Talent vs. Work: How a Digital Workforce Props Up Talent

Curtis Samoy, Founder, Clementine Tech

Talent. A blanket term we use in the business world to describe people who work. But really the two couldn’t be more different, and in other worlds, they’re in fact often used oppositely. Athletes, musicians and actors with a surplus of talent are often thought of as mutually exclusive from those putting in real work. Today’s talent shortage is well known and lamented throughout the broker channel, but if you ask anyone directly they could never bring themselves to say the space is short on talent. Talented people abound, and many teams are satisfied with the talent they have. What they are truly lamenting is how much WORK we’re asking our TALENT to do. Brokers in Ontario are recognizing this and starting to deploy a digital workforce to take on this extra load and ease the urgency of hiring new talent.

There’s been a big push for tech and modernization in the insurance industry. Need to reach a larger audience? Engage your loyal customers? Upsell? Cross-sell? There’s a robust, standalone, third-party software tool for that, and insurance brokers and companies alike are adopting them in multiples. Suddenly you find yourself with more data in more places. More steps added to more carrier processes. And it falls on your talent to pick up all this extra work. 

I believe the athletes and musicians are more on the right track. Let the talent shine through in customer interactions or finding real insights and efficiencies in your flashy new dashboards and tools. Leave the work of data maintenance and following meticulous processes to someone else. Or something else.

There’s a new, intriguing option that doesn’t aim to bring in more work. Rather, it takes the work off the plate of your talent. Digital workers churn tirelessly overnight and on weekends making sure all the tedious hoops are jumped through and data is populated/synchronized/transmitted across all your tools and markets. Robotic Process Automation is not flashy, and digital workers cannot replace talent. A digital worker will follow a set of steps and rules without complaint and without faltering—erasing backlogs, bottlenecks and low value tasks—while getting paid accordingly. It’s time to stop fighting over talent just so you can 

get work done. It’s time to repurpose your talent to be utilized appropriately and spend less on what you need more of: workers.

Early adopting brokerages are finding value in offloading repetitive, drawn-out tasks like  Electronic Data Interchange downloads (and the error handling, file renaming, and sorting that comes with it), renewal reviews, and bookkeeping. There’s an eye on carrier uploads as well. Digital workers closely mimic how a human operates a computer, allowing them to gather data from any source, perform premium comparisons, recognize errors on a screen and navigate around them, and interact with everything from web portals to your flashy new API-enabled third-party tools to your BMS. Talented, knowledgeable brokers can focus on giving advice and supporting customers in making their decisions. 

You can deploy a whole handful of these tireless, robotically accurate workers and get all this work off the shoulders of your existing talent for less than a single full-time salary. The best part is that spending less time on menial tasks can boost brokers’ job satisfaction. Give your team this headspace and you’ll discover you’re not as short on talent as you think.

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VOLUME 21 | ISSUE 6