In PWC’s annual insurance survey, they ponder the dilemma of building a sustainable workforce for the future of insurance.

‘The automation of routine tasks will lead to an increased demand for specialists in those areas where robots can’t replace them’ say PWC. They go on to state that ‘Specialists will become the ultimate prize for companies, whether they are full time employees or contracted.’

At BAIR we recruit in the niche areas of the insurance industry, across most of the specialist disciplines. One thing that is glaringly apparent in these specialist classes is the experience gap. Note I did not use the term skills gap. There is no skills gap in South Africa as we have incredible latent skills in our financial services industry – we just need to deploy them in areas that not only suit their career aspirations, but that also suit each companies need to build a workforce that is agile and capable enough to adapt to, and complement,  the changes that automation is bringing at ever increasing speed.

Here then is a point to ponder. Where will we be embedding our graduate trainees and learners in 2020? Are we going to move them around from department to department, get them through their exams and then hope for the best?

Why not focus them on a specialist segment of the industry from the very start? I believe that this will not only help close the experience gap more quickly, but this will also increase our ability to attract graduates who know all too well that insurance is increasingly moving towards data analytics and automated distribution of commoditised products.

Employees of the future