These Workers’ Comp Pros Are Teaming Up to Address the Talent Crisis

In an effort to address the workers' comp talent gap crisis, The Transitions launched its year-long webinar series. Experts from the workers' comp industry plan to delve into various solutions to attract a new generation of talent. 
By: | February 5, 2021

The workers’ comp industry has had its fair share of challenges in recent years.

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Behavioral health claims made their way onto the forefront of injured worker implications. The onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the sector to navigate new presumption laws, among other disruptions. And now, its facing an ever-looming problem: The talent gap crisis.

An aging workforce has been holding on to their jobs well past retirement. Nearly 20% of Americans aged 65 or older are either working past retirement or actively seeking employment, and the number of retirement aged Americans in the workforce has doubled since 1985, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CDC and the U.S. census.

To combat this phenomenon, which is notoriously called “the silver tsunami,” a group of workers’ comp experts joined forces to create The Transitions, an educational webinar series lead by industry leaders.

Bringing Together Workers’ Comp Talent

The Transitions originally formed to give a presentation at the 2020 National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference, in which the team addressed the growing talent gap crisis.

Barry Bloom, principal, The bdb Group

They came to realize, however, that the talent crisis deserved more dialogue than just one virtual session at a conference. There were more aspects and components of the crisis to build upon.

The mission of The Transitions is to equip every person, company and organization with the tools and methods to develop their own response to the talent gap.

“We’ve never faced this — people are leaving the industry and no one wants to go back in,” said Barry Bloom, managing principal, The bdb Group.

The panel, led by Mark Pew, senior vice president of product development & marketing at Preferred Medical, is the the first in a 12-part series of webinars. It delves into what the series would consist of.

Each webinar will focus on a different component of both the talent gap crisis and the transition to welcoming a new generation to the workers’ comp sector.

These components need to be “re-imagined,” as the panelists said. Aspects that will be presented on include re-imagining mentorship, communication models and marketing strategies.

Additionally, each webinar will provide tangible takeaways for participants, including handouts and notes for action items to be completed long after the webinar series’ end.

Long-Term Commitment to Talent

The Transitions is striving to inspire the workers’ comp industry to face this crisis head on.

They have many long-term goals, including remaining innovative, especially when it comes to an organization’s technology strategies.

They are also focused on helping comp professionals at organizations remain open to collaboration and have the tough conversations with their company, asking, “Is our organization taking direct steps to address the talent gap crisis?”

One thing is for certain: If workers’ comp wants to attract new talent, it’s imperative the industry displays the type of purpose that so many millennials and Gen Z-ers are looking for in a career.

Claire Muselman, workers recovery unit director at Continental Western Group, a Berkley Company, found this in her research: People want to find a meaning and purpose in their work, making it crucial to incorporate this ideal when attracting new talent.

Another vital takeaway from the panel’s first webinar was the value that retiring employees can have in response to the crisis. Muselman discussed the importance of incorporating the older employees into the conversation.

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“Pull up some chairs and include them in the dialogue and conversation,” she said during the webinar. “There’s a lot of knowledge and experience that won’t be able to be replicated, so ask [these employees], ‘Who do you see as your successor and how do we bring that to fruition?’ ”

The first two webinars of The Transitions’ series, including a presentation by Rachel Fikes, CXO and director of the Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study, Rising Medical Solutions, are available here&

Emma Brenner is a staff writer with Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]