2023 Executive Outlook | T. Marshall Sadd, Navacord

T. Marshall Sadd, executive chairman, Navacord

We are a human-capital business and the attraction and retention of talent should be our Number 1 concern.

Canada’s P&C insurance industry is the backbone of the economy yet remains the best kept secret in terms of talent attraction. Our industry is persistently described as ‘old-school,’ despite its forward-thinking diversification and modernization. We need to break this stereotype and promote the industry as it is today — modern, fast-paced, innovative and collaborative.

We need to make sure the next generation of leaders, innovators, risk advisors and underwriters are not only attracted to our industry but are prepared in their roles to support economic growth and protect clients against new emerging risks. We need to invest in educating our incoming talent to think differently about our industry — and about risk. They need our knowledge and tools to help Canadians and businesses mitigate risks quickly, transfer risks efficiently, and develop the tools and solutions necessary to manage any catastrophic events.

Investment to attract top talent and potential is required immediately. Plus, the industry needs to make significant investments in our human resource practices.

We have changed our mindset regarding recruitment, developing it into an essential skill set — finding talent, assessing talent, and creating a strong onboarding experience. Also, we welcome industry outsiders into our business, knowing the infrastructure is in place to educate them about the industry, the opportunities it offers, and develop their insurance skill sets.

The industry must welcome diverse backgrounds and minds to reflect the communities and business segments we serve. It’s no longer appropriate to rest on our laurels and continue traditional referral and recruitment tactics. We need to reach further — deeper — and build broad-spectrum teams that have been proven to accelerate growth.

Talent and recruitment remain priorities. We ask each of our businesses across Canada to commit a set percentage of their revenues to hiring new talent on an annual basis. We urge the rest of the industry to do the same. Invest in your people now. You are investing in our future.