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The big insurance skills gap: hire for attitude and train for skills

by Heat Recruitment

The Insurance Industry is faced with a skills shortage – we all know that and it is a well-documented fact. An endless stream of blogs and press articles tell us that the industry lacks the skills required to support its growth.

Previous stats state that over 50% of GI firms are currently suffering from a skills shortage. This is an overwhelming number and as specialist recruiters in the industry we agree that it is probably one of the biggest challenges facing the industry; up there with the constant changes to regulation and the emergence of Insure Tech.

That said over the last 12 to 18 months we have seen a big shift in the number of companies who have changed their tact when it comes to their hiring approach. GI Firms are more open than ever to the idea of “Hiring for Attitude and Training for Skills”. These are candidate who maybe completely new to the industry, have minimal experience in insurance or they might work in a role that has transferrable skills i.e. Claims Handling into Account Handling.

So why hire for attitude and train for skills?

  • Bringing in an employee and training for skills allows them to really buy into the business as they can see the investment being made in them
  • An employer can mould and shape the individual to the business and its needs
  • There are no preconceived ideas about the industry or the company
  • No “this is how I always did it” attitude
  • With clear career progression and personal development, it is likely the hire will be in it for the long haul

The “Finished Article”

However, let’s not forget that the candidate who is the “Finished Article” still exists and there are plenty of them out there, but competition is fierce. The “finished article” has all the skills and knowledge required to hit the ground running and they tick 8 or 9 out of 10 essential boxes for the role. These candidates are command higher salaries and they have a whole range of opportunities open to them. Not least, from their current employer who is unlikely to let them leave without a fight.

Clearly there is no right or wrong way to recruit employees and the business need should always be the deciding factor when making any hiring decisions. There is a least a question to ask before you begin the search – could we hire for attitude and train for skills?

You can view all our current Insurance vacancies here