The theme of this year’s BIBA Conference is ‘Rising to the Challenge’. Looking across the insurance industry and scanning the wider geopolitical horizon it is clear our marketplace has never faced a greater array of challenges than it does today.
Growing frequency and severity of events, rising loss complexity, expanding risk horizons, deepening supply-chain issues, across-the-board price hikes, an escalating energy crisis are just some of the myriad developments combining to create one of the most challenged claims environments in recent history.
Our ability to address these, however, is heavily reliant upon the strength of the talent foundation that underpins the insurance sector – and there lies perhaps one of the greatest challenges.
Much has been said about the war on talent that rages in the sector. In the context of the adjusting community a combination of the Great Resignation and what is referred to as ‘the grey Tsunami’ has created a skills shortfall.
It is vital our industry commits to a process of talent futureproofing if we are to maintain and enhance our relevance in an ever more risk-exposed environment.
At Crawford, we are adding breadth and depth to our talent pool by adopting a holistic approach to talent management which extends from new joiners through to business leaders. Our approach is based around three key areas – creating a pipeline of talent, closing the skills gaps, and diversifying our workforce – all of which we believe make Crawford a great place to work.
Over the last 18 months, we have integrated a multifaceted talent strategy based upon a comprehensive portfolio of development programs.
At ground level, our apprenticeship programme spans a series of training, networking and support capabilities designed to immerse new joiners in the Crawford experience from day one. We also operate a values-led engagement and retention programme of training and resources to ensure every employee is fully integrated into their respective teams and the organisation at large. We want every member of the team to see themselves as part of Crawford’s long-term vision.
A core aspect of our talent strategy is the Crawford Academy – a hub of knowledge and experience that drives skills development across our organisation. A comprehensive series of training programs plus a clearly signposted career path enables employees to get exposure to all facets of our organisation and allows them to start out the career journey that is best suited to their skills and motivations.
Moving up through the ranks, we also maintain a series of leadership and management training sessions and bespoke manager training. This ensures that even at the highest level there is always the opportunity to learn more, to hone expertise, and to expand the skills horizon.
Our talent program is also a core component of our people, diversity and wellbeing strategies. At Crawford, we are committed to investing in the next generation of adjusters, focusing on increasing diversity, equity, inclusion and social mobility across new hires.
Another aspect of our approach is creating a working environment in which our people can excel. We have learned a huge amount from the workplace repercussions of the pandemic and have adapted to new working norms. That means implementing a Smarter Working approach which offers greater working flexibility to our employees.
Further, we have restructured our office environment to create more open spaces that facilitate highly productive, collaboration hubs that are proving to be a hive of innovation for Crawford.
And we are already seeing the success of our endeavours across most employee-related metrics. In 2022, Crawford saw 300+ new starters through the doors, while our talent acquisition pipeline resulted in some critical hires across key business sectors.
More importantly our focus on growing from within resulted in internal recruitment accounting for over 30% of our overall recruitment. Building on this incredible success we have now set ourselves an ambitious internal recruitment target of 40% for 2023.
As a ‘multi-generation’ company with employees extending from Gen Z through to the Baby Boomers, Crawford has to ensure a talent environment that works for all. With such a diverse spread of needs and motivations, it is no small challenge, but it is certainly one that we are rising to.