LIMRA focus groups and studies have found that Generation X and Y job seekers aren’t interested in financial services careers — even though the industry offers jobs that match their most valued priorities.

LIMRA found that young job seekers say they are interested in working in a stable industry with lots of growth potential and opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. However, when asked if they were interested in a financial services sales position, many said no.

The problem seems to lie with the industry’s recruiting methods. A LIMRA study of 272 recruiters from across the financial services industry showed that many companies have held on to traditional recruiting and compensation structures that, while popular with Baby Boomers, have not attracted younger job seekers.

Industry recruiters are still trying to lure potential candidates with promises of an affluent lifestyle, even though younger workers have said they value stability and security more than money. Many companies have also been slow to adopt new technologies, such as social networking, into their business practices. And despite the fact that Gen X and Y workers have said they like to be a part of a team and make a difference, recruiters are still emphasizing the individual aspects of sales and the ability to be your own boss.

“Gen X and Y job seekers have some real misperceptions about the financial services industry and the image of a sales person within the industry,” said Polly Painter Eggers, an analyst with LIMRA Distribution Research. “Strikingly, the core values that these job seekers profess are the same attributes of the financial services industry. While some of the divide can be overcome by better communication, there are opportunities for companies to adapt their recruiting strategy to attract more candidates.”

On the plus side, LIMRA found that 85% of financial representatives are extremely satisfied with their choice of profession, and 66% would highly recommend their profession to young job seekers.

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