London Insurance Market: Unveiling Demands for New Skills in 2024

London Insurance Market: Unveiling Demands for New Skills in 2024
May 13, 2024 11 mins

London Insurance Market: Unveiling Demands for New Skills in 2024

Unveiling the Demands: Key Skills and Competitions for the London Insurance Market

The London insurance market seeks a generation of game-changers who can navigate uncertainties and drive innovation to ensure the industry’s future success in a digitalised world.

Key Takeaways
  1. The insurance sector is actively seeking graduates with specific skill sets in AI, risk management, climate analysis, and more, to meet the evolving demands of the industry.
  2. Insurers face fierce competition from other sectors in attracting graduates with emerging skills, highlighting the need to showcase the unique allure and opportunities of our industry.
  3. Insurance companies must create compelling EVPs and foster a supportive environment that encourages growth and innovation, to retain and leverage the skills of seasoned individuals for long-term success.

In the dynamic world of the insurance sector, the demand for graduates with specific skill sets is on the rise. Aon’s Insurance Graduate Study Policies and Practices survey unveils a captivating landscape, with 75 percent of organisations offering formal programmes in underwriting, 64 percent in claims, 69 percent in actuarial roles and 62 percent in support functions. These coveted programmes lay the foundation for success and open doors to exciting career paths.

Though not as common, graduate programmes for technology and data scientist roles are on the rise, with 36 percent and 46 percent of institutes recognising their potential. This dynamic shift showcases the insurance industry's undeniable hunger for professionals with expertise in data analytics and cutting-edge technology.

When it comes to qualifications, insurance firms are discarding traditional rulebooks. Apart from actuarial roles, they welcome graduates from all disciplines, no matter their background. Whether a degree in physics, literature or even ethnobotany, graduate skills are valued and wanted. A passing grade of 2.1 is generally preferred, signaling that passion and dedication matter more than the name on their diploma.

Most graduate programmes in the insurance sector span 24 months, although it’s possible to stumble upon 12 or 36-month programmes as well. Over 80 percent of graduates successfully complete these programmes — a testament to the industry's relentless commitment to graduate development.

Competition with Other Sectors for Emerging Skills 

Insurance firms face fierce competition from other sectors when it comes to attracting graduates with emerging skills. Data and technology are the superstars in demand, with prowess in data analytics, data science, actuarial work and coding, launching graduates to the forefront. Rival sectors, such as financial institutions, asset management firms and the irresistible technology industry, eagerly vie for these sought-after skills. Yet, the insurance sector has its own unique allure that can captivate even the most exceptional talents.

Though the industry's attractiveness to graduates may fluctuate, innovative strategies are in motion to keep the sector in play. 

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While 33 percent of firms consider the industry to be somewhat or very attractive to graduates, 28 percent believe it to be somewhat or very unattractive.

The challenges lie in raising awareness and understanding of the industry, competing fiercely with other sectors on compensation packages, and showcasing the nature and scope of opportunities available. By highlighting different functions within the industry, fostering visibility of peer role models and ensuring that job offers match the competitive perks of other sectors with a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP), insurance firms pave the way to enchant the finest minds. 

Attracting Insurance Talent on the Market 

The need for subject matter experts across various risks and industries has reached a critical juncture. The insurance sector is particularly hungry for individuals with the ability to drive transformation in key areas like data analysis, artificial intelligence and business readiness. The dynamic and competitive London market requires a diverse pool of talent with fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and a level of emotional intelligence to collaborate and build relationships effectively.

In Aon’s recent Global Risk Management Survey (GRMS), insurance respondents voiced a resounding concern — the failure to attract and retain top talent stands as one of the two most critical risks facing the sector. Recognising the gravity of the situation, the London Market Group (LMG) has taken bold steps to raise the profile of the sector and introduce early career talent into the market. Their efforts are commendable, as they lay the foundation for a bright and prosperous future.

Attracting and retaining experienced talent from outside the industry is vital, and on a large scale. There is much to learn from the LMG's success. Collaboration and innovation are the cornerstones of their approach, fostering a rich environment of diverse thought and perspectives. By nurturing a spirit of empowerment and partnering closely with both senior business leaders and HR, they have created an atmosphere where talent can thrive and contribute to the organisation's growth.

It’s time to embrace and apply these lessons to attract key skills for experienced hire recruitment. Firms should heighten awareness of the exciting opportunities that await experienced professionals, showcasing the immense potential for personal and professional development within the insurance sector. One key aspect lies in matching skills with the specific needs required to achieve market objectives. 

However, attracting talent is just the first step. Retention is equally crucial. To achieve this, companies must craft compelling EVPs that not only entice talented individuals to join, but also provide an environment where they can flourish. By creating an ecosystem that supports growth, fosters innovation and encourages collaboration, firms will cultivate a workforce that remains engaged, productive and committed to shared goals.

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London is a unique ecosystem. With the demographic aging, insurers need to disproportionally invest in building the talent entering our business. This is paramount to London to retain its relevance.

Rupert Moore
UK CEO, Reinsurance, Aon

Unleashing the Power of Data-Led Talent Solutions

Companies recognize the urgent need to address talent at all levels. In response, Aon is working with leading organisations, who are taking action to futureproof their workforces. 

With a unique blend of practical insurance and human capital knowledge, Aon are well-positioned to collaborate with leading organisations on data-led talent solutions for the market. Our approach begins by understanding the skill requirements — both technical and behavioural — that are crucial to success across the organisation. We work on defining these requirements for early-career individuals entering programs like the LMG's, through to seasoned professionals who are embarking on their own development journeys, designing inclusive career paths that allow for growth and adaptability.

The demand for our assessment expertise is also on the rise. Employers are recognising the value of evaluating potential and interest in early-career candidates, ensuring they align well with the organisation's vision. During the recruitment process, assessing "culture fit" has become increasingly important. Companies want to ensure that new hires align with their values and ethos. Additionally, as the sector continues to evolve, a growth mindset is crucial for individual development and mobility within organisations.

At the core of our talent solutions lies a solid data foundation. Whether it's strategic workforce planning or EVP development, our data-driven approach helps organisations implement integrated talent strategies that align with their goals and objectives, thus unlocking the full potential of their talent. 

Future-Proofing the Insurance Industry: Unlocking the Skills of the Next Generation 

In a world characterised by digitalisation and ever-shifting risks, insurance industry leaders are taking bold steps to adapt their businesses and stay ahead of the curve. But here's the catch: they urgently need a fresh influx of skilled individuals to future-proof the sector. 

Picture this — a landscape where climate risks, socio-economic challenges and geopolitical upheavals loom large, injecting uncertainty into the macro-outlook. It is precisely in this dynamic environment that the insurance industry requires individuals equipped with the perfect blend of technical prowess, collaborative attitudes, and a growth mindset. The sector needs game-changers who embrace change and can navigate emergent risks with confidence.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making significant strides augmenting roles, promising enhanced efficiency and better decision-making capabilities. However, insurance cannot rely on AI alone. The industry craves the brilliance of forward-thinking minds from various backgrounds. Whether new talent comes from risk management, compliance, finance, engineering, operations, technology, data, HR or change management, their unique perspective is invaluable. And let's not forget the need for expertise in cyber security, climate analysis and geopolitical dynamics. 

The insurance industry needs passionate individuals who can proactively embrace the evolving business landscape. By doing so, they can pave the way for a resilient sector that can navigate the digital revolution, while addressing emerging risks head-on.

Aon’s Thought Leader
  • Louisa Blain
    Head of Insurance, Human Capital

General Disclaimer

This document is not intended to address any specific situation or to provide legal, regulatory, financial, or other advice. While care has been taken in the production of this document, Aon does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any purpose of the document or any part of it and can accept no liability for any loss incurred in any way by any person who may rely on it. Any recipient shall be responsible for the use to which it puts this document. This document has been compiled using information available to us up to its date of publication and is subject to any qualifications made in the document.

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