By MATTHEW BRODSKY, senior editor/Web editor
This trepidation can be heard in the risk management community as well.
Scott Clark, risk and benefits officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools commented that the younger generation probably does not have a feel for sticking around with one employer and instead could be expected to take their 401(k) with them to their next great opportunity--unlike risk managers of his generation, who tended to be loyal in his view. He hopes this doesn't turn out to be the case of course.
"You can't do anything in three to five years," he said, referring to the length of time it takes risk managers to have an impact on their companies.
That's if they stick around that long.
Richard Roberts, corporate risk manager of Ensign-Bickford Industries, suggested that loyalty might not be the only issue. The next generation could want immediate success. But it takes time to develop the skills to become a risk manager, he said.
"You don't just step into a risk manager's job," he said.
Gen Yers might not have the patience for this.
That's not to say these two career risk managers, or anyone else in the industry for that matter, don't have faith in the next generation. They have to have faith if they hope their profession continues its reach into the C-suite. In fact, today's risk managers also appear to be excited for the next generation.
Since it started in 1979, the Spencer Educational Foundation has been a huge movement within the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. The foundation recently donated $266,000 in scholarships to students, $160,000 in grants to risk and insurance programs and universities.
Even local RIMS chapters do their part to draw in young talent and keep it within the profession. The Delaware Valley chapter, for instance, runs an internship program for local students.
And these effortsseem to be working. Clark suggested that more and more students seem to be getting into risk management over the last five versus the previous five years, when they appeared headed more for the broker side of the business. He said enterprise risk management could be making the job seem "sexier."
But the question is not whether today's 20-somethings will get into risk management and stay. It's a question of whether or not employers can count on them sticking around ... or leaving in a year for greener paychecks at another company.
And some studies suggest that, even charting out the average lifespan of a Gen Y job at 18 months, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal in March. While other research, such as shown on a 60 Minutes story on the topic, suggests that Gen Y employees can be as loyal as generations before them.
As anything, it will come down less on what the experts say, and more on the hiring officer's ability to pick the right individual candidate.
September 15, 2008
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