The rehiring of former employees may be a no-go area for most financial services employers, but the insurance sector is bucking the trend and is now more willing to consider former staff for current vacancies, says recruiting experts Hays in Singapore.
“There is an ongoing shortage of skilled and experienced professionals in Singapore’s insurance sector, and as a result employers are now much more willing to consider rehiring former employees,” says Chris Mead, Regional Director of Hays in Singapore and Malaysia. Mead notes that while this is certainly not a common practice in other financial services businesses, the insurance industry is leading the way here.
“There are many employers who see a resignation as a personal rejection of the company, but this is not necessarily the case. Perhaps the employee left for a challenge you are unable to provide right now, or to travel or for personal reasons that would not impede a return at a future date."
Mead adds that, in such cases, and for staff who you value, it is a sensible strategic move to maintain contact with these potential ‘boomerang’ employees.
According to Hays, you can take a formal or casual approach to this. Some organisations choose to have a formal alumni program run by a dedicated human resources professional and involving not only regular communications but also regular networking functions.
Others take a casual approach by using an online forum, such as a Facebook group, to allow former employees to keep in touch and to share company news or short-term job opportunities.
“Those employees that do return bring back their corporate knowledge, skills and experience. They require less training and their productivity is likely to be high since they return with a renewed sense of commitment - their time away has reinforced just how good an organisation yours is to work for. As a result, they’re likely to be retained longer,” says Hays.
In other trends, the use of temporary staff is rising in the insurance market as employers attempt to achieve a higher rate of flexibility within their workforce, while staff retention is an important consideration.
According to the latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of jobs in demand, the following insurance skills are sought:
Underwriting – There is a shortage of Underwriters in the local market and therefore competition to attract the top talent is high. In addition, industry consolidation is resulting in increased demand for re-insurance underwriters.
Claims – Naturally as insurance businesses grow, claims grow as well. A lot of growth is within the region surrounding Singapore since insurance companies are expanding regionally. This is fuelling high demand for claims professionals.
Sales and Business Distribution – The lifeblood of insurance firms, employers seek Sales and Business Distribution professionals to increase their revenue.
Compliance – The insurance industry is still feeling the effects of the financial crisis. As a result they are investing more in compliance and control to meet increased demands from the MAS.
Finance – Finance is always a strong area of demand in financial services business. Given increased regional coverage we are seeing continual demand for finance professionals with insurance experience.