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Recruiting beyond the risk adverse: modernising graduates’ perception of insurance

10 November 2014

Insurance is an unpopular career among business students, with the industry ranking 18th out of 30 sectors, according to new research from Deloitte, the business advisory firm.

Across all countries, insurance’s popularity is low, although there are variations. Insurers account for just 0.2% of employers shortlisted by business students in the UK as one of their five “ideal employers”, a surprising figure in light of London’s insurance market. Insurance was more popular in Poland and Switzerland, where the sector made up 3% of business students’ ideal employer rankings.

In the survey, more women are studying business, with the gender divide of women to men standing at 58 to 42. But, in insurance, the ratio is lower (51:49), which suggests women could be put off by the industry.

Although the insurance industry is looking to do more with innovative technology platforms, such as telematics, it is not attracting the right kind of students to develop these aims. Compared to all business students, those interested in insurance are not as attracted to ‘innovation’ from companies (31% versus 27%), or ‘attractive and exciting products and services’ (32% versus 26%).

James O’Riordan, head of insurance at Deloitte, said: “There are some uncomfortable truths here for the insurance industry. While it has made good progress with attracting more women to the industry, the analysis suggests it hasn’t been enough and insurers aren’t appealing to graduates with the right mind-set to safeguard its future success.

“Tackling this head on will be important, and insurers need to consider how they can turn the negative misperceptions around. This might include promoting the success of women at the top of industry, or profiling females doing interesting and varied jobs. Technological innovation will be critically important for insurers, so as part of the competition for talent, insurers must secure the technologically-savvy and innovative people that other sectors are chasing, too. Knowing what motivates these students should be central to future recruitment campaigns.”

Deloitte’s research shows that professional training and development was the top aspiration for insurance students, with more than half wanting it from an employer. Insurance students also aspire to have leaders who support their development and financial strength from the organisation they work with.

Margaret Doyle, head of financial services insight, added: “Insurers must work together with industry bodies and universities to promote insurance as a career and the vital role the industry plays in society and the economy. Insurers have typically had low campus profiles at university recruitment fairs, so building on this will be key. Also important will be showing the range and stability of roles available in insurance and how careers can meet the aspirations of students today. In a competitive market, insurers need to rethink their approach if they are to attract the right talent.”

End

Notes to editors

About the survey
The Deloitte Talent in Insurance Survey 2014 explores the intentions, aspirations and associations in relation to insurance careers, based on a global survey of 174,000 business students from 2,000 universities and institutes of higher education in 31 markets. This included 6,000 insurance-inclined students (students who put at least one insurer in their lists of the five employers they most want to work for). The research is based on a survey conducted by Universum, which polled 700,000 students and professionals from around 2,000 universities and institutions of higher education in 36 markets in 2013-14.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Gillian Bishop
Deloitte LLP
+44 (0) 20 7303 0776
+44 (0) 75 4124 3999
gibishop@deloitte.co.uk
 

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