As industries evolve, their workforce must too. This often means learning new tools and processes that eventually become required skills. Think Google Analytics for marketers or Xero software for accountants.
The P&C industry is undergoing a transformation too, with digitization touching all parts of the business — claims processing, administration, agent management, and customer service. This calls for new digital skills in their salespeople, agents, customer service reps, and underwriters.
But the average P&C insurer still considers basic skills such as Office and Excel as most important in their workforce.
If P&C insurers wish to reap the benefits of digitization — reduced costs, better customer experience, and scalability — they need a digitally proficient workforce, one that is comfortable navigating complex software and understands the value it brings.
Key Areas where P&C Insurers Need Digitally Proficient Talent
Digitally proficient talent in the following areas can help P&C insurers reshape their business.
Management of Core Platforms
Core P&C platforms help insurers digitize processes such as policy administration, billing, claims management, reporting, and analytics. These platforms are often complex and require months of training to master.
To ensure their core processes run smoothly, P&C insurers need digitally fluent workers who know how to navigate complex software in all departments.
New risks such as the pandemic and cybercrime, new distribution models, and changing customer expectations present lucrative opportunities for insurers to develop new products. Digitally proficient talent can help insurers quickly build prototypes for these products using low code platforms.
However, even low-code platforms require users to have a basic familiarity with coding languages and the ability to follow highly technical instructions.
Data analytics helps insurers make sense of data such as customers’ driving habits, lifestyle and health goals, and online behavior. While smart devices and platforms help insurers collect behavioral and transactional data, they don’t have enough data scientists to parse through the data, identify insights, and use them to inform decisions.
P&C insurers need digitally proficient analysts to decode the risk profile of a customer based on their driving habits or identify false claims based on a customer’s online interactions and past transactions.
Insurance customers need smooth, hassle-free experiences. Digitally fluent employees are key to helping achieve this.
They troubleshoot glitches with digital platforms and transactions and help customers enjoy a truly seamless experience. Usually, this involves working with bulky customer support tools and mastering varied workflows.
3 Ways for P&C Insurers to Attract Digitally Proficient Talent
To close the digital skills gap, P&C insurers need to invest in three areas: hiring new digital talent, upskilling their current workforce, and creating a digital-friendly environment to help talent thrive.
Revamp your Hiring Strategy
P&C insurers are grappling with a dual challenge: an aging workforce and a lack of interest from digitally proficient workers, that is, millennials. This means insurers not only need to hire new talent quickly but also need to make their job offerings appealing for digital-savvy job seekers.
To ramp up their hiring efforts and ensure that they attract enough digitally fluent workers, insurers need to do the following:
- Use new channels and tools for hiring: The first step to attracting digital talent is to look for it in places where they’re most likely to be. Think digital job boards, Slack groups, LinkedIn, niche job boards, Instagram, and YouTube. You might even go a step further and use tools such as a video game or a chatbot in your hiring process to present a more digitally forward picture to prospective employees.
- Repackage job posts: One survey reveals that job seekers care about doing work they’re passionate about more than they care about a high salary. Thus, it’s important for insurers to reframe their job posts to highlight the true impact of a potential employee’s work. For example, along with a list of skills required, you might add the end goal of a job, such as helping customers in times of uncertainty, delivering great experiences, and improving operational efficiency.
- Hire from other industries for digital talent: Lack of digital talent within the P&C insurance industry is often cited as a hurdle to digitization. But this doesn’t mean insurers can’t look to other industries to hire digital whizzes. Industries such as gaming, retail, and travel can be equally fertile hiring grounds, as long as insurers are willing to educate new hires about the nuances of the P&C insurance industry.
As the competition for hiring digital talent heats up across industries, P&C insurers who attract enough digitally literate employees as quickly as possible will enjoy a competitive advantage.
Improve Training for P&C Core Platforms
P&C insurers must train their workforce to use new tools and platforms so they can digitize core parts of their business while retaining the expertise of senior employees and managers.
Managing training for multiple platforms — agent management, policy and claims processing, and customer service — can be challenging. The best way for insurers to improve training for new and existing core P&C platforms is to use a digital adoption platform or DAP.
A digital adoption platform provides real-time guidance to employees while they use an app, through pop-ups, walk-throughs, and self-help widgets. All content is contextual, meaning it appears according to where employees are in their learning journey. For instance, employees using the claims platform for the first time may see a step-by-step walk-through of how to create a new claim in the platform.
Training tools, such as digital adoption platforms, help insurers increase digital literacy in their organization in a cost-efficient and scalable way.
Promote a Digital-First Culture
A digital-first culture emphasizes the benefits of digital processes, such as greater productivity, and constantly seeks improvement. It’s essential to not just attract digital talent but also help them thrive.
P&C insurance leaders who wish to cultivate a digitally forward culture need to be “single-minded and aggressive” about it. Andrew Brem, the former chief digital officer of Aviva, shares how the company’s CEO does this, “(He) is chirping in my ear the whole time. He is very active. He bases himself in our garage frequently. He drops into meetings. He just starts talking to people.” Supporting digital initiatives and contributing ideas is critical to fostering a digital culture.
Another way for CEOs to promote digital processes is to communicate the value they bring — cost savings, improvements to workflow, better customer experiences. This encourages everyone in an organization to become a digital-first advocate.
Ultimately, encouraging a digital-first culture positions your organization as the best place for digital talent to grow their skills.
Disruptive P&C Insurers Put Digital Proficiency First
P&C insurers have many tools at their disposal to optimize underwriting, manage claims, and improve customer experiences. But without employees who are experts in maneuvering these tools, they may not derive much value out of them.
Digitally advanced carriers recognize this and employ 15 times more digital professionals than their less advanced counterparts. Leading P&C insurers such as Generali and AXA list knowledge of software, such as client management systems and Tagetik software applications, as required skills for business-oriented roles such as support specialist and cost controller, respectively.
The sooner P&C insurers recognize digital proficiency as a must-have skill in their workforce, the earlier they’ll reap the benefits of digitization.