Preoccupations: The Tough Match of Young Workers and Insurance
SINCE 2008, the global economy has been reeling from the one-two punch of a major financial crisis and a sharp worldwide recession. Unemployment remains high, and employers are extremely cautious about committing to new hires.
This environment masks a major shift in the global work force, one that threatens the viability of many established industries. To put it bluntly, the Western world is aging — quickly — and the skills of this aging work force are not being passed along to a new generation of workers. The number of skilled jobs is already starting to overtake the number of qualified people available to fill them.
This is especially true in labor-intensive, nonglamorous industries like insurance. By some estimates, more than 50 percent of life insurance agents in the United States are older than 45, and almost 70 percent of claims adjusters are at least 45.
The insurance industry is not particularly attractive to the so-called “millennials” — people who turned 21 in 2000 or later. And many other industries, including transportation, utilities and manufacturing, face a similar problem.
Beyond the fact that the industries themselves may lack appeal as career options, it is easy for senior managers — often people in their 50s and 60s who built their careers in a pre-Internet world — to misunderstand what the millennials want…