talent acquisition

Finance and Insurance Recruiting: COVID-19 Trends and Tips For Success

Finance and Insurance Recruiting: COVID-19 Trends and Tips For Success

As the labor market begins to rebound from COVID-19 impacts, talent acquisition teams within the finance and insurance sector are recognizing they must act quickly in order to ensure their organizations attract and retain the A-players needed to steer the business to a full recovery. GR8 People’s recent assessment of current data points uncovers talent trends within the sector that are helpful in shaping an effective TA strategy. More specifically, here’s what finance and insurance recruiters need to know—and do—to achieve success in today’s environment.

Trend #1: Considerable competition for talent remains prevalent.

The unemployment rate within the finance and insurance sector may have doubled between March and April, yet it remains extremely low. As noted in the most recent Industries at a Glance report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the sector’s March 2020 unemployment rate of 1.9% jumped to 3.8% in April. It then declined to 3.3% in May. Looking specifically at insurance employers, a similar pattern emerges. Insurance carriers and related businesses saw their March 1% unemployment rate rise to 3.9% in April before falling to 3.6% in May. (By comparison, the May unemployment rate for the accommodation and food services sector stood at 33.9%.)

GR8 Tip: Implement a candidate nurturing and engagement program. Given that most finance and insurance workers are still employed, it’s likely you’ll connect with great candidates who are interested in learning more but, ultimately, decide not to apply quite yet. Recruiters who put in place mechanisms to stay in touch with top prospects and nurture these relationships will gain a competitive edge. Robust and intuitive candidate relationship management software—ideally built natively within your talent platform—is essential to your ability to make the most of every connection and engage talent by automating the process of sharing relevant messaging and updates on a consistent basis.

Trend #2: The case for joining your organization must be clear and compelling.

Compounding the sector’s relatively low unemployment rates, the pandemic and its resulting economic uncertainty have created an atmosphere in which those who are employed are far less likely to make a change. As BLS data reveals, quit rates already decreased by 1.4% in April, with further declines anticipated as many workers choose to sit tight until the labor market exhibits consistent signs of improvement. Plus, a recent analysis of finance and insurance recruiting activity by programmatic job advertising software provider Appcast finds that apply rates are down since COVID-19—a pattern that holds true across a range of professionals, from accountants and auditors to loan officers and insurance brokers.

GR8 Tip: Leverage your career website to share meaningful and relevant messaging. Transparent messaging that reflects candidate concerns is a must in our new world. Review your career website content and make sure it addresses important topics, everything from what you’re doing to protect workers—particularly those on the front lines like retail banking representatives—to how you’re assisting employees who need to work from home for the foreseeable future. Promote your organization’s business strategy, too, as signs of stability and strong management will appeal to those who are apprehensive about making a job change.

Trend #3: Even in a down economy, Gen Z still has its sights set on tech employers.

The financial services brain drain—a result of the tech industry luring more and more top graduates away from financial services—sped up considerably following the Great Recession. The New York Times reports that in 2006, 31% of graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology accepted jobs on Wall Street. By 2015, that figure had dwindled to 10%. Conversely, software firms hired 28% of M.I.T. grads in 2015, up from only 10% in 2006. More recently, Glassdoor released its assessment of new grad-related job openings and applications during COVID-19, which shows that 2020 Gen Z grads also favor tech employers. Among the top 10 employers Gen Z wants to work for, The Goldman Sachs Group was the only financial services company to make the list, which is dominated by well-known tech giants.

GR8 Tip: Go virtual to engage students and new grads. Many employers are taking advantage of the versatility of virtual recruiting events to establish and maintain employer brand awareness among key target audience segments. Finance and insurance companies can use an information session format or seminar-styled virtual events to introduce high-potential Gen Z talent to who they are and why employees love working at the company, as well as current or future opportunities.

Unlike other workforce sectors, finance and insurance is likely to experience ongoing talent attraction difficulties due to the exceptionally low unemployment rates experienced prior to the crisis alongside growing hesitation among candidates when it comes to making a job change. However, teams that take proactive steps to optimize their recruiting strategies in response to emerging talent acquisition trends will be far better positioned to lead their organizations forward by ensuring they have the talent needed for a strong business rebound.

Want more #GR8Thinking on how to gain a competitive edge in a changing—and challenging—recruiting environment? Download our brief, COVID-19 Update: Talent Trends in the Finance and Insurance Sector.

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