Who is Gen Z?
Born between 1995-2010, Gen Z is the generation following Millennials, and the oldest members of Gen Z are now entering the workforce. Gen Z holds the distinction of being the:
- Largest generation to date, making up 32% of the global population in 2019
- Most racially diverse generation in the U.S., with 48% identifying as racial or ethnic minorities
And of this impressive cohort, 41% have indicated they would consider a career in the insurance industry—if they understood the jobs available. That’s a big opportunity for insurance organizations facing a talent crisis.
What Does Gen Z Value?
Before we dive into how to connect Gen Z with roles in the insurance industry, let’s look at some of the commonalities among them.
Gen Z candidates want to find stable work. This is a group that saw their parents lose jobs in the financial crisis. In this regard, the insurance industry is at an advantage. While much is being said about insurtech startups and robots replacing manual labor, in the grand scheme of things, insurance jobs are not going away.
For one Gen Z employee at ReSource Pro, that was part of the draw. “It’s nice to have job security,” said Carson Post, an employee at ReSource Pro’s Insurance Experience Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. “That’s a big plus.”
Here are some key attributes that have been observed of this generation so far:
- Value stability
- Seek out continued education
- Want to see a path for growth
4 Ways to Connect With Gen Z
Unless a Gen Z candidate has a direct connection (like a parent working in insurance), they probably don’t have experience with the industry and don’t know what positions exist. So much of insurance is hidden until later maturity, perhaps after 25 or 30.
As insurance professionals, we so often hear that people got into the field by accident. To create more happy accidents, try these approaches for reaching out to Gen Z.
- Campus recruitment – Career fairs are a great opportunity to explain the many career paths of insurance. What are the skills of an underwriter; what does a producer do? Carson Post had no prior knowledge of insurance, but happened to walk up to the ReSource Pro booth during his university’s career fair. He was first interested in an internship, and when he “saw the actual gears turning,” he decided to start his career at ReSource Pro.
- Growth opportunities – A colleague at a carrier recently told me that 48% of staff there were over 50. While that’s scary as an employer, for the next generation, entering a career that has leadership positions opening up is exciting. They can quickly grow into manager and leadership roles.
- Certification goals – Continued education and stability check a lot of boxes for Gen Z. Besides leadership opportunities, ensure potential candidates see the various trainings and certifications they can work toward in insurance.
- Tech-infused, AI augmented work – For Gen Z, the idea of robots taking away manual processing tasks isn’t ominous—it’s exciting! Tech natives aren’t threatened by AI the same way industry vets may be. Automated assistance has been a presence throughout their lives. This is a great opportunity for placing new workers in roles where they’re working with or auditing bots.
While many of the challenges of insurance can be turned into opportunities for Gen Z, there are some possible blockers to be aware of when courting or integrating the next generation into your teams:
- Out-of-date technology. If you have Gen Z coming in and you use an antiquated AMS system or other legacy infrastructure that isn’t intuitive, how are you handling that? Do you have a plan for a transition? Can the new talent help with that?
- Not integrating teams. Take care to make new hires feel welcome, especially if you have a large age gap between newcomers and veterans in your organization. Consider a structured mentorship program to ensure all generations benefit from each other.
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