In 2020, millennials became the largest generation, outnumbering baby boomers, and they’ve been the largest generation in the U.S. workforce since 2016. Ages 25 to 40, millennials are no longer just entering the workforce — most are established in their careers.
The surety industry relies on millennials to take the baton from an aging workforce that will soon retire. If you are in a leadership position at a surety company, what should you do to prepare for this demographic shift?
Our Surety Solutions Expert has some ideas on how millennials can move forward with careers in Surety and how established leaders in Surety can attract and lead younger generations.
He mentions that many younger people generally see surety and the insurance industry as very administrative, but there’s “so much more to the complexities of the product.” As a relationship-driven industry, it has satisfying challenges and worthwhile rewards. Since millennials (and the younger generation after them, Gen Z) tend to seek out careers that are stimulating and collaborative, emphasizing these aspects of a career in surety can help attract younger generations.
For those in leadership that will need to manage both an aging workforce leaving the industry (62% of surety bond agents are over 40 years of age) and a younger generation entering, there are several critical generational themes to be aware of. Millennials have seen exponential growth in new technologies and are comfortable navigating our increasingly digital world. They’re also more likely to job hop, switching companies to climb the corporate ladder. Millennials were the most diverse generation in U.S. history — until Gen Z — and want to see this reflected in their places of work.
While surety can be a traditional industry, now is a good time to promote new technology and generate interest to attract and retain younger workers. Our surety solution expert says that those nearing retirement age may want to consider taking an interest in technology and “have an open mind — make sure they are prepared for each generation, not just the millennial generation.” As public events are now possible again, try to ensure a varied mix of people attend industry events and discuss what’s occurring between companies.
Remember, too, that an even younger generation is beginning to graduate from college and search for careers. Programs for surety careers that recruit directly from college may encourage young people to seek employment in Surety.
Younger people in the surety industry ask for change and “a more adaptable approach to the underwriting process,” — including more automation and cloud-based services.
To find out how else we can move the industry forward, here are four ways to deal with the current underwriter shortage.