Although social distancing protocols are back in force in some parts of the country following an uptick in COVID-19 cases, many companies are ready for things to get back to normal. But what if your employees don’t want to return to the office – or to their jobs, period? It’s being called the Great Resignation, and it can create both risks and opportunities for your insurance business.
In its August 2021 Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that job openings rose to a series high of 10.1 million. The quits rate increased to 2.7% while the number of layoffs and discharges remained unchanged. This difference indicates that most of these departures are voluntary. While vacancies in the retail sector get most of the media attention, the financial activities sector (which includes insurance) also saw an increase in quits in June compared to 2020, although there was a decline from the series peak in April 2021.
So, what does this mean for your insurance business? Here are three possibilities.
Regulatory Compliance Issues
Many agencies try to avoid having more than one producer licensed in a given non-resident state. It helps keep their renewal fees and other compliance costs down. That’s a smart strategy, but it can create licensing gaps if a key producer seeks greener pastures elsewhere. This is especially true if that individual serves as the agency’s Designated Responsible Licensed Producer (DRLP). Even if it’s another producer who leaves, you still need to update agency affiliations and notify the appropriate carriers to terminate their appointments in a timely manner.
One of the areas hardest hit by the Great Resignation is professional and business services. That sounds a lot like the folks handling your back-office functions. If you’re having a hard time finding qualified candidates to manage the day-to-day activities that keep your agency running, it may be time to consider outsourcing. An astonishing range of tasks can now be outsourced. Concerned about a flaky freelancer who’ll leave you in the lurch? Consider going with an established US-based services provider or a managed international virtual employee center.
People are leaving their old jobs for a variety of reasons, including a desire for higher incomes and greater control over their career trajectories. Many are also looking for a way to give back to their communities and make a difference. The insurance industry, with its wide range of opportunities, is a great choice for these obviously motivated people. Many are coming from retail industries, so they already have strong customer service skills. They just need to learn the insurance biz. You may, however, need to get creative to reach and attract this pool of candidates.
Even before the Great Resignation, insurance thought leaders were concerned about a looming talent crisis. The decisions that agency owners make now – in particular, a willingness to look beyond the “usual suspects” when it comes to recruitment – will determine whether today’s dynamic labor market makes that challenge even more difficult … or proves to be its solution.
Looking for ways to connect with top talent? Check out these other articles for creative solutions to your recruitment needs:
- Diversity and Inclusion: Moving In and Building Up, by Arleen Taveras
- Growing Your Own Talent: Creating an Internship Program, by Elaine Nance
- The Benefits of Internships, by Arleen Taveras
- Support Our Troops … With a Job, by Russ Foster