Connecting with Young Talent in an Increasingly Virtual World

The topic of attracting and retaining young talent to the insurance industry has been around for years — in fact, we even ran a project on it last year. In the past, many insurers would turn to campus events (such as career fairs) to find the leaders of tomorrow. However, this search has become more difficult in a virtual world, full of technological distractions and disconnect. In the case of insurance, an industry that is seen as old-fashioned and traditional, the challenge of engaging young talent has only increased tenfold.  

In a virtual world where human beings have been reduced to images on a screen, how can one truly connect with the right person for the job? 

At Cookhouse Labs, we’re all about human-centered design and connection. That’s why this week we’re excited to offer our top 3 tips to help you find young talent in a virtual world! 

Tip #1: Check Out the Chat Section 

You read that correct — we recommend attending external industry events to find engaged young professionals. For example, a frequently overlooked area is the chat section of webinars, where young attendees often ask thoughtful questions. By reaching out to these attendees on LinkedIn for a virtual coffee chat, you can informally screen them and determine if they would be a great fit for your organization.  

We spoke to several recruiters and found that all of them preferred passionate candidates, even if slightly underqualified. One of the best ways to assess this passion is through interaction, so we encourage you to put aside your stack of resumes and join a virtual industry event or two! 

Tip #2: Discover Passion in the Pitch 

The most passionate young professionals always find a way to stay involved with the global industry, even if they’re on another continent, through online projects and competitions. A virtual world offers the opportunity to discover a future leader in a whole different country, sans travel expenses. This type of candidate can bring a fresh perspective and resources into your project team, which may currently consist entirely of local members.  

If you’re wondering how to begin connecting with global young talent, you’re in luck! This Friday, we’re hosting our Young Talent 20/21 Final Pitch Event in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences in Wurzburg-Schweinfurt, Germany. Our team of students has been working on a new way for Cookhouse Labs to innovate in a hybrid model with participants both in the physical lab space and joining us virtually. The team will be revealing their solution at the pitch event — click here to meet them and see their results! 

Tip #3: Join Them in the Sandbox 

How can you assess if a candidate will be a perfect fit for an upcoming project? 

Easy — give it a try! 

Many virtual events simulate the experience of working together on a project by connecting students to organizations and tasking them with solving a challenge. For example, at our upcoming SummerHack 2021, you will have access to our pool of passionate students and can invite candidates of interest to join your insurance team for the 2-day competition. By working together in this guided ideathon to tackle a real industry challenge, you will have the opportunity to see how your chosen candidates fit within your project team and assess their personalities and work styles.  

To start forming your team and meeting young talent, click here

So, there you have it — our top 3 tips to bridge the virtual gap and connect with global young talent. By making the extra effort to scout these young professionals, you’re likely to find the most passionate, thoughtful, and engaged candidates for your next project! 

To stay up to date with our upcoming young talent opportunities, check out our 2021 Events Calendar or join our mailing list! 

Cookhouse Labs and ELITE bring the magic of innovation to China!

Cookhouse Labs and ELITE bring the magic of innovation to China!

Cookhouse Labs is your space to be your most creative and innovative self, and we aim to recreate this space in cities around the globe. This is also why we added the letter ‘s’ to our name. On December 14, we packed our suitcases with the Cookhouse Labs methodology and lots of innovation and jumped on a flight to China!

In collaboration with the ELITE community team, Cookhouse Labs and Impactathon facilitated and conducted a two-day innovation sprint. Impactathon is an innovation community that is inspired by and in collaboration with Cookhouse labs. The sprint was in a hackathon format, with the design thinking and lean startup process adopted by two project teams. These teams were tackling 3 main problem topics facing the industry.


We prepared for the event by creating a WeChat group chat with about 25 participants. Within the chat, we posted recent news articles about community sharing and social entrepreneurship published in the China Daily newspaper. This was a great way to build conversation around the topics a week before the event, and get participants involved and thinking about the sprint!

During the two-day sprint, we split the group into two active problem solver teams. To stay true to our commitment to make insurance better, we ensured that the sprint was collaborative, filled with fun and of course, innovation.
We engaged all members through our WeChat app by posting videos that the teams created from their ideation and prototyping. This was a helpful tool as it was a platform for participants to communicate, collaborate and co-create. Again, following our very core methodology at Cookhouse Labs.

In just 24 hours the participants created Team Orange Host, which is an A-to-Z service for property owners who want to be host for short term rental accommodation. They also created Team Sino-Easy, another multi-sided platform for connecting local Chinese university students with foreign travelers to China for culture exchange experiences.

The results were fascinating!
At the end of the two-day sprint, we had:
– 6 videos
– 2 business model canvasses for global community sharing ideas
– 16 registrants who joined in the market validation
– 4 solvers also won the 4,000 RMB winner prize money!
– 1 solver got to take home the big cheque as a memento!

Stay with us in 2020, as we journey around the world to collaborate and facilitate innovation in the industry!

Come visit us and explore your new home at Cookhouse Labs, visit: www.cookhouselabs.com