In 2017, we sounded the alarm bell regarding the impending talent shortage that is to be a result of the massive retirement of Baby Boomers. By October of that year, according to data collected by Pew Research and the Social Security Administration, Boomers were entering retirement at a rate of 10,000 individuals a day. That is an astounding number, and it is not even close to slowing. In our Eleventh Hour series, we outlined the dire future for the face of insurance talent. In the opening article of that four-part report, we touched upon one statistic that estimated around 25% of industry professionals would be retired by 2018 and that by 2020 the industry could likely face nearly half a million vacancies. If the storm is upon us, we most likely have not even reached its eye. Now is the time to begin assessing the loss that is probably already occurring and is going to continue, as well as how your organization can not only weather the storm but find a way to succeed in spite of it.
Loss You Can’t Control
Burying one’s head in the metaphorical sand may be a good way to drown out the maelstrom of today’s talent climate, but it makes it impossible to make an honest assessment of the loss that is already occurred and develop strategies to counter that loss and defend against future vacancies. The first step is to accept the things we cannot change. Baby Boomers are retiring, and they’ve earned that retirement, so disregard any notion of trying to retain them because that’s only a bandage on a gaping wound. Whether it is today, tomorrow or two years from now, the most substantial sector of industry talent is packing their bags, and they’re not coming back. Now is the time to display to your upcoming talent how your organization honors and respects the years of service they’ve given your company. You may not be able to keep them, but you can make a lasting impression on younger generations in the way you help them exit.
Loss You Can Mitigate
If you’ve been proactive enough to keep your head out of the sand, then you are already headed in the right direction. If you are giving the appropriate attention to the exodus of Boomers, then you are doing even better, but be wary that while your back is turned, other companies are taking this opportunity to siphon away your next generation of leaders. There’s a reason why, when speaking about today’s talent climate, experts use words like “crisis” and “dilemma.” This is a storm that has not only ripped a hole in the front of the vessel, but it has also cut an opening in the back of the ship, causing you to incur losses from the bow and stern. While a portion of the loss is inevitable, there are measures that can be taken to improve retention of the valuable talent that is waiting in the wings. It’s important to note that when your competitors come for your upcoming talent, they aren’t going after your more disgruntled staff who are submitting to job boards and filling out online applications. Your competitors are using all means at their disposal to target your best and brightest employees. These professionals are ones you cannot afford to lose, and the ones most in your power to keep. As previously mentioned, the way you express your appreciation of your retiring professionals can send a strong message to your younger talent about the intrinsic value of your company. Efforts to promote retention can also have the added effect of attracting the new talent your organization will absolutely need to move forward.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
Regardless of how incredible your retention efforts are, there is not enough talent on your bench to compensate for the inevitable losses that are occurring and will continue to occur over the next several years. Even the deepest benches will be exhausted either through promotion or losses to hungry competitors willing to do whatever it takes to replenish their own talent needs. Storms deplete resources, and this storm is no different. As we already mentioned, strong retention efforts can simultaneously increase the intrinsic value of your organization, attracting new professionals with the promise to help your company weather the storm. An added benefit of being proactive and acquiring high-quality professionals sooner rather than later is that it improves the overall atmosphere of your work environment, increasing your odds of retaining the talent you already have. Addressing your talent concerns early allows you to not only survive the storm, but it gives you the advantage to thrive during it. This means greater success now and in the future for your organization, and there is perhaps no better retention tool and talent magnet than success.
The James Allen Companies has been long studying the impending Baby Boomer exodus. Our research and extensive experience has allowed us to help a number of clients address the talent shortage that is already affecting the insurance industry as a whole. We are interested in doing more than filling vacancies. Our efforts allow us to deliver exceptional passive candidates, candidates who, like your best, are not actively seeking new opportunities because they are too busy producing results. We work with clients with the intention of promoting their success now and in the future. If you are ready to prep your business for the talent storm by hiring the most sought after professionals in the industry, contact The James Allen Companies today.