Talent Pressures and the Aging Workforce: Finance & Insurance Sector
by Stephen Sweet and Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes with Elyssa Besen, Shoghik Hovhannisyan, and Farooq Pasha
August 2010—Despite suffering from low morale following the economic downturn, the US Finance and Insurance sector is potentially better prepared for the aging workforce than other industries. Firms in this sector have greater awareness of employees’ career plans, work preferences, retirement rates, and are further along in developing succession plans, according to a new study by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work.
This is particularly good news because the percentage of workers aged 55-64 in the sector increased by about 38% from 2000-2007, and the proportion of workers aged 65+ increased by about 10%.
- more than half (51%) of finance and insurance employers have developed succession plans (compared to 35% of employers in other sectors);
- more than half (51%) have projected retirement rates (compared to just 21% in other sectors);
- more than half (55%) have evaluated competency sets of current employees (compared to 49% in other sectors);
- nearly half (48.9%) have assessed anticipated skill needs (compared to 43% in other sectors); and
- over a third (35%) have identified employee career plans and work preferences (compared to 21% in other sectors).
The most frequently cited concern in the finance and insurance sector was recruiting competent job applicants, particularly with management, sales/marketing, and legal skills. Firms had fewer concerns with absenteeism and being able to offer competitive pay and benefits.
Overall, the finance and insurance sector offers some of the most desirable jobs available. Having interesting, independent, socially useful, secure work more more important to those in finance & insurance, compared to employees in other sectors. And fully 9 out of 10 workers in the sector are very or somewhat satisfied with their job.
Still, approximately only 1 in 15 employers in this sector do not presently offer flexible work opportunities at all, and most commonly they reported providing work flexibility “to a limited extent.” This evidence suggests that work flexibilities available in the finance and insurance industry show promise as a means of attracting and retaining the talents of these older workers.