The insurance sector relies heavily on skilled professionals for efficient claims processing, underwriting, and customer service. However, recruiting the right talent can be tedious and expensive, especially in the face of labor shortages and mounting competition.
To overcome this challenge, insurers are increasingly turning towards alternative solutions such as outsourcing insurance staffing, which can significantly alleviate the hiring burden for internal teams. With outsourcing, insurers can tap into a pool of qualified candidates, streamline the recruitment process, and focus on their core business activities.
Throughout this article, we'll discuss how you can assess your staffing needs and identify whether working with a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner would benefit your organization.
Assessing Your Staffing Needs
The first step is to assess your staffing needs to ensure you have the right team of professionals to lead your organization to success. This means identifying what's missing from your current team and where you have any talent gaps that could detract from the quality of service you offer policyholders.
This may include departments where you are short-staffed, if certain workers' skills are not adequately utilized, or any other mismatches in talent you recognize throughout the company. Any of these problems can lead to inefficiencies and keep you lagging behind other peers in the market.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to better grasp your current staffing situation and how this could impact your performance:
What Positions Are You Missing?
Firstly, identify any unfilled roles in your organization. This can occur for many reasons, like if key personnel leaves and you cannot fill their position for a while. On the other hand, new roles continue to emerge in the industry as technology advances, creating new jobs that previously didn't exist. You may recognize new roles to add to your team to remain competitive and keep up with industry standards.
Each insurance function is essential in supporting the policyholder experience and driving loyalty. Let's take a deeper look at some core roles and why having enough people power in each area is critical to success:
- Claim Processing: Effective claims processing helps you maintain a high level of policyholder satisfaction and can reduce the costs associated with fraud and unnecessary payouts.
- Policy Administration: This function is critical to accurately maintain and update administered policies to meet regulatory requirements. It also helps ensure policyholders receive the appropriate level of service and support, which can help support their experience, satisfaction levels, and retention.
- Risk Management: Without a good risk management team, you may be left with too much exposure to certain risks. This role is essential to help you reduce exposure and minimize potential losses.
- Underwriting: At its core, underwriting helps maintain the company's financial stability, making sure the premiums you charge are sufficient to cover potential claims.
- Customer Service: The level of service policyholders receive can impact their satisfaction levels, churn rates, and loyalty, ultimately helping you sustainably grow your business.
Is Your Team Overburdened?
Like nearly all other industries recently, insurers have been short-staffed over the past few years. Your existing employees have likely taken on roles and responsibilities outside their scope to pick up some slack. Even when done temporarily, this can lead to frustrations among your team. If these issues become prolonged, you could be overworking your team to the point of employee turnover, poor performance, burnout, etc.
Is Hiring Costing Too Much?
Another important factor to consider is how expensive the hiring process is. A recent report from the Society for Human Resource Management found that the average cost per hire was about $4,700, though it can get much more expensive depending on the role you're hiring for.
You may incur these costs through lost productivity while the role remains vacant, the hard costs spent on recruiting and interviewing candidates, and the emotional costs that come from frustrations among existing employees and the hiring committee throughout the recruiting process.
The longer the recruitment process, the more costly it becomes. If the process is inefficient, ripple effects can be felt throughout the entire organization, all the way down to policyholders.
Do You Have Enough Resources to Support Onboarding?
Even if you find the right talent to hire, you may be disappointed by the outcome if you don’t have adequate processes to support them once they join your team. The hiring process can be costly, but you must also have adequate resources to invest in onboarding and continued support for new hires.
This can include setting up new hires with a mentor, developing a knowledge-sharing program, and other methods for getting them acclimated to their new position. The goal is to help them succeed in their roles so you don't have to go through the costly hiring process again soon.
Maximizing Growth Through Strategic Insurance Staffing Strategies
Instead of going through the hiring process independently and putting additional stress on their internal teams, many insurers turn to BPO solutions. There are numerous reasons why this type of partnership is, in many cases, the right move:
Access to Specialized Talent
One of the main benefits that you can take advantage of when partnering with a BPO provider is gaining access to qualified teams with specialized talent and skills. This is especially beneficial when the specialized role is hard to fill or costly to recruit for internally.
In many instances, BPO providers have teams of professionals with specific knowledge and experience in claims processing, underwriting, and customer service. They can help you improve the quality and efficiency of your operations and focus on your core operations.
Outsourcing is often more cost-effective than hiring and training internal staff. Specifically, you can save on salaries, benefits, training, and more when partnering with a BPO provider. This is particularly true for insurers that face fluctuating staffing needs during peak seasons, as they can adjust their team’s size according to the current demand without spending time and money hiring in-house.
Working with a BPO partner makes it easier to scale operations up or down to meet the market's and your policyholders' needs, which can fluctuate due to seasonal trends, natural disasters, or economic fluctuations. These sudden increases or decreases in workload can be challenging to manage, especially for in-house teams with fixed staffing levels. With the right BPO partner, you can instantly expand your team size.
Covenir: Your Onshore BPO Partner
At Covenir, our expert teams can step in and offer your policyholders the high-quality, on-brand service levels they have come to expect. Rather than going through the expensive recruiting and hiring process, you can rely on the experienced professionals that make up our team to give you the people power you require to offer an engaging and proactive service.
We have you covered from back-office support like underwriting support and premium services to frontline roles like customer service and FNOL and claims. We know the industry inside and out, so we can create the custom staffing solution you need to focus more on growth and innovation and less on recruiting and hiring.