Within the next decade, the workers’ compensation industry could lose more than 50% of its most experienced executives. As the need to hire new talent becomes more urgent, the industry will need to adapt to attract and retain a new generation of workers.
Millennials are forecasted to comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Attracting and retaining millennial talent is especially challenging in the workers’ compensation industry, as organizations in the industry have historically been viewed as technology laggards who are slow to adopt new processes and value tradition over innovation.
Two ways the workers’ compensation industry can attract millennial talent is through appealing to the generation’s eagerness to have an impactful career and their interest in technology.
Millennials are often thought of as the generation with a strong desire to make a difference and add value through their work. In workers’ comp, an advocacy model that promotes a noble goal, such as getting an injured worker back on the job, could attract more millennials to the industry. Michele Tucker, CorVel’s Vice President of Enterprise Comp Operations, explains, “Claims organizations that share a culture of genuine concern and caring for those they serve, will also have an advantage in attracting millennial talent. CorVel’s DNA as a company has always strived to produce the best outcomes, aligns with the high-minded millennial generation.”
Because millennials were raised in a time of rapid technological advancement, when the internet became widely accessible and smartphones became the norm, they value innovation and digital collaboration more than other generations. Increasing the prevalence of technology in workers’ comp, whether it be through the advancement of virtual patient care, development of AI in claims systems, or usage of web-based collaboration tools, will help attract millennial talent to the industry.
In terms of retaining millennial talent, the generation has higher rates of turnover compared to other generations in the workforce. According to research performed by Gallup, 21% of millennials report they have changed jobs within the past year; this is more than three times the number of non-millennials and is estimated to cost the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually. This pattern of “job hopping” affects all industries because it makes it difficult to preserve industry expertise and skills. But turnover is especially disadvantageous for the workers’ comp industry, as it is an industry founded on generations of knowledge and traditional processes. Because of this, it is important for companies in the industry to take into consideration their employee engagement and develop a retention strategy to reduce turnover.
To retain millennial talent, companies should consider offering more flexible work schedules, encourage the exchange of innovative ideas, and provide clear opportunities for professional development. Elizabeth Lowry, Area Vice President at CorVel, explains CorVel’s approach in a recent Risk & Insurance article, “We believe we have addressed much of this lag at CorVel by offering flexible work arrangements, attractive career paths, an emphasis on a teamwork culture, and the tools to help improve our everyday work. Even more important, is finding purpose and job fulfillment – we all want to know we are doing something good and that our jobs and contributions matter.”