ILC ARTICLE

A Wiser approach to recruitment


Businesses have been urged to consider emerging and future skills rather than focusing on those that are already needed when planning their training and development strategies.

Crescens George, CEO, Wiser Academy, said that technology and insurance is evolving so rapidly that only by thinking ahead in terms of talent and training can businesses stay in front of the curve.

Speaking at the inaugural ILC New Generation in Claims 2023 event which took place at etc.venues Manchester, headline sponsored Wiser Group along with fellow sponsors Carpenters Group, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and Zurich, he said, “When we talk about training and development, we usually talk about skills that have arrived, such as customer services and complaints handling. But we don’t often focus on skills that are in progress, that are not yet mainstream but happening, and we completely avoid skills that are in anticipation.”

He pointed to prompt writing, which means understanding the structure of AI well enough to get the relevant answers to questions, as a case in point.

“We’ll all need this skill in 12-18 months,” Crescens said.

Attitude

However, yesterday’s digitalisation and today’s prompt writing will be something else again tomorrow, and Crescens suggested that more important than the technical skills is the attitude and willingness to keep learning.

He said, “The sorts of people who will thrive will be those who have embraced life-long learning and who have developed skills around critical thinking, problem solving, attention management, and emotional intelligence.

“These are the neutral skills that we need to develop to stay afloat and be ahead of the curve. Technical skills will continue to evolve, but the confidence and courage to embrace that comes from these neutral skills.”

Numbers

For many though, it is hard enough to recruit anyone let alone the right one. The elite among graduates and school-leavers tend to gravitate towards more aspirational industries than insurance, meaning the sector has an uphill struggle to bring in fresh talent.

Wiser Academy is aiming to tackle this with a social campaign called ‘Rise Up’. As part of the campaign, it intends to reach out to 10,000 school and college leavers by the end of October and promote insurance as a meaningful career option.

Those interested will be invited to attend a two-day insurance bootcamp which will give them a better understanding of the sector and the jobs within it, while also helping them prepare for interviews and then placing candidates in front of employers.

The final part of ‘Rise Up’ focuses on employers themselves.

Crescens explained, “There is a generational gap between insurance professionals and those entering the industry. Most 18-year-olds have different value systems and they will need to taught even the most fundamental aspects of working in an office, such as turning up on time. Employers need to be warned and prepared for that to give themselves and the new starter the best chance of being successful.”

The support from Wiser Academy does not stop there. It also offers a free kickstart training programme to employees, a two-day introduction to help those new to the industry gain an overview and understand the jargon before they continue their learning with work mentors.

Crescens concluded, “As an industry we need to constantly reach out to people; 500,000 people have expressed an interest in apprenticeships so it’s just that one door we have to open and we can find the next generation of talent.”

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ILC Breakfast News – Wednesday, 10 July 2024

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