Many mutual insurers choose to recruit people who share the social values and purpose as those that are key to their organisation. When executed correctly this strategy creates a lasting bond between employees and employer, says Mike Ashurst, Vice-President for Reinsurance and Training at ICMIF in a recent article for Insurance Day magazine “Talent report: Recruiting for success”.
While some insurers have sought to cut costs by reducing staff, the thriving mutual insurance sector has generally continued to increase and retain its workforce. This is understandable as the mutual market share has experienced sizeable growth since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2007/08. In the period between 2007 and 2011, premium income for mutual/cooperative insurers grew by 26.0%, whereas as the total market increased by just 11.2%. However, it is an organisation’s ability to retain high-potential staff that remains paramount, especially when competing for talent against large, commercial insurers with generally greater financial resources, says Mike.
Furthermore, Mike says in his article, ICMIF members also address the gender debate more positively and appoint significantly more women in leadership roles than shareholder led insurance companies (18.2% of ICMIF member organisations are led by women). Could this more ‘enlightened’ approach to people strategies be one of the secrets of the mutual and cooperative sector’s continued success?