Due largely to the improving economic landscape and growing recruitment budgets, Ireland’s insurance sector has been recruiting new and replacement headcount in the first half of 2015, and we expect to see this positive trend continuing throughout the year.
Demand for CIP, ACII and APA qualified talent across specialist claims handling, underwriting and operations is at it’s highest level in a number of years, with projects like Solvency II implementation also returning to the priority list, driving continuing demand for programme managers, project managers and compliance and risk specialists.
In addition, many companies are going through organisational changes and implementing new IT systems, which is likely to stimulate further demand. “While operations always accounts for the biggest absolute volume of recruitment, we expect to see relative increases in the numbers being recruited into compliance, as well as an upturn in the numbers of risk and actuarial professionals being recruited. In addition, we are already seeing a big jump in the numbers of sales and marketing professionals into roles such as marketing manager, business development manager and financial advisor, as insurers seek to capitalise on the economic upswing,” says Louise Parkinson, Team Lead, Financial Services, at Morgan McKinley.
“Talent availability is quite tight in specialist areas so insurance companies are advised to speed up hiring processes if they want to snap up the best professionals before the competition,” she adds. It can also be a challenge to source professionals for contract roles, particularly within General Insurance, as the vast majority of qualified talent are in permanent roles.
“On occasion, insurance companies may need to source from overseas but we normally only see this when they are recruiting into specialist positions such as risk managers or commercial actuaries,” says Grace Gilbert, Senior Consultant, General Insurance and Actuarial.
Talent in the Irish market would generally be highly qualified, with the Central Bank of Ireland’s minimum competency code ensuring that the majority of professionals in the market would have achieved a level of minimum professional competency (APA or CIP qualification). The Insurance Institute of Ireland is the local industry body for General Insurance and would design and deliver all relevant local qualifications for insurance professionals. Increasingly, as the market becomes more competitive, to differentiate themselves we see more professionals are continuing on to advanced qualifications such as the DLDU, MDI, ACII and FCII, particularly at senior or specialist level. These qualifications also often passport to other jurisdictions; in the UK, Canada and Australia.