There are actually quite a few interesting things happening in life and health insurance

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After job cuts and restructures at the likes of ANZ and Suncorp in recent months, sentiment in the new financial year may be slightly less negative – just don’t expect aggressive recruitment.

The growth of the direct-life market, the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) legislation, and more educated consumers are set to dictate the thinking of life insurers, according to Ben Connelly, manager, life insurance and superannuation Australia and New Zealand, Darwin Rhodes.

As a consequence, life insurers will be spending more on product, pricing and retention, and therefore Connelly expects a rise in the recruitment of product and relationship managers, and pricing actuaries.

“However, there are skill shortages within technical life insurance roles and I expect a recruitment drive for candidates from the UK and South Africa specifically,” adds Connelly.

While life insurers might be looking overseas for talent, offshoring of existing jobs is also growing. “Many of the international and domestic insurers, more recently, are offshoring process-orientated operational and reporting roles,” says Graeme Bradley, director, Marks Sattin.

Yet there remains a local skills shortage at most levels of the industry, particularly in senior management. “Our reading is that the supply of generalist professionals is outstripping demand, and that employers are looking for candidates with more top-level know-how,” says Bradley.

Healthy hiring?

The abolition of the private health insurance rebate for high-income earners is creating demand for junior-level customer service candidates, at least in the short term. “Those with exposure to medical insurance claims and strong empathetic customer service skills will be in the running for roles with health insurers,” says Tom Brown, manager, Michael Page Financial Services.

And the struggle for market share between the major health insurance firms is also set to create work for IT specialists in 2012/2013. “The major players in the health insurance industry are looking at serious growth and as a consequence are reviewing their IT investments closely, and this will lead to the recruitment of systems administrators, business analysts and project managers,” says Brown.

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