The insurance industry's contributions to the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society have a long history, and there is an enduring, expanding demand for the industry's services. But how the industry makes its contributions is changing.
Mercer recently conducted research that identifies the challenges facing the global insurance industry and examines their workforce implications. We have collected and examined the perspectives of executives, primarily chief human resource officers (CHROs), and other leaders more responsible for ensuring that their companies have the right talent and talent management practices in place to successfully meet the challenges. Our individual interviews were held with executives from 20 industry leaders in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Those interviewed discussed many challenges, some of which are unique to one company or common to just a few. However, the most widely shared, consequential challenges the industry faces now include:
HR leaders naturally are at the forefront of responsibility for meeting the challenges of leadership development. We believe HR's role in the remaining challenges will be quite critical, because success will so heavily depend on attracting and managing the right human capital. Insurance has always been an industry that relies heavily on expertise and specialized skills in its workforce. And while some advancements will disembody human expertise and embed it in systems (for example, automated underwriting and web-based customer self-service), the shape of the workforce will be critical to driving innovation and adaptation to change.