What is the Future of HR in the Insurance Industry? 3 Most Popular Predictions

Following the 2020 pandemic, businesses all over the world are forced to endure the stress of transferring to remote work, increased employee health issues, and extremely high churn rates. Research centers all over the world have analyzed the previous year in-depth, to help businesses and organizations make fewer mistakes in the future. In the text below, we have outlined what they came up with. Keep reading to learn about HR predictions in insurance, and beyond.

A Rise In Automated HR Processes

An increasing number of people all over the world are forced to work remotely due to the Covid-19 crisis. As a result, an increase in cloud-based workflow management solutions is on the rise. Many companies are already using tools such as online time management apps (Rescue time or Focus Keeper) to help keep track of employees’ productivity. Even though the crisis forced virtual HR processes on companies, they are likely here to stay due to their many benefits.

HR professionals now interview, hire, onboard, retain, and lay off employees remotely. The need for automated onboarding and other workflow processes will skyrocket as 2021 progresses, being that the pandemic has caused record-high churn rates in countries such as the U.S. According to recent data insights, as many as 7.7 million workers with ESI got laid off in the U.S. between February and June 2020. Losing and then acquiring new employees at a breakneck speed is putting additional stress on HR departments, forcing them to opt for automation. 

One other way the insurance industry can help alleviate the work their HR has to do is email automation. Companies such as Pathway offer SaaS solutions that help insurance agents automate a huge portion of their work. Pathway’s triggered email campaigns provide prompt and efficient communication with policyholders, sending automated emails to the right clients, at the right time. The automated messages are also highly customized to fit every individual client’s need, so the quality remains consistent. This form of automation benefits the HR department, as insurance agencies will not need to hire additional staff to perform unnecessary, manual tasks. 

Teams Adapt to Fully Remote Work

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that many meetings could, in fact, have been an email. With an increasing number of companies forced to work remotely, people are starting to enjoy working from home a little too much. The 2021 research by PR Newswire found that 1 in 3 remote employees would rather quit and seek new employment than return to the office full-time. Funnily enough, the new remote work arrangement suits both the workers and the employers, since not having to pay for office space is great for companies’ budgets.

Still, this benefit could come at a cost not many people could have predicted. For one thing, relationships between coworkers will suffer. Not spending time with team members can weaken bonds and make communication, and by extension cooperation, more difficult. Additionally, spending time at home, perhaps with children and pets requiring additional attention can reduce productivity. This issue is especially pronounced in the insurance industry. Only 6% of insurance companies are currently using people analytics as a part of making decisions regarding their workers, making it difficult to even diagnose low productivity levels.

Surprisingly enough, even though jeopardizing traditional business models with increased technological disruption is stressful, there could be some hidden advantages. The biggest concern for the insurance industry, identified by the mentioned Deloitte report, is attracting young talent. As much as 40% of the workforce in insurance will become eligible for retirement within the next 3 years, and only a small number of millennials are interested in a career in this field. The increase in automation, technological advancement, and remote work will probably make a positive impact on the attractiveness of insurance for millennials. 

A Rise in the Number of Contingent Workers

The worryingly high churn rates in the insurance industry, as well as nearly all other workplaces, resulted in a higher demand for contingent workers, or freelancers. According to recent research by Gartner, 32% of organizations are replacing full-time workers with freelancers. This will provide insurance companies as well as insurance agencies with more flexibility in terms of hiring and managing talent. HR departments will put more resources into attracting contingent workers from all over the world.

Despite surface-level advantages of this strategy as a cost-saving measure, an increase in freelancers could have worrying consequences in the long run. For example, the turnover rates are even higher when working with freelancers. Streamlining the onboarding process to save time. With less time to adapt, freelancers make more mistakes, that then take longer to smooth out. One solution could be to offer an option of long-term employment, should contingent workers succeed in meeting certain standards and demands. 

Conclusion

When discussing inevitable HR changes in the insurance industry, the most important factors to consider are automation, remote work, and hiring more freelance talent. Using apps to automate HR processes, flexible freelance contracts, as well as the option of working from home will likely attract more millennial talent. This would help solve one of the most pressing issues in human resources in insurance today – the rapidly aging workforce.

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