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Insurers In Tough Battle For SMAC Talent

More than one-third of insurance IT pros are looking for new jobs, according to the 2014 InformationWeek Analytics IT Salary Survey.

Satisfaction Levels

When taking into consideration all aspects of their job, 68% of staff and 72% of managers reported being satisfied with their current positions. Staff satisfaction increased slightly over 2013 levels, while managers' satisfaction with all aspects of their job remained about the same since last year.

Overall Satisfaction

These satisfaction levels matter because attracting quality employees has become cutthroat. "The competition is very intense because other industries are seeking the same individuals with analytics skills that insurance needs," says Margaret Resce Milkint, partner with insurance industry executive search firm The Jacobson Group. "We're competing with other industries that are 'sexier' than us, but the fact that insurance is good and noble and socially relevant speaks very well to Generation Y and to attracting fresh talent from other industries. Add to that the fact that with only 2% unemployment in the industry, insurance is rock solid. These are powerful messages that resonate with the younger workforce."

Increasingly, insurers may be able to develop analytics talent internally. At Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Patriot National Insurance Group, EVP, CIO and CTO Judith Haddad says she sees a trend of employees already working in insurance who want to transition to an analytical-type role. "We're finding more people internally who want to explore that route, saving us from having to go out and recruiting purely analytical people we then have to fit into the culture and knowledge base and so on," Haddad explains.

[Patriot National's Judy Haddad Innovates in a Turnaround]

Accordingly, more companies are hiring to develop analytics infrastructures. David Castellani, senior vice president and business information officer for New York Life, says the insurer's hiring has centered on building the right foundational structures to enable analytics -- focusing on locating, cleaning, organizing and setting up the right rules to manage data. "Hiring analytical expertise will come later," Castellani explains. "The challenge is resourcing this work properly. New York Life believes that investing heavily in the remediation and building of data structures is easily underestimated, and yet if done properly, will pay off handsomely later on."

Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Author
5/22/2014 | 2:15:01 PM
re: Insurers In Tough Battle For SMAC Talent
While insurers have little control over whether an employee feels personally fulfilled by their work, they can offer benefits that will entice workers to stay. Compensation aside, I think flexibility, culture and additional training could go a long way in retaining talent.
User Rank: Author
5/21/2014 | 9:04:48 PM
re: Insurers In Tough Battle For SMAC Talent
I suspect that a lot of analytics talent will cut their teeth, so to speak, in insurance and then be lured away elsewhere. So it raises the stakes for insurers to have strategies to retain that talent. Some of that will be about compensation and benefits; some will be about the work itself.
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