The Recipe to Attract and Retain Young Talent

  • 4 organizations.
  • 17.5 hours of collaboration.
  • 55 perspectives surveyed.
  • 1 shared challenge.

Last week, we combined these ingredients to cook up a solution to attract and retain young talent. This was a challenge that many Senior Managers shared with us and are currently facing. As one Manager put it, “We are not doing enough to bring young talent into the industry.”

Our team set off to learn more using the Design Thinking methodology. This allowed the insurers to see the problem through the unique perspectives of the students and Managers it involved. To facilitate this, we surveyed over 55 Senior Managers and students from Canada and Germany to voice their opinions in a brief questionnaire.

“We expect that a certain percentage of young hires will turnover within a year or two,” another manager told us.

“I think Insurance is a lot of paperwork, accounting, and a lot of repeated work,” a young respondent wrote.

Clearly there were several obstacles at play — but where would our team of innovators begin?

The team decided to indulge the young talent perspective first. They explored the thoughts and emotions of young people when it came to job search methods, desired benefits, and office culture expectations. The highlights were then compared to responses from Senior Managers.

Along the way, our team uncovered a major gap. They mapped out benefits that students desired, then matched these answers to the benefits that Managers thought students wanted on their job offers. To everyone’s surprise, there was very little overlap, as shown below.

Armed with these surprising insights, our team ideated 55 ways to #BridgeTheGap in 5 minutes. Together, they voted on a single idea to develop and test during their time in our virtual Sprint. Our Senior UX/UI Designer, Adys Franco, worked with the team to whip up a prototype of their solution, which the team then tested. They first tested with two focus groups of university students, and the second was done with current HR experts with insurance backgrounds.

The solution is based on a program designed to attract and retain young talent by engaging the young hires from day one and inviting them to work with other departments in the organization. “New graduates will find the work environment less intimidating with the additional guidance and will now have the support they need,” a leader said during the testing session. “This will be very helpful to them!”

The team seasoned their solution using the feedback collected, and soon, it was time to virtually present their masterpiece in front of the Cookhouse Labs community. The response was warm and positive, and the presentation even invited a discussion around the gap in perceptions.

“We’re moving the curve in the right direction,” said a member of our audience. “If people begin to understand the business, they might begin to understand the possibilities within the industry for them.” A job well done and time well spent!

As we wrapped up the presentation, we asked our participants to reflect on their experience in our test kitchen.

“I liked the Sprint experience so much that I came back a second time,” a returning participant shared with the audience at the end. “I appreciate being able to explore the problem and I hope this issue is tackled down the road, because it is a real problem for the industry.”

“It’s amazing to think about where we began and how much we accomplished in such little time!” another participant said.

We’d like to thank the participants, survey respondents, and audience members for the time and insights they shared with us during the project. Our recipe proved to be a fan-favorite, and we’re excited to see what our next team cooks up!

Want to join the next batch of innovators? Sign up for our next virtual Sprint.