A salesman sits across an elderly couple in a barely lit office. Just outside the office, other middle-aged salespeople push papers and sip stale coffee in grey cubicles. The salesman hardly blinks as he inks a rubber stamp, then presses the word “Denied” in red onto the cover of the couple’s cardboard file folder.
This isn’t an image of the insurance industry 60 years ago; it’s how the industry is seen today.
While this picture may not be accurate, it is the default assumption of younger generations. The insurance industry is seen as a dull one, where the day is spent sifting through papers and denying claims on repeat. A job in insurance is expected to be boring, unrewarding, and likely the end of one’s ambition.
Thanks to technological innovations, the industry is undergoing many changes. But the industry’s image has stayed the same over decades. The picture of cardboard folders and rubber stamps prevails, meaning the talent pool of Millennial insurers is a small and rapidly shrinking one.
Millennials clearly don’t want jobs in insurance, but how can that perception be changed?
Let’s start with that word – ‘Jobs’. While other industries are seen as exciting and innovative, insurance lags behind as the slow second, kept alive for sentimental reasons by older generations. Millennials don’t want jobs; they want meaningful, rewarding careers that allow them to have an impact on the world, and other industries offer them the opportunity to lead change.
Mindlessly pushing paper just doesn’t fit the bill.
Earlier, we asked how we can change Millennial perceptions of the industry. What we should really be asking is: why haven’t we asked the Millennials this question yet?
Insurers know that a career in insurance can be rewarding. After all, insurance is about protecting individuals and families from catastrophic losses. The entire industry is dedicated to having a positive impact on the community. But the industry needs Millennials to help bring it out of its barely lit office and into the exciting digital future that lies ahead.
In other words, the insurance industry needs to ask Millennials, “How can we do better?”
Think about it this way. In recent years, the industry has had an influx of cool technology, creating job openings in areas that didn’t exist before. Many products are looking to transition to online platforms in order to improve the user experience. There is a huge demand for experts with a better understanding of digital processes to lead the transition.
Well, who do we know that grew up with the Internet?
The answer to improving the Millennial perception of the insurance industry is collaboration. By offering Millennials a seat at the table, the industry will open up a dialogue on how to improve insurance and in turn, show Millennials that they have an impact. It’s a win-win situation; the industry creates a Millennial-friendly environment with innovative product offerings, and Millennials contribute their unique perspective.
So, don’t offer Millennials stale coffee and a ‘job’ in insurance. Create the opportunity to make a difference, and suddenly the industry has something of interest to offer the Net Generation.