The next generation of mutual talent

As the millennial and Gen Z generations continues to enter the workforce in vast numbers, it is crucial for mutual and cooperative insurers to position their unique business model as a factor in them being seen as “employers of choice” and to remain relevant for future generations. The Strategic InSights: The next generation of mutual talent report from ICMIF finds that cooperative/mutual insurers which are sustainable, socially responsible and high-performing businesses are endowed with the characteristics that attract and retain millennial talent.

In order to be truly sustainable companies, cooperative/mutual insurers must attract, retain and develop the next generation of talent, as this will be crucial to keeping up with today’s fast-changing market needs.

This is the first report to be written by a group of young professionals all of whom are members of the ICMIF Young Leaders Forum (YLF). In the report, the main findings of a comprehensive study on the best ways that young employees can be attracted, developed and retained by cooperative/mutual insurance companies are outlined.

The report includes a summary of responses provided by 23 ICMIF member organisations around the world and describes a wide range of initiatives and programmes which, the Federation and authors of the report believe, help to position the mutual/cooperative model as unique and as “employers of choice” for the younger generation. In total, 23 organisations from 17 countries across ICMIF’s global network are featured in the report.

The report concludes with a discussion of the emerging challenges for cooperative/mutual employers and some suggested approaches for managers wishing to attract and retain the best talent and help it flourish within their organisations.

Key findings

A multi-channel approach to reach and retain millennials is key

A combination of real and virtual platforms and channels provides an effective approach to attracting young talent into the organisation. Face-to-face meetings at local universities and social media can be powerful tools for making connections with potential recruits. Strong brand awareness is also a factor that contributes to the success of these efforts. This combination of digital and personal is also effective in the ongoing development of young employees: digital/virtual platforms are more time-efficient tools for delivering training when that training is focused on receiving and learning information, especially of a technical nature, while personal/face-to-face events and meetings enable the development of “soft skills” and relationships with peers and/or senior executives.

Early brand awareness provides an advantage

Organisations that are able to reach future employees before they have entered the workforce have a head start on brand awareness among future recruits. Programmes that target millennials can help organisations to position their brand and communicate their unique cooperative/mutual values. Partnerships with a range of associations, institutions and communities can provide a sustainable competitive advantage in recruiting millennial.

Cooperative/mutual values set the tone for recruitment and retention

Generally, millennials are seeking roles that offer flexibility, transparency, meaningful impact and social cohesion. ICMIF members feel that the cooperative/mutual culture offers a natural inclination towards these, thus presenting a key opportunity for our sector. Organisations that can offer all these benefits to young people can create transactional cost reductions in the recruitment process as well as in longer-term retention.

Investing in talent development delivers clear value

The development of talent, regardless of age, is important for ensuring that the organisation’s competences and capabilities remain as strong as, or stronger than, those of its competitors.  Millennials appear, however, to have higher expectations than previous generations of being offered development opportunities. Alongside external training, mentoring programmes and accredited in-house development programmes can further support the organisation’s talent retention, which is crucial to its long-term viability.

Peer networking supports innovation

Internal networks that enable millennials to meet their peers within the organisation can have both short and long-term benefits. They can increase employee engagement, encourage staff development, and help to embed a new, diverse voice and way of thinking within the organisation. In turn, these effects can support the organisation’s innovation and business transformation efforts.

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