Unpopular Industry Recruitment - Challenges
Several industries that are considered to be "unpopular," and which struggle to attract top talent are insurance, the federal government, and pharmaceuticals.
- According to the Hartford's 2015 Millennial Leadership Survey, in the US, just 4% of millennials are "interested" in an insurance industry career.
- One reason for the unpopularity of the insurance industry as an employer is how "work goals" are shifting, particularly for millennials, who want "personal fulfillment" and "purpose of work" over the "job for life" that the insurance industry has historically offered.
- Additionally, insurance has historically employed a largely "white, privilege and mostly male" workforce, and therefore is challenged in attracting and retaining a broader range of individuals as it "struggles to assimilate greater diversity."
- Moreover, according to researcher Questback, the insurance industry struggles to attract top talent because it "fails to promote itself" or "adequately" highlight the benefits of an insurance career.
- Finally, according to the talent agency Heidrick & Struggles, the insurance industry has been "extremely conservative and slow to innovate" historically, which has both impacted recruiting as well as the industry's future capacity to innovate.
- Ultimately, the insurance industry's struggle to attract top talent represents a growing threat to the health and survival of the industry overall, as 25% of the current industry workforce has reached retirement age, and hundreds of thousands of jobs are expected to remain unfilled if departures occur as anticipated.
- According to Gallup's 2019 Business and Industry Sector Ratings, in the US, the federal government has one of the lowest sentiments overall, with 52% of Americans having a negative impression of the industry.
- One reason for the unpopularity of the federal government as an employer is that companies in the private sector are able to offer "substantially higher wages," particularly for IT jobs, where there is competition from Silicon Valley and the start-up industry.
- Similarly, the private sector employers can often offer "more flexible benefits packages," a factor considered extremely important to younger generations.
- Finally, the federal government is known for having less "flexible work schedules," which further limits those who are able and/or willing to work in the public sector.
- Similar to the insurance industry, the federal government's struggle to attract top talent represents a growing threat to the health and survival of the industry overall, because the average age of its employees is 47.5 years, while 45% of them are over the age of 50.
- According to Gallup's 2019 Business and Industry Sector Ratings, in the US, the pharmaceuticals industry has one of the lowest sentiments overall, with 58% of Americans having a negative impression of the industry.
- One reason for the unpopularity of the pharmaceutical industry as an employer is the industry's "bad name" from "regular controversies" including "high prices on prescription medicines."
- Additionally, the pharmaceutical industry struggles to attract top talent because, particularly in areas like machine learning, the industry is competing with more attractive employers in technology from Silicon Valley.
- Finally, public news of layoffs in the pharmaceutical industry have led to the impression that the "pharma sector must be down," both making the industry less attractive and potentially leading to the perception that it isn't hiring, which is not the case.
- This challenge with attracting and retaining employees represents a particular concern in the pharmaceutical industry when it comes to innovation, with George Yancopoulos, the Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of American pharmaceutical company Regeneron, commenting that the "best and brightest minds" are needed in healthcare, or today's "toughest problems" will "wipe us out."
- Similarly, the healthcare company BioAgilitytix highlighted how "vital" it is for the healthcare industry to recruit the "right" and "top" talent, given how "complex" and "innovative" the industry work is by default.
As part of this analysis, an extensive review of trusted media sources, industry reports, and articles published by authorities and key players in the insurance, federal government, and pharmaceuticals industries was conducted. Unfortunately, data sources which substantiated the unpopularity of the insurance industry with more detailed information were limited. However, a 2015 survey by the insurance company The Hartford was located and clearly substantiated the unpopularity of the insurance industry as a career path. By assuming that a 2015 survey would be indicative of current sentiment, we were able to also substantiate the unpopularity of the insurance industry for the purpose of this analysis.