Looking Ahead: Emerging Workforce Trends In The Insurance Industry


It’s important to understand both the current and forecasted conditions of your chosen industry’s workforce when it comes time to plan a career. Understanding which jobs in your field will be in demand and how much opportunity there is for career growth is vital to identifying the career path that matches your skills and interests.

According to recent research from the Insurance Institute, the employment landscape for Canadian youth looks promising in insurance!

Comparing existing data to a similar study the Institute conducted in 2007, the report focuses on the current demographics of the insurance industry and offers a forecast of the changes, challenges and opportunities to come.

Drawing on input from senior HR professionals, more than 4,000 insurance employees and 80,000 records from across Canada, the report has a lot to offer if you’re looking to understand the current reality of the insurance industry and what may be in store ahead.

Here are some of the key conclusions of the report, as well as why they matter to a student or grad considering a career in insurance.

Insurance is getting younger – fast

While the Insurance Institute’s 2007 study found that just 12% of insurance professionals came from the “Echo” cohort (ages 12 – 27), the follow-up based on 2012 data indicated a big shift.

How big? More than double!

As the Echo cohort enters the workforce in larger numbers (now aged between 17 and 32), they have swelled their presence in insurance to 27%.

The shift is in part due to some older workers retiring, but also due to significant industry growth over the past five years. With more youth being recruited into the sector, insurance is trending younger and its workforce demographics are more aligned with Canada’s labour force than in 2007 – not to mention that, it’s a great field for a recent grad to start working!

Insurance is growing

Despite recent economic turbulence, the insurance industry has demonstrated reliable growth, with recruitment becoming an increasing priority for HR departments.

A sample of twenty insurance companies that participated in the Institute’s study in both 2007 and 2012 increased their number of employees by 40% over the course of 5 years and a larger number of companies reported hiring over 100 employees in 2012 than in 2007 – up to 57% from 42%.

This growth is one of the drivers in creating a demand for positions like Brokers, Actuaries and Commercial Underwriters; great areas of the industry for recent grads to consider!

Insurance is hiring

A growing industry with a shifting demographic isn’t just good news if you’re already in the workforce. It also heralds good news for the long-term as well, so students should pay attention.

More than 40% of HR departments surveyed by the Insurance Institute are planning to hire 100+ employees in the coming 2 years, while 18% said they plan on hiring 50-100 employees.
Nearly a third of these job opportunities are brand-new –remember, insurance is growing.

Keep in mind that insurance operates on both a national and, in some cases, global scale. While the industry may not be particularly active in hiring for one region, it may be looking to hire in a big way in another area. Be flexible – an open mind can lead you to a great opportunity/!

Planning your career already? That’s great! Over 80% of the employees hired in the coming 2 years are projected to be for full-time permanent roles, with just 19% of new hires expected to account for part-time and temporary work.

Insurance is offering a lot, with more to come

Besides opportunity and stability, the insurance industry will also be placing a heavy emphasis on retention and career growth in the coming years.

While recruitment levels are meeting the need for new employees, these measures only address current demographic trends. As the workforce gets older, as much as 28% of industry professionals and 43% of management could retire in the next ten years.

That means your insurance career will be growing and developing while many employees are ending theirs, so you’ll have a lot of opportunity for mobility, above average potential for advancement and a chance for a rewarding career path that can take you exactly where you want to go!

With this information, you’re one step closer to hatching your insurance career!

Want to find your place in insurance? Get started with TalentEgg’s Insurance Career Guide, sponsored by Career Connections!

About the author

Elias Da Silva-Powell is a Content, Marketing and Community Specialist at TalentEgg, as well as a two-time graduate of Queen's University. An avid bow-titan, he has been trying to bring whimsical neck wear back into the mainstream since 2008. He's around on Twitter: @EDSPowell and you can check out his profile on LinkedIn, and even G+.