Insurance Marketing HQ

A millennial’s perspective on attracting youth to the insurance industry

Posted on Jun 10, 2010

(This is the first post by Alicia, Astonish Results’ new social media intern)

After every twenty-something throws their cap at college graduation, then pushes through the crowd to find their family, the first question posed to them is always the same. So what are you going to do now? Some know and some do not, but for the most part, every college graduate has one thing in mind. Ok maybe two: getting away from home, and most importantly, where can they make the most money?

After speaking with some recent college graduates, money seems to be the driving motivator in determining their ideal workplace (hardly a shock). Without a long career history, there is also a feeling that no dream is impossible and a willingness to reach higher and higher to get that “dream job” the first time around. Whereas some fail because of an overly inflated sense of entitlement or value, some succeed, depending on how hard they work.

The insurance industry is a bit different. Ask any recent grad why they did NOT consider insurance and they will most likely all say the same thing, “It’s too boring.” But when speaking with two recent college graduates who have entered the insurance industry, they both seemed to have legitimate interest in their jobs.

When asked what they liked most about their jobs, both replied that they enjoyed the extensive training and office atmosphere their workplaces offered, which happen to be two insurance companies, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and The Hartford.

So do they feel out of place in an industry that tends to be dominated by an older, less than riveting crowd?

One millennial answered saying the group she was put into for training and team work had mostly twenty-something professionals, so she felt comfortable in the setting. With all new employees gathered together to learn with one another, it creates a sort of morale-building exercise in and of itself. The second interviewee said she was the youngest in the office. And while it felt awkward at the beginning, she now enjoys her job and the people who work alongside her (an often hugely underrated factor).

Personally, if someone had mentioned a career in insurance to me a month ago (I’m a recent grad as well), they would have been greeted with a blank stare. After starting with Astonish Results as a social media intern, I realized that it is not so much the industry you work in, but what and who you work with. Working in an environment with vibrant personalities that can teach and listen has been the most rewarding aspect so far. I’m quickly learning that you never know how a job will turn out until you take a leap from what is comfortable, and open up your mind to learn something new, and also learning that insurance marketing can be fun.

So in a stereotypically unattractive and un-youthful industry, how can insurance companies and agencies attract bright young talent?

With many millennial graduates thinking dollar signs fresh out of school, the reality of the economy and inexperience often deals a blow to their delusions of grandeur. Fortunately, atmosphere and office culture seem to rank high on the scale of importance as well. If the atmosphere of the office can provide educational tools and support, while being filled with interesting and exciting people and ideas, the younger talent may think twice before saying “boring” after hearing “insurance industry.”

7 Comments

  1. Alicia, great post. I hope more young people can find their place in our industry. But the big challenge is for our industry to make it interesting and challenging for today’s millennials. Many of the firms I work with are challenged in this. Thanks for sharing your perspective and best of luck.

    • Thanks Pat! I will be making more posts in the future, thank you for your insight.

  2. First of all, congratulations on graduating and on your internship. I’m a millennial myself (USF 2005) and a blogger for Patrons Insurance in Largo, FL. I think you’re right about attracting the twenty-somethings to the Insurance Industry. I’ve never met Matt R, my RFM or Josh W. but I have a feeling these guys and everyone else help create a fun working environment where learning is encouraged. I kind of want to visit the Orlando office just to hang out. I hope you have fun and learn a lot there. I’m looking forward to your future posts.

  3. GREAT POST! I think if insurance is going to survive beyond holding solely their ‘customer base’, they will have to embrace social media and the internet whole-heartedly. The young generation will have so much to do with this. Most college grads are social media savvy anyway- the trick (as you pointed out beautifully)is to make ‘boring insurance’ interesting to people online.

  4. Alicia, awesome first post! As a recent PR grad, but with insurance experience, the money for me was staying where I had the most work experience. I have struggled and even been laughed at from past insurance boss’s when trying to help them see where the industry is moving toward. But…for those of us that have caught the vision…I can’t wait to see what the future holds! 🙂

    • Lara, I agree many changes ahead in the future, for insurance companies, and digital marketing in general. Good luck, and thanks for your insight!

  5. hi this post is great.. i just wanted some help…i’m actually working on a competition with title ” What will make the insurance sector successful in meeting the changing needs of the young generation of consumers ”
    I would like to get some help if possible .. thank you 🙂

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