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3 ways social media can help the industry's talent gap

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San Francisco – It’s no secret that the insurance industry is facing an enormous talent gap in the coming years. As more boomers retire every day, the industry will need to fill 70,000 positions per year, yet only 14,000 students each year are currently pursuing risk and insurance degrees.

But as Jessica Gaudio of MyPath told attendees Thursday at the 2015 Social Media Conference for Financial Services, social media provides a powerful way to attract young workers.


Here’s the bad news:

    • Only 12 percent of millennials surveyed said they think of the insurance industry as innovative.

    • Just 5 percent thought of insurance as exciting.

    • One-third of those surveyed described insurance as “boring.”

Other industries, such as banking and tech, will be competing with the insurance industry for younger talent, Gaudio said, and unless changes are made, the insurance industry will be unable to fill the coming shortage. Social media provides a great opportunity to let millennials know what the industry has to offer, and to address the misconceptions and limited understanding.


Millennials are sick of hearing vague platitudes like “follow your passion,” according to Gaudio. They want more specific career advice and are looking for opportunities. And the best way to reach them is through social media. But how?

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1. Know your target audience

To best reach and recruit the next generation, you need to understand who they are and what motivates them. Here are some key stats:

    • 70 million – the total number of millennials.

    • $60,000 – their average household income.

    • 26 percent – the number of millennials who are married.

Other important info about millennials:

    • Many put off larger purchases such as homes until later in life.

    • Considered the most educated generation in history.

    • Crave adventure and excitement.

    • Strive for a healthy lifestyle.

    • Driven by peer feedback.

    • Value social causes, helping others.

    • Key words they use to describe their priorities: happiness, passion, diversity, sharing, discovery.

Millennials and technology

Millennials have grown up with technology and they take it for granted. Therefore, they are far more likely to make it fit their lifestyle. According to Gaudio, millennials:

    • Are tech-savvy

    • Use multiple devices

    • Rely on the Internet for information

    • Own smartphones (19 of 20)

    • Check their phones an average of 43 times a day

    • Spend 14.5 hours per week talking, texting and interacting on social media

    • Are used to adapting to technology that’s most convenient

    • Check social media at least once a day – that’s more than they watch TV.

    • Use social media to find information

Advice: Build up your own millennial knowledge and keep up-to-date on their latest trends. In addition, keep up with the latest social media platforms and changes. Use that data and insight to effectively reach out and recruit to the younger audience.

See also: Why your social media campaign is ‘anti-social’


2. Meet millennials where they are

Millennials aren’t just using social media to post pictures and chat with their friends; they’re using it to find jobs.

  • 30 percent of 18 to 29 year olds are social job seekers.

  • 76 percent found their current position through social media.

  • 76 percent want information they can understand.

  • 59 percent want amazing visuals/graphics.

  • 58 percent want an engaged community.

See also: Why millennials aren’t happy at work  


3. Take social media to the next level

To engage with millennials, it’s important to create a social media and web presence that encourages engagement. Job postings should contain specific details about organizational benefits, key values, and the company’s culture. For example:

    • Use videos to share interview advice and other general knowledge.

    • Be consistent and timely with social media activity — always respond to comments and questions within 48 hours.

    • Be proactive and ask questions of your followers.

Retaining millennials

And once you’ve attracted millennials, it’s just as important that you keep them around. Thirty percent of companies say they’ve lost 15 percent or more of their millennial employees within the preceding year, Gaudio said.

The solution: 50 percent of millennials said they will stay with a company that they can trust and that show personal interest in them.

“The insurance industry offers everything millennials are looking for,” Gaudio concluded. “They just don’t know it yet.”

It’s up to you to change that.

See also:

Social hackathong at the LIMRA Social Conference

Stats on 4 social media platforms advisors are adopting

Crashing the boys’ club: How female millennials can break into the advisory industry