P&C Carriers Forced to Look Outside Industry for Talent


P&C Specialist | June 17, 2019

The P&C Specialist article, “P&C Carriers Forced to Look Outside Industry for Talent," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Dave Seeley on the insurance industry's talent transformation. The article is excerpted below.

As the P&C industry undergoes a transformation, carriers are increasingly looking outside the industry for executives and managers who will help lead that change.

"The industry in general is only starting to go through that transformation. They’re looking outside to bring in people who were successful" implementing such change in other types of organizations, says Dave Seeley, a member of the insurance, financial services and digital transformation practices at the executive search consultancy Russell Reynolds Associates, headquartered in New York City.

Seeley has primarily seen an openness to hiring chief digital officers, chief data officers, chief transformation officers and heads of IT departments from other fields.


Digital Transformation

When it comes to digital transformation in the P&C industry, promising candidates may come from companies in industries such as financial services, technology and consumer products, Seeley says.

P&C carriers "need to bring in individuals with experience leading an organization through that transformation," he says.

Crucial skills for these leaders include "the ability to influence change and to be able to drive an organization that has never been through" significant industry disruptions, Seeley says.

They also need to be able to "balance the push and pull of an organization going through fundamental change," he says.

A particular challenge may come from those employees who have worked at one P&C company for their entire career and aren’t accustomed to adapting to change, Seeley says.

A leader from outside the industry would need to be able to "excite the employee base to do things differently," he says.


For those recruits who have already gone through corporate transformation at their current company, they can get lost in a sea of other employees who have had that same experience dealing with transformation, Seeley says. But in the P&C industry, that experience can set them apart.

By switching to the P&C industry, “the excitement lies in the opportunity to drive change in an industry that hasn’t yet witnessed it,” he says.

For a recruiter, it can be a challenge to entice people to switch to the P&C industry because top candidates tend to be in very high demand, and the P&C industry is competing against other industries for that same candidate, Seeley says.

P&C companies can expect to pay “an added premium to attract these individuals. There’s a limited pool of talent, they’re in hot demand, and they’re taking a risk by moving into a new industry,” he says.

However, for recruits from outside the industry, “if they’re motivated solely by compensation, it’s probably not going to be the right fit,” Seeley says. “They have to be excited” about the future of the P&C industry, he adds.


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P&C Carriers Forced to Look Outside Industry for Talent