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Insurance Recruitment Market Update Q1, 2020
In 2019, the insurance industry has remained a candidate-tight space. Even in a “full employment” economy, there are still companies with a healthy enough attrition rate that will appear to be constantly hiring.
There has been an almost consistent demand for experienced and qualified insurance professionals across Claims, Underwriting and Broking / Client Advisory. But these openings tend to be arising out of natural attrition or steady growth, as opposed to any large-scale shifts or movements in the industry. Regardless, the market is still buoyant with candidates, generally speaking, having their pick of the pack when seeking new positions. With respect to market growth, Ireland has (to date) benefited from the Brexit uncertainty with new players having entered the Irish market over the past two years; these entities continued to establish themselves and grow this year.
Salaries have remained consistent enough with previous years however hiring firms have and will continue to experience pressure as a result of skill shortage and market demand (noticed moreso in general insurance than in life insurance). Some larger companies have been able to rely on their brand and reputation to attract candidates – as opposed to raising their salaries and packages – but in doing so, often have to wait long periods of time to get their “ideal” candidate. Smaller companies on the other hand have been more aware of the need to remain competitive for candidates, and more reactive to salary trends. Candidates are increasingly aware of their value in the market – companies who are not willing to negotiate must accept they will lose candidates to competitors.
Roles that have been in particular demand throughout 2019 and anticipated to continue into 2020:
- Commercial Lines Brokers
- Claims Handlers / Loss Adjusters – Personal Injury, Casualty and Major Loss in particular
- Portfolio Underwriters
- Reinsurance Accounting Technicians
- Pensions Consultants (or Senior Administrators)
Professionalisation has continuously been a hot topic with more and more employers requesting full qualifications for roles that may not traditionally have required them. The CIP qualification – Certified Insurance Practitioner – is an essential requirement as per the Minimum Competency Code (MCC) for anyone working in a client-facing or advisory position in general / non-life insurance.
There’s been an increase in employers’ expectations on employees working in non-MCC positions to become CIP qualified. This has stemmed moreso from a reputational standpoint – qualification as a mark of a quality; firms want their staff to be best-in-class. Again, being strict with requirements both – whether these requirements are actually essential or rather just desirable – could result in lost hires as there are enough competitors who will snap up unqualified, part-qualified or Grandfathered candidates, who qualification aside, may otherwise be experienced enough to do the job.
Going into 2020, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact – if any – certain insurance scandals that have made the press this year will have on the jobs market. “Claims culture” has been alive and well this year, and there’s been concerns about niche areas that may struggle to find (or afford) insurance as large pay-outs in claims – particularly personal injury claims – puts pressure on both the insurer and on the customer.
In terms of recruitment, Claims Handlers were some of the most in-demand in 2019.
Diversity & Inclusion
There has been increasing attention on the need for diversity and inclusion in Insurance following a string of scandals surrounding Lloyd’s of London. While some larger companies have been taking steps to ensure gender balance and equal access to opportunities, jury is still out on whether the change is happening quick enough, or what the effects of said changes are looking like or will look like going forward. Larger companies have been more conscious about this, but there is still a lot more conversation to be had on the topic.
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