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MERJE Markets: Catch up with Mandy Bancroft

  • Publish Date: Posted 5 months ago
  • Author:by Mandy Bancroft

​Mandy has more than 10 years’ worth of experience in the world of employment, ranging from training to full 360 degrees recruitment. She has been nicknamed the ‘Networking Ninja’ in previous roles because of her drive when it comes to coming up with fresh ideas, advancing her career and accessing new information.

Mandy loves working with people and the candidate journey is extremely important to her. She believes that a happy candidate results in a happy client, which is the ultimate recipe for recruitment success.

In her current role at MERJE, Mandy specialises in claims and insurance recruitment. She helps skilled candidates looking for new claims and insurance jobs to find their perfect next career step across a host of market leading insurance businesses.

What do you like most about working at MERJE?

MERJE offers great flexibility, which is essential when it comes to striking the right work-life balance. It’s also an adult environment which provides people with the chance to build their own network without feeling micromanaged.

I’m really lucky to work with some great people who are at the top of their game. The chat and the culture is spot on here, which is always an important way of keeping office life fresh and exciting.

What are the key shifts you've observed across claims, insurance, paralegals, litigation, and fee earners roles since starting your career?

The insurance industry is really booming and is, in fact, one of the UK’s most productive industries, adding more than £40 billion a year to the economy which is helping the UK to thrive.

That’s part of the reason why I took the plunge and decided to specialise in this area after a long stint of being more of a call centre generalist. I’ve also noticed a lot of key mergers among large insurance companies recently which have included Axis Capital confirming its acquisition of Lloyds-quoted insurer Novae and AIG announcing it was acquiring Validus.

This has shaken up the candidate market and paved the way for lots of exciting new roles and opportunities across some major industry players.

What are the main factors affecting insurance recruitment right now?

The main challenge has been the cost-of-living crisis, which led to a spike in certain insurance premiums in line with rising inflation. This resulted in customers having to cancel policies when seeking to cut household costs.

As a way to combat this, the FCA asked insurers to reassess customers' needs, provide clear information, and waive fees associated with adjusting a customer's policy as a way to weather the current economic storm.

Despite this huge challenge, insurance recruitment is a really competitive market at the moment as we recover from Covid, mitigate the risks of climate change, and battle the explosion in cybercrime, all while navigating technological advances such as digital transformation.

All of these massive factors, which aren’t going anywhere, mean that customer needs are changing and this has resulted in companies having to pull out all the stops to secure the best talent possible to tackle these developments head on.

Clients are increasingly reviewing market salaries, benefits and incentives, while undergoing consultancy processes to streamline traditional interview and onboarding processes.

What I can offer is advice and insights on the market as I have a 360 view on how companies tend to recruit. I can therefore give advice around best practice so that my clients strengthen their hiring frameworks to get the insurance and claims professionals they need to do the job well.

What areas of insurance currently feel the most buoyant?

As a specialist insurance recruiter, I keep my eye closely on the market and have seen a massive ramp up in the motoring space due to the continued rise of electric vehicles and the thriving second-hand car market. In addition, more people are seeking private medical insurance since Covid and as the NHS continues to struggle with patient backlogs to ensure peace of mind when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

What news headline would you like to see for the insurance sector in 2024?

In a word: Growth!

I hope that insurance will respond to emerging new customers, each of which have their own unique demands. This, in particular, includes younger generations who want more holistic services that support financial wellness.

Has the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) had an impact on insurance?

I’m all for advances in AI. For example, AI assisted risk assessment can help insurers better customise plans so that customers pay only for what they actually need. It can also minimise human error in the application process which can significantly increase the speed of applications being submitted and reviewed, leading to a better customer experience overall.

However, it’s important to be aware of the risks, such as AI taking away the personal touch, diluting human knowledge, increasing the risk of data privacy breaches, and giving rise to algorithmic bias.

Businesses should hire insurance professionals who are staying abreast of the advances in AI technology and can effectively implement it within their processes whilst mitigating the potential risks.

Read more about AI and recruitment in 2024 in our 2024 Trends article.

What are your top tips for companies hiring right now?

Be personable! At MERJE, we pride ourselves on building lasting relationships and a great rapport with our clients and candidates. Getting this right in the first instance helps us to ensure that the hiring process is seamless, efficient and able to keep pace ahead of the competition.

Companies need to go with their instincts when hiring, keep the lines of communications open, and not leave candidates hanging. This is the best way to attract and secure the best talent.

Any core advice for candidates looking for claims and insurance jobs?

It’s simple: check and double check your CV. Make sure you’re adding personalisation, your spelling and grammar is spot on, and you're reflecting the job requirements in every application.

You could also add diary dates so interviewers know when you're available for follow ups and interviews. And when you turn up to an interview, make sure you own it. Do plenty of research and preparation.

What’s your favourite MERJE memory?

There are loads! The social events are off the scale and MERJE really goes to town when it comes to our get-togethers. I also have to give a shout out to the garlic bread from the pizza van that frequently makes its way to our office!

Quick Fire

If you could instantly learn a new skill, what would it be?

To speak a few other languages!

What’s the song that gets you moving?

Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes is my workout song, but who can resist throwing those shapes to Proud Mary?!

What’s your Mastermind specialist subject?

It’s got to be 90s music!

Do you have some insurance jobs that need great candidates? Maybe a claims job that you're struggling to fill? Or if you're looking for the next step in your insurance / claims career, get in touchwith our team today to discuss your options.

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