4 questions answered by Shaun McKenzie on the impact of COVID-19 and the expected trends in the IT recruitment and insurance industries

Shaun McKenzie leads our insurance practice, which he has successfully grown over the last 10 years. A glimpse of Shaun’s indispensable market knowledge is shared in the following questions he answered for us below. 

1. What are the in-demand skills and trends in the insurance industry this period? 

During the lockdown period, the type of requirements have been for specialists and subject matter experts (SMEs). For example, some of the specialist expertise include catastrophe modelling, actuarial capital modelling, and delegated authority experience.  

A trend across the market has seen clients only looking external for additional resource requirements only after identifying gaps within their permanent team. Through conversations across our client I believe contractor numbers will continue to be reduced throughout the rest of Q2 and early part of Q3 as permanent members of staff need re-assigning to projects, but expect to see recruitment needs increasing in Q4 of 2020.  

2. How do you think COVID-19 impacted the recruitment process in the insurance industry, and what is here to stay?

We saw an initial reluctance from clients to bring in new resource during the 1st month of the lockdown. Since late April and throughout May, clients are more willing to look external and onboard candidates in either contract or permanent positions.  Now, it is more clear on how this could be done without the need to physically interview and set up new users on companies secure networks. 

3. What is the greatest benefit when a client is working with an experienced recruiter like you?

Moving forward, I can see the insurance sector looking to increase remote working, as evidence proves successful delivery, work efficiency and benefits on workers mental wellbeing. Onboarding new hires remotely seem more likely to be seen more often in the future. Also, as a result of the “new normal” working practices, insurers will also be looking at downsizing their office space as another way of driving down operational costs.  

Having worked in insurance for several years, I have gained an extensive understanding of technological and market reforms. This has allowed my team and me to be in a strong position when clients have new hire requirements; however niche the roles may be. Through long-standing relationships with our clients and Hiring Managers, I’m able to give an honest opinion on any queries put to me along with ensuring only candidates who meet both the skills and experience but also team fit. 

4. What would be your advice to job seekers right now?

The advice I would give to job seekers right now is to be patient and stay positive, while enjoying time with friends and family. It is a tough market at the moment with clients having a bigger pool of available candidates to choose from their needs.  

Do your best by ensuring your LinkedIn profile is up to date, detailing some of the key projects you have worked on and helped deliver. Also, speak with recruitment agents, like RED10, to keep your name at the front of their minds for when opportunities arise.