The 2024 UK Hays Salary and Recruiting Trends Guide surveyed employers and professionals across the insurance sector. According to the research, over two thirds (68%) of insurance employers plan on hiring staff over the next year, but organisations expect to grapple with several challenges in the next 12 months.

The skills gap persists

In today’s talent-short market, the skills gap continues to cause disruption for employers within the insurance sector, as 93% experienced skills shortages over the last year. Other key challenges organisations predict to face are the economic environment (66%), hiring the right talent (60%) and retaining staff (67%).

Our research also reveals the ongoing importance of soft skills for insurance professionals to lead a fulfilling career. The most in-demand soft skills that insurance employers require are:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills (72%)
  • An ability to learn and upskill (59%)
  • Ability to adopt change (58%)
  • Problem-solving (55%)
  • Coordinating well with others (54%)

Salaries are on the up

The competition for talent has arguably led to bigger pay increases than expected. As well as this, the cost-of-living crisis has caused an increased concern amongst professionals about whether their salary will cover the extra costs. Over the last year, 88% of employers increased their employees’ pay, a noticeable increase from the year before (78%). Two thirds (67%) of employers say these rises have been a direct consequence of the rising cost of living.

Across the insurance sector, salaries have increased by an average of 3.9% in the past year. More specifically, professionals working in projects, change and operations (5.3%), claims (5.2%) and actuarial (4.2%) have seen salary rises above this average, mostly due to employers competing for in-demand niche expertise, skillsets and experience.

Salary increases are set to continue, as the majority of insurance employers (85%) plan to raise staff salaries in the coming year. However, as it stands, nearly a third (32%) of insurance professionals are dissatisfied with their current salary. In terms of employee movement, 41% of insurance professionals changed jobs in the last year and a further 36% considered doing so. The main reason professionals left their last job was because their salary was too low (34%), followed by a lack of fulfilment from the roles (32%).

Professionals motivated by a positive team culture

Aside from job security (71%), an engaging and supportive team culture (70%) was rated by insurance professionals as the factor that makes an organisation most appealing, followed by tailored flexible working practices (60%).

Most (80%) insurance employers offer hybrid working to staff and this continues to be an important draw for insurance professionals, as nearly two thirds (63%) would not consider accepting a job in the future if it did not offer hybrid working. When it comes to productivity, 31% of insurance professionals say they are most productive in the workplace, compared to 63% who believe they work best from home.

With half (50%) of professionals looking to change jobs in the year ahead, employers must tap into what people working in insurance value most, in order to attract and retain the top talent.

Earning Potential in Insurance
Business Function Entry Level* Senior roles* Partner/Head*
Underwriting £25,000 £120,000 £250,000
Claims £25,000 £95,000 £150,000
Broking £25,000 £120,000 £250,000
Risk and Compliance £30,000 £85,000 £125,000
Projects, Change and Operations £30,000 £110,000 £175,000
Actuarial £37,500 £150,000 £208,000

*Salaries based on jobs in London. Source Hays’ UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2024 Guide.

About the Author

  • Name: Luke Cahill, Director, Hays

Luke Cahill, Director at Hays specialising in Insurance, is an experienced recruiter who leads the Insurance practice at Hays Specialist Recruitment. With over twelve years of experience, he has an excellent track record of partnering with leading insurers and brokers and placing top talent in the London and regional markets.

The insurance practice at Hays has deep roots in the market and established networks within broking, underwriting, claims, actuarial and compliance making them an industry leader.

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