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Client Advice

Tackling Insurance Recruitment Challenges in Southern Africa

By Vicki Bedeman

Like many industries, the insurance sector faces numerous challenges, including economic pressures, climate change, and frequent natural disasters. However, there is one challenge that the industry can address with some structural changes. We’re talking about the recruitment crisis. Attracting and retaining talent has become increasingly complex, and addressing these challenges is crucial for the industry's sustainability and growth.

There is an old joke within the insurance industry—that no one ever ends up in the insurance industry on purpose. While said in jest, this implies that the sector is undesirable and uninteresting as a career choice.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the industry is facing a recruitment crisis and needs a bit of a makeover and, we at Antal, are on the front line of recruitment, talking to many clients and candidates, our insight gives us a unique perspective on the situation.  Let's examine the reasons behind this in more detail: an ageing workforce, a lack of diversity and transformation, and a significant skills shortage.

The Ageing Workforce

We find there are many seasoned insurance pros in the insurance sector who are retiring, taking their valuable skills and knowledge with them instead of transferring it to younger candidates. This lack of skill and knowledge transfer leads to a significant loss of institutional knowledge and expertise, posing a business continuity and efficiency risk.

Lack of Diversity and Transformation

Diversity in business is crucial for driving innovation and profitability. And while we’re making strides towards inclusivity, there's still work to be done. The lack of diversity means businesses might miss out on understanding and serving a diverse client base. They are also missing out on the innovation and creativity that comes from different perspectives.

One study found that companies with above-average diversity on their leadership teams saw a 19% increase in innovation revenue compared to those with below-average diversity. Another study found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity at the leadership level are 32% more likely to outperform their peers in profitability. These studies highlight the significant advantages that embracing diversity brings to business performance.


Shortage of Skills

Critical specialised skill shortages impact many industries worldwide; insurance is no exception. It’s near on impossible to replace these skills quickly, especially with the rate at which experienced folks are heading into retirement. This gap threatens sustainability and profitability.


Overcoming These Challenges

Addressing the challenges of an ageing workforce, lack of diversity, and skills shortage requires a multifaceted approach. Many of the following strategies are already in play but we strongly recommend that our clients and the whole industry could do with a bit more focus:

Succession Planning and Knowledge Transfer:

  • Old pros must pass the “baton of knowledge” to the newbies.
  • Mentorship programs and incentives for retirees to share their wisdom can make a big difference.
  • Keep retirees involved as consultants to preserve valuable insights.


Diversity and Inclusion Strategies:

  • Continuously revise recruitment policies to find ways to be more inclusive
  • Provide diversity training.
  • Nurture an inclusive workplace culture.
  • Partner with educational institutions to bring fresh faces into the industry.


Continuous Professional Development:

  • Invest in ongoing professional development.
  • Offer training programmes to keep employees updated with trends and technological advancements.
  • Collaborate with universities and technical schools to ensure the curriculum meets industry needs.


Educational Partnerships:

  • Form alliances with educational institutions.
  • Offer opportunities like scholarships, internships, and apprenticeships to attract young talent.


Technology Integration:

  • Use technology to improve recruitment efficiency and broaden the talent pool.
  • Online job portals, AI-driven recruitment tools, and virtual career fairs can help track the right talent.


Flexible Work Arrangements:

  • Offer flexible work options to appeal to a broader range of talent
  • Cater to younger professionals seeking work-life balance and older employees preferring part-time roles after retirement.


Employee Engagement:

  • Promote a culture of continuous learning and innovation.
  • Providing career advancement opportunities can boost employee satisfaction and retention.



By embracing diversity, investing in education and technology, and fostering an inclusive culture, the team at Antal feel the insurance sector can build a resilient and dynamic workforce ready to tackle future challenges. In doing so, it will survive and thrive in the Southern African market.  The Antal team knows the industry and cares deeply about the flow of talent in the future, reach out to us and we can start addressing your recruitment needs for the rest of 2024.  

It has come to our attention that clients and candidates are being contacted by individuals fraudulently posing as Antal representatives.  If you receive a suspicious message (by email or WhatsApp), please do not click on any links or attachments.  We never ask for credit card or bank details to purchase materials, and we do not charge fees to jobseekers.