The Changing Landscape of the Australian Insurance Talent market

The Changing Landscape of the Australian Insurance Talent market

Significant changes have occurred in the Life Insurance industry over the last few years with banks and wealth managers selling their life insurance interests, while several niche players have entered the market with differentiated offerings. The result of this activity has meant fewer major players and a significant increase in new business and market share appetite, particularly within the Group and Retail channels.

To add to this, the Royal Commission into the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry have had a significant impact on distribution, product and operations, and the numerous recommendations specific to the insurance industry are likely to continue to play out over the foreseeable future.

These new ‘woes’ are only adding to the existing challenges that the industry has been working to address for some time, in particular, claims.

What is the flow effect for Insurance talent trends?

According to the Deloitte Insurance Industry Outlook 2019 most insurers are coping with drastic changes in the economy and workforce, calling for more creative and proactive approaches to recruitment, retention, and the very notion of the workplace.

To start, most insurers are addressing structure to improve customer engagement and / or reduce operating costs, which naturally has an impact on role types followed by the need to clearly establish what new skill sets are required to maximise the value of each employee in the workplace.

A broad summary of the effects on the Insurance talent market currently….

  • Fewer players in the Life Insurer market equates to fewer overall opportunities in areas that formerly had much higher demand.
  • Insurers are focussed on reducing operating costs in order to maintain a level of profitability. This has meant a range of redundancies across various role types (particularly within those Insurers that have acquired or are restructuring).
  • Huge competition for new business and market share within the Retail and Group (particularly Industry Funds) sectors has driven new opportunities as the ‘challenger brands’ in these sectors build talent and capability.
  • Opportunities are being created within new market entrants, such as Neos and IntegrityLife, as they build their operating structures.

The underlying message is that while the industry may have to cope with a plethora of internal and external pressures, their impact remains very much in each insurer’s own hands as they balance growth and profitability. At the end of the day, periods of intense change create opportunities for talent who can best position the organisation for the next phase of the Industry’s life cycle.

Some role types will naturally wind down while others will remain in high demand and subsequently, new roles will also be created to position the organisation for the future.