One of the major issues in the financial services profession is how to keep the industry from graying and continue to attract young job seekers.

On Tuesday LIMRA released data from recent focus groups and studies that revealed that Gen X and Y job seekers have values that align with the financial services profession, they just don’t know it.

Many Gen X and Y job seekers say they are not interested in a financial services sales position, according to LIMRA. Yet they say they are interested in working in a stable industry with lots of growth potential and opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. The lesson here: the financial services industry needs to re-brand itself.

“Gen X and Y job seekers have some real misperceptions about the financial services industry and the image of a sales person within the industry,” said Polly Painter Eggers, analyst, LIMRA Distribution Research, in a statement. “Strikingly, the core values that these job seekers profess are the same attributes of the financial services industry.  While some of the divide can be overcome by better communication, there are opportunities for companies to adapt their recruiting strategy to attract more candidates.” 

LIMRA’s research found that 85% of financial representatives are extremely satisfied with their job and 66% would highly recommend their profession to young job seekers. 

But LIMRA research says the industry needs to do a better job communicating that fact. 

A study of 272 recruiters from across the financial services industry showed that many companies try to attract job seekers with the opportunity to make a lot of money, even though younger job seekers say they want stability and security more than money. In addition, Gen X and Y job seekers expect to have the latest technological tools to help them communicate with their network, but many companies have been slow to adopt new technologies. Another disconnect is that Gen X and Y job seekers are interested in being part of a team and changing the world, yet industry recruiters emphasize the ability to ‘be your own boss’ rather than the team aspect of the job. 

“We know that many of these disconnects are just a lack of understanding by both the job seekers and recruiters,” said Painter Eggers. “Our study shows that recruiters who align their message with the job qualities valued by the younger generations will be most successful in overcoming the preconceived ideas about the industry and attract people to a position that is both personally satisfying and financially rewarding.”