Since beginning my recruitment journey a year ago, there has been an eye-opening amount of change that I have and will continue to witness within Life Insurance. Whether it be the purchasing of one company by another, the introduction of LIF Reforms, Code of Practice, changes in regulatory and compliance guidelines and the ever-revolving door that is people moving from company to company!
Right now – the buzz words within the industry are “Budget” and “Royal Commission” which has practically brought a majority of the life insurance powerhouses to a standstill and created an absolute nightmare for those professionals working within the product management and development space. What new regulations and compliance do I have to adhere to now? How much time will I be spending on reviewing and closing old legacy products? And what I believe to the hottest question on everyone’s lips… how innovative can I really be when creating a new product?
Whether you are involved in preparation for the Royal Commission or not, all of these questions plus many more may apply to you. Do you stay within a company that has been hounded and changes need to be made or do you try slip out somewhere which is seemingly less challenging? In my view, no matter where you are, the challenges are all there and they may seem different right now but I feel all of these different paths lead to the same place - a safe haven of being compliant but also being the number 1 choice of consumers.
What I find these changes have done, is they have brought upon the rise of the technical product manager - essentially the subject matter expert, the person who is so deeply invested in what the regulatory changes are that they can provide most, if not all the information needed for product developers to ensure their active and new products are compliant. All whilst keeping in mind that the product needs to stay malleable enough to be changed again in the future without too much fuss.
When speaking to hiring managers, these technical product managers are the diamonds in the rough. Every manager wants one and are continually on the search for them. But of course, one of the real unicorns are the out-of-the-box thinkers. You may be thinking, but how can we be creative in such a highly regulated environment? The innovative mind always finds a way. You can develop technical product managers if you implement the right processes and challenge their thinking, but the innovator will be the one who separates you from the rest of the pack. Someone who isn’t narrow minded and can see the big picture, not just looking at short term but also the long term. These skills can positively compliment the analytical and regulated minds of the life insurance industry which will help the industry continue moving forward and minimising any risk of staying the same.
Alas, this is the life insurance industry we are talking about here, the everchanging powerhouses. Come 6-months’ time, this may very well be irrelevant, but such is the nature of life insurance. What will come next? What will be the true ramifications post Royal Commission? What are the full limitations from the latest Budget? I’m excited to see what it will all lead to and how the great minds we have within product are going to be able to shape the future of life insurance for both the industry and its consumers.
All of this also presents a challenge when recruiting Product Managers as each hiring manager has a different thought on the potential changes in the industry and the characteristics they want in a candidate. However, to overcome this, I always ensure I listen to exactly what the client wants, play it back to them to ensure I’ve correctly interpreted, and then represent their views and values whilst vetting potential candidates. As well as the time invested in getting to know our industry and keep up to date with news coming through - this is the difference we represent within the industry and what separates us from generalist recruiters.
Feel free to get in touch with me in regards to opportunities or assistance in ensuring you find the best candidate for your team! Call me on 0410 001 635 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org