “isolation” caused as they became part and parcel of daily conversation – it’s reasonable to think that that panic has since subsided and that many markets have adopted the “get on with it” attitude necessary for survival.


Recruitment within the Insurance market has not been impacted too heavily. While there is no simple explanation for it, it is reasonable to assume that as the Insurance industry itself did not suffer too badly in the face of the changing economic environment, that recruitment within such was by and large able to continue “business as usual”.


This is still the case today – However, there have been two main trends that have emerged since Christmas, which we wanted to outline for you here:


Conservative attitude towards job changing


So far this year, an increasing volume of candidates have been less open to discussing potential new opportunities. “Not the right time to be looking”. Why this has been the case, when it hadn’t been observed to the same extent in the three quarters of 2020 in which there was similar (if not greater) market uncertainty, is unclear.


As a result, longlists for any one given job have gotten shorter. When going through a recruitment process, hiring managers ought to consult with their recruiter so as to manage their expectations. For certain positions, “benchmarking” i.e. having a number of suitably qualified candidates, who are interested and within specified budgets, is not always possible. Be realistic around timeframes in filling positions, and if you have a good candidate who is interested in working for you, don’t keep them on the long finger. It’s not always possible to get multiple points of comparison in general when hiring in Insurance, as the type of experience candidates may have (and the type of experience employers often require) can be very specific and the size of the market is relatively small. However, this increased fear of the uncertainty and the potential of “last in first out” has further reduced the number of “available” candidates as compared to the pre-pandemic world.


Will we ever go back to the office?


Another barrier facing hiring companies when finding the right candidate has been the increasing expectation to find clarity around the long-term solution to the ongoing Work From Home versus Work From Office debate. Many studies and surveys have shown that a majority of employees’ preferred option moving forward would be some type of hybrid model. However, only a small minority of companies have provided any long-term commitment as to what they will do post restrictions. While it’s understandable why employers are holding off on making this call, there is an untapped pool of candidates who are thriving in the home office and would be happy to explore opportunities with companies that will allow them to do this long-term.


The main two reasons why candidates and roles aren’t suited for one another are salary brackets and location requirements. Removing the need to be present in the office Monday to Friday, nine to five, will make it increasingly easier for companies to find the right talent and candidates to find the right job while still maintaining some work-life balance. The fact is that candidates are – one year into this situation – understandably now seeking some form of commitment from employers’ to a solution outside of the contingency plan; but also, certain employers (most notably Liberty Insurance), have already begun to do just this. Making a call one way or the other on the matter will provide candidates shopping around with a bit more certainty, which may be the differentiating factor between whether a candidate is interested in changing jobs or not.

About the Author

Donal Whelan

Director – Compliance, Risk & Financial Services 1 661 0444

Donal is a recruitment professional with over 6 years experience across the Compliance, Risk and Finance markets. Donal currently manages the Compliance and Risk disciplines at Lincoln Recruitment Specialists. He has an in-depth understanding of the compliance and risk recruitment market with a strong network of contacts. He has successfully worked with many national and multi-national companies in Ireland, who were either establishing new compliance and risk departments or expanding their in-house teams.


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