BOSTON – With the Great Resignation having a big impact on the economy, major corporations are struggling to find workers. And now, some companies are turning to college undergrads for recruitment.
Arbella Insurance is teaming with the University of Massachusetts Amherst to streamline the recruitment process.
Jim Hyatt is the Executive Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer at Arbella. He says the company's workforce is getting older and needs help from the younger generation to fill the gaps.
"The jobs that we need to get filled are slightly different than they were in the past," says Hyatt.
He admits retirements are also a factor and the nature of job positions are evolving.
"The marketing jobs and sales jobs have also changed over the years. We are much more focused in on our branding efforts on digital," Hyatt said.
Arbella is now working with the Isenberg School of Management at UMass, offering an insurance project challenge to freshmen and sophomore students.
One thousand undergrads were broken up in to 196 teams and competed in a NCAA-type tournament bracket until they got down to four teams.
"We were able to get in front of all 1,000 freshmen in the entire business school and all of them competed on an insurance industry challenge," Hyatt said. "They were impressive. These kids are 18, 19 years old and they came to play."
The dean of the Isenberg School of Management Anne Massey came up with the concept. And she hopes this type of hands-on integration into the real world will benefit the appeal of the insurance.
"To try and make the industry sexy," says Massey. "You know, how do you get students interested? Students will say I want to go to work for Amazon or Facebook or Microsoft or whatever and there's a lot of cool industries out there and a lot of cool companies."
To give you an idea of how difficult it is to recruit insurance candidates, the Isenberg School typically has 4,100 undergraduate students. However, Massey says only about 10 of those go into insurance.
"The sooner you can get in front of students, the more attention you're going to get," Massey points out. "There's no question about that."
And so far, students seem to be enjoying the partnership and the challenges that come with it.
"It did grab a lot of our attention," Rising sophomore Harriet Gerochi admits. "It did grab a lot of our interest. and they did offer internships."
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