Closing the claims talent gap

GenZ claims handler talking to colleague and pointing at the screen

Competition for talent in the post-pandemic world is the new normal.

This has only served to make what has been a perennial challenge for the insurance sector much harder as they not only struggle to find the right candidates, but now face an uphill battle in retaining the best talent over the long term.

And this is a global problem with a recent report putting staff turnover in the insurance sector at around 25%. It is a particular challenge in claims management where the traditional role of an agent can be highly administrative, labour intensive and not without its moments of stress, particularly during increasingly frequent surge events, driven by extreme weather.

The financial costs for any business managing this level of staff turnover is significant, leaving the company with hefty recruitment costs and the continuous task of onboarding and upskilling new starters. Employers face the twin challenges of losing a generation of older workers – with all their wealth of knowledge – as well as responding to a new generation of potential hires with a different set of expectations and needs.

Introducing better pay and conditions, more flexible working and ensuring your company has the right values will have an important part to play in attracting the right candidates but will only go so far when the talent pool is shrinking.

Automation is increasingly valuable in helping to bridge gaps in skills and experience. Guided by the automated process, new starters can be up and running quickly with insight into performance and productivity available to their line manager through the platform.

Employers can look to recruit a team with a mix of skills and experience, widening their recruitment focus. Retention may also improve, as more of the mundane aspects of the job are removed and the role becomes more engaging.

Employees can focus on those  aspects of the claims journey that add the most value – direct contact with customers, something that will always remain a fundamental part of the claims management process.

As digital transformation becomes ubiquitous in our daily lives, so customers are demanding more choice – they want to have all the information that they need at their fingertips. The ability to be able to log onto a well signposted self-service portal and track the progress of their claim end-to-end is likely to be increasingly important.

However, many customers also want the personal assurance that comes from human contact, particularly more vulnerable groups of consumers. Efficiency is not the only metric when it comes to claims processing performance and having a properly trained, engaged and empowered workforce as part of a hybrid system is more likely to result in a better outcome for both the customer and the business.

To achieve this, it is critical that the technology that a company leans on can deliver a simplified process that enables staff to focus their energies on other important tasks and that provides managers with visibility across the lifecycle of a claim and insight into their team’s productivity.

MA Group, an integrated property claims management company, transitioned to a digital process to improve job satisfaction and drive a much more efficient approach to resource management.

Chief operating officer of MA Group, Jorge Gonzalo, spoke about the transformational impact on the business: “Technology enables us to re-engineer working practices, which means we can employ people with different levels of experience and skills sets.”

“The insight that technology gives us into team and individual productivity means that we can identify what aspects of the job different employees perform well on and take this into account in development and progression plans. We can also apply this knowledge in how we deploy talent across the business.”

“In addition, we can help improve job satisfaction by automating more of the mundane aspects of the role and as team members gain more experience of using our platform and systems, they have the opportunity to input on how it could develop in the future.”

By embracing automation in claims management, insurers and claims management companies are not only creating more professionally fulfilling roles, they are also ensuring that they are more competitive over the long term as they reduce recruitment costs and the loss of skills and knowledge from the business.