The insurance industry has been going through a period of big change and turbulence in 2017. The industry's job market for the first half of 2018 is expected to be buoyant, as many insurers have pipelined their talent within focus growth areas.
Digital insurance has been on the rise
Digital insurance has been rapidly growing, and the utilization of insurtech and ability to be nimble in what has historically been a reactive industry has given start-ups an advantage in the market. Global insurers, too, have been investing heavily in digital technologies, with the emergence of technology-focused labs and partnerships.
Automation for efficiency
In 2017, ‘mainstream’ underwriting and claims opportunities have been limited, as firms continued to automate their processes as much as possible to maximise efficiency.
The trend has been to seek professionals with a good understanding of the processes but with an expertise in business change. Still, underwriters who could bring value and relationships to a business, especially within niche and robust areas, were still highly sought after.
Customer centricity is key
In a highly competitive market, customer centricity has become key. Data analytics has been a focus as insurers looked to improve customer experience. In 2017, change and transformation professionals have been sought after in all areas including specialists in product launches, payments and finance.
Acute shortage of actuarial talent
In the insurance job market, there remained a shortage of qualified actuaries, especially Singaporean actuaries. Those with specialised expertise in risk or pricing have been particularly in demand throughout 2017.
Insurance talent outlook for the first half of 2018
As insurers ramp up their change programs and continue to develop their digital capability, technology and change hires will displace the more traditional hires.
Of course, there will still be niche areas where expertise, market knowledge and industry relationships will also be a key factor. These areas, to name a few, include actuarial, underwriting (to a certain extent), business development and partnerships.
Governance is still key and the demand for compliance, risk and audit professionals will continue.
Contracting has already become more commonplace, especially for large transformation projects, and we expect this to become a growing feature of the insurance job market.
During the first half of 2018, with the bonus season on the horizon, we expect to see many professionals holding off their job search until they receive bonus payouts. Whilst buyouts are still going to happen, they are not as commonplace as in previous years. Many employers would prefer to wait for the right candidate rather than bite the bullet.
Many insurers have already pipelined talent for 2018 but there will be inevitably a rush for the top talent in Q2 2018, especially within focus growth areas for these insurers.
Salary Report for H1 2018*
*Notes about salary table:
- Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
- The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
- 12-month base salaries are assumed.
- All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
- Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
- Holiday entitlements range from 12–25 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
- Healthcare policies are standard.
- Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15–20% of the base salary for senior executives.
by Lester Qin