Financial Services Should be Recruiting Differently, Says LIMRA

Generations X and Y value working with a team; however, industry recruiters are trying to persuade with “be your own boss” tactics and not always succeeding, LIMRA research found.  

The Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA) used focus groups and surveys of Gen X and Gen Y and found that many of the things they value in a job are available in the financial services industry. Yet when asked if they would like a job in the industry, the majority said no.

“Gen X and Y job seekers have some real misperceptions about the financial services industry and the image of a sales person within the industry,” said Polly Painter Eggers, analyst, LIMRA Distribution Research. “Strikingly, the core values that these job seekers profess are the same attributes of the financial services industry.  While some of the divide can be overcome by better communication, there are opportunities for companies to adapt their recruiting strategy to attract more candidates.”   

A study of 272 recruiters from across the financial services industry showed that many companies have held on to traditional recruiting and compensation structures that, while popular with Baby Boomers, have not attracted younger job seekers. For example, Gen X and Y job seekers surveyed said they value stability and security over the potential of making a lot of money; however industry recruiters still try to lure potential candidates with the opportunity to make money and the lifestyle that follows.   

The industry also needs to move the conversation online. Gen X and Y job seekers are always networking online, said LIMRA. However, industry recruiters still use social events and other contacts for networking purposes.  For the most part, LIMRA found that Gen X and Y job seekers are interested in being part of a team that they feel will make a difference in their world. Conversely, industry recruiters often emphasize the individual aspects of sales and the ability to ‘be your own boss,’ rather than the team element.   

“Our study shows that recruiters who align their message with the job qualities valued by the younger generations will be most successful in overcoming the preconceived ideas about the industry and attract people to a position that is both personally satisfying and financially rewarding,” Painter Eggers continued.   

And recruiters have positive data to back them up. LIMRA data shows 85% of financial representatives are extremely satisfied with their choice of profession and 66% would highly recommend their profession to young job seekers.