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NRRA Helps Risk Retention Groups Attract Talent

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NRRA Helps Risk Retention Groups Attract Talent

Risk Retention Groups, like other smaller insurance companies, face an uphill battle when it comes to finding great talent.  In an article published on the National Risk Retention Association (NRRA) site, Joe Deems, the group’s executive director, laments the fact that young people have little or no interest in starting and building a career in the insurance industry.

“The traditional insurance industry — which is the segment most of the public is exposed to — is not known for over-paying its entry-level personnel,” Deems says in the NRRA article. “Career advancement is slow and methodical. There is no suggestion of room for entrepreneurship, an important draw for today’s young people. Indeed, the industry is portrayed — incorrectly in my opinion — as being unwilling or unable to change with the times.”

To further complicate matters, Deems points out, career development events, company outreach programs, and internships tend to expose prospective employees to environments where job duties are repetitive, mundane, and highly structured. They’re environments where creativity is not necessarily encouraged. Says Deems: “It’s not surprising the young people come out saying, ‘I may not want to do this for a living.’”

To counter this trend, the NRRA initiated CRISP — Collegiate Research Initiative Shadow Program.  CRISP’s goal is to show college students a side of RRG and captive insurance that is interesting, engaging, and challenging.  The program’s genesis is two years old: At NRRA’s National Conference a student spoke about the lack of enthusiasm among young people for pursuing careers in insurance.  Today, under the guidance of the NRRA, a group of students from participating educational institutions coalesce into a “shadowing” team. They shadow — hang out in a structured and purposeful way — with a number of key risk retention group or other captive insurance leaders, as well as vendors, in their geographical area, each for a half or full day.

The participants then collaborate and create a report with two main purposes. The first is to educate colleges and universities about possible changes to their curricula to better reflect the real-world benefits and positive features of the RRG and captive insurance industries, notes the report. The second is to enlighten insurance leaders themselves as to how to more effectively engage with students so they will become future employees.

The program is student-owned and operated and requires the commitment of a faculty advisor from each school that participates.  NRRA secures the industry executives and vendors to be shadowed; the association also provides a key team leader in the geographical vicinity where the program takes place, notes the article. Finally, CRIPS’s potential networking opportunities are as critical as the shadowing component of the program, notes Deems.

Photo courtesy of the NRRA.