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Message to Millennials: Insurance Is a Fun Career!

Insurers are getting very creative in their efforts to attract and retain young talent. Some are pursuing unconventional strategies. Insurers have put in climbing walls, offered free beer and massages, and published at least one graphic novel to entice and retain new hires...
June 28, 2017

Millennials

Insurers are getting very creative in their efforts to attract and retain young talent. Some are pursuing unconventional strategies.  Insurers have put in climbing walls, offered free beer and massages, and published at least one graphic novel to entice and retain new hires. At school-recruiting events last autumn, Acuity served mounds of freshly cooked bacon, whose aroma drifted around the grounds.

Some insurers are taking a page from Silicon Valley’s hip offices. Allstate Corp. has a “happiness guru” in a building where it locates many data scientists. Acuity has in recent years installed ping-pong tables, a working 65-foot Ferris wheel, a 45-foot climbing wall and a 27,000-square-foot fitness center. It has twice-monthly happy hours. Years ago, it dropped its clean-desk policy banning plants, family photographs and food, Acuity Chief Executive Ben Salzmann commented in a Wall Street Journal article. MassMutual opened a location it calls Haven Life in New York City where it wants “spaces that feel start-uppy” and “whimsical,” says Gareth Ross, who has responsibility for data analytics at the 166-year-old insurer.

The insurance industry employs about 2.6 million but calculates it must hire 500,000 newcomers over the next several years as a wave of retirements hits, says Robert Hartwig, an insurance professor at University of South Carolina’s business school. That can be a tough sell. Americans under 30 generally aren’t enthusiastic about the industry, according to Insurance Careers Movement, an industry group that seeks to inspire young people to pursue insurance careers.

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