In the bustling landscape of finance, certain sectors shine brightly, attracting talent more than other sectors. Yet, within this vast ecosystem lies an industry often overlooked: the credit insurance and surety industry. While it may not have the glamour of banking or the allure of tech, this industry plays a pivotal role in mitigating risk and safeguarding financial transactions. However, one of its greatest challenges, like in many other niche industries, lies in attracting and retaining top talent.

Let’s face it: credit insurance and surety aren’t typically the topics that set hearts racing or ignite passions. Compared to the glamor of sectors like banking or Silicon Valley startups, this field often struggles to capture the imagination of job seekers. The result? A talent pool that may overlook the opportunities and rewards this industry has to offer.

Even for those who venture into the realm of credit insurance and surety, retention can still be an obstacle to success. The charm of better-known industries in an era where prestige counts can divert talented individuals away from us. This can lead to churn in talent as well as shortages. These in turn disrupt operations but also limit long-term growth and innovation.

Increase awareness of CI and Surety

Perception is a significant challenge faced by the credit insurance and surety industry. Many people are simply unaware of the industry’s existence, let alone its importance and role within the broader financial landscape. Furthermore, for those who do have some awareness of credit insurance and surety, it is often perceived as a less glamorous or appealing field compared to more mainstream sectors like banking or technology. This perception can deter potential talent from considering careers in the industry, leading to a limited pool of candidates.

So, how can the credit insurance and surety business rise above these challenges and attract—and, more importantly, retain—top talent?

To address the awareness challenge, education and engagement are part of the key. Here, collaboration with universities and educational institutions is essential. Introducing courses and educational programs which feature information on credit insurance and surety can increase awareness about the industry among students and professionals alike. By educating individuals about the vital role this industry plays in global trade and finance, and showcasing the diverse career opportunities it offers, focus can be shifted towards our industry. This will lead to a more robust and vibrant talent pool for the credit insurance and surety sector.

The industry offers ample opportunities for career growth and progress. We should emphasise the diverse career paths, from underwriting and risk analysis to claims management and business development, that await talented individuals. Furthermore, we must showcase the industry’s broader impact on achieving a just transition and facilitating sustainability and resilience in economies. Today’s talent is not only looking for a monthly pay check, but a role with true impact on the world around. Making these elements clearer and promoting the benefits of our industry in these different fields will help to attract and retain talent.

Another factor that could attract the next generation is by cultivating a dynamic culture. Create a workplace environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Our industry is at the forefront of innovation. Just look at ourselves 10 years ago. It is also by nature a globally engaged and diversified sector. Embrace these inherent qualities of diversity and inclusion in our sector. Talking about rewards, competitive compensation is essential in attracting and retaining top talent. It’s often said, “Pay peanuts, get monkeys”. But it is not solely about the salary slip at the end of the month. Fair compensation not only acknowledges employees’ contributions but also encourages their commitment and engagement. Equip employees with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their roles and advance in their careers. Offer comprehensive training programs, mentorship opportunities, and professional development resources to nurture talent from within. Utilize industry associations like ICISA to enhance the training of young talents by helping them access industry experts and build global networks. Ultimately, we must equip emerging professionals with valuable skills and knowledge which stands with them throughout their entire career.

When considering the aspirations of most young professionals, it frequently boils down to two key desires: maintaining a healthy work-life balance and seizing early opportunities for substantial responsibility. While these may seem contradictory at first glance, they reflect the diverse preferences of individuals, with some prioritizing work-life equilibrium and others seeking career advancement. It is mandatory upon workplaces to discern these preferences among their employees and tailor offerings accordingly. Embracing flexible work arrangements and supporting personal interests cultivates a positive and enriching work atmosphere. Furthermore, providing ambitious individuals with avenues to assume significant responsibilities serves as a compelling incentive for attracting and retaining top talent. Mentorship and guidance play crucial roles in nurturing their development and advancement within the organization.

Finally, the world around us today moves to the beat of innovation and technology. The industry’s dedication to innovation is a draw for ambitious individuals seeking dynamic and forward-thinking workplaces. Highlighting innovation opportunities within the industry can attract those eager to make a meaningful impact.

The value of overcoming challenges

While attracting and retaining talent in the credit insurance and surety business may present its fair share of challenges, the rewards far outweigh the barriers. A skilled and dedicated workforce not only drives operational excellence but also fuels innovation and growth. By investing in talent acquisition and retention strategies, companies can position themselves for long-term success and increase their standing as industry leaders.

In conclusion, even though the credit insurance and surety industry isn’t always in the spotlight, it’s crucial to understand its huge impact on trade, finance and commerce globally. To make the most of this, the industry needs to get noticed more by highlighting the exciting opportunities it provides. By showing off the various career paths and growth options available, companies in this field can attract and keep talented people. It’s important to match these opportunities with what individuals want and are good at. This way, everyone’s happy, and the industry can keep growing and improving.

Raluca Ezaru
Raluca EzaruExternal Relations & Information Officer at ICISA