IT Hiring Difficult in Insurance

    Everyone complains that they can’t find the IT staff their company needs, but insurance companies say they’re having an especially difficult time.

    Insurance companies have latched onto mobile app strategies and other new technologies at a higher rate than banks, through they interact with their customers far less often. Even so, a new survey finds plans to hire in insurance at their highest level since 2009, according to Insurance Networking News.

    Yet, like retail IT work, insurance isn’t considered the sexiest of jobs — considering all the interesting things startups are doing.

    The mid-year labor survey, by Jacobson Group, an insurance staffing company, and Ward Group, an insurance consultancy, found 54.5 percent of companies planning to increase staff, compared with 51 percent who said so in January. The reasons they’re hiring: 48 percent anticipated increases in volume, 43 percent cited expansion, 33 percent to improve services, 25 percent due to being understaffed.

    Those numbers deal with overall hiring, though Gregory Jacobson, CEO of The Jacobson Group, pointed to a particular difficulty in hiring IT staff:

    Recruiting mid- and upper-level IT people is almost as difficult as it was five years ago. It’s really dramatic just in the past 18 months. According to our scale, the difficulty of recruiting IT people has increased 16 percent.

    So this industry isn’t necessarily banking on less-experienced and less-expensive staff that so many companies seem to seek. Jacobson also said:

    There has been a consistent increase in the need to hire technology staff since our study began in July of 2009. Even in an area like underwriting, where the increase in demand over the past 18 months has been more dramatic than that in IT, it hasn’t been as consistent as it has been in technology.

    There survey also highlighted two other trends: That there seem to be fewer opportunities to reduce staff through automation and that the use of temporary employees is on the rise, though the use of temp workers in IT certainly isn’t breaking news. 

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