As we enter H2, it closes a challenging chapter for the Insurance industry within the Irish market.
Over the last 6-9 months we have seen IFRS 17 successfully implemented for many of the large group functions, IORP II increased the demand for recruitment within Internal Audit across captive insurers and a need for Business Partners/FP&A Accountants to assist in the planning, projecting, and implementation of many IT transformation projects across all Insurance fields.
IFRS 17 brought many challenges for Irish Insurers, with many increasing headcount in actuarial and technical accounting due to the complexities of this new standard. With much of the initiations now complete, many of the designated project teams are integrating back into group finance or are seeking a new challenge within the current market.
Since late 2022 it was evident recruitment across GIA within Insurance was on the rise, we noted multiple openings from entry-level to senior management. This was due to new regulatory framework brought in by the CBI known as IORP II, requiring an increase in corporate governance on pension policies. In addition, many insurers made hires across their GIA functions to improve their ability to deal with the challenges they face from the CBI, thus making it difficult to find suitable talent due to high demand.
The last 6 months have shown that many insurers are going through major IT or system changes, with multiple firms taking on complete transformations. With heavy internal investment comes a need for Finance Business Partners/FP&A Accountants to negate what can be a difficult, time-consuming, and costly change, if not planned and executed correctly. We see this being a big focus across the insurance landscape over the next few months and years. Finding suitable talent with ERP, Power BI/ or similar experience complementing senior stakeholder management exposure may prove difficult across the qualified accounting/finance space.
As we move into the second half of 2023, we predict the market to maintain its candidate-driven nature, we predict it will become difficult to attract the best talent solely for a monetary increase.
Many of the following are key factors in attracting the best talent:
- Hybrid Working Model
- Recognising global inflation and benchmarking salaries to align
- Bonus, pension, and additional benefit packages (healthcare, dental, life insurance, wellness wallet)
- Maternity/Paternity Cover
- L&D Support
- Company Culture
With many employers moving their work model away from hybrid, it has contributed to attrition with a high difficulty in replacing talent. With many of our consultants experiencing rejection from candidates solely due to a company’s work model.
The counteroffer market remains one of the biggest challenges alongside emigration, with many skilled accountants emigrating. It has become evident that employers will go to extreme measures to maintain their best talent.
Our advice to employers who are currently or intend on hiring over the coming months:
- Avoid offering a lesser salary than candidate expectations (within reason) – get full breakdown of current salary & benefits and ensure to offer an attractive package.
- If you like a particular candidate, keep the process moving swiftly and close quickly or there will be a risk of losing the candidate which will ultimately end in a long and frustrating process.
- Encourage in-person interviews, it will give you the best opportunity to learn about your candidate, sell the opportunity and demonstrate your company culture & showcase your office.
- Lastly, we advise a wet signature (in-person signing) as it significantly increases the candidate’s commitment and provides you with an opportunity to reinforce company values and view the workplace. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet their new team also, even a casual drink afterwards.
With Ireland remaining attractive to talent from abroad, it is important to have an open mind when reviewing candidates, we see many experienced candidates immediately rejected due to the lack of local experience or them having to relocate to Dublin. The next 12-18 months will prove difficult for companies who do not become open-minded toward supporting visa sponsorship or considering candidates from outside Ireland.
As the local talent pool becomes smaller due to emigration these highly skilled individuals from different geographical locations will become excellent alternatives candidates for open vacancies.
We have also seen a steep increase in contract roles across the insurance market in Dublin. Many of these roles are maternity covers, but many are a temporary hire to complete a particular project or assist with BAU. This increase may be down to employers finding it difficult to find the ideal candidate, with many employers taking a risk hiring from other regulated or financial service entities with candidates having limited or no insurance experience.
The popularity of contracts within the Insurance market is still to be determined, mainly because of the high level of permanent positions available. We do expect to see this growth in this trend over the coming months, down to limited talent in the insurance field and because of the general volatility within the Irish market.
Overall, there are many positives across the Insurance industry throughout a challenging 6 months, with the majority of the company’s experiencing growth and making positive hires.
If you would like to discuss the above or how we can support your hiring processes in the current market, please get in touch with Consultant Colin Finnerty at email@example.com