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Elevating the appeal of a career in credit insurance

Despite its vital role in international trade and development, credit insurance is not a popular career choice. How can the industry elevate its appeal and attract more young professionals?
Throughout the credit insurance industry, many organisations – both publicly and privately operated – are struggling to attract much-needed new talent to their workforces. Although the industry presents a rewarding career opportunity with the chance to contribute to meaningful economic and social impact, it has struggled to promote its merits to job seekers and compete against other career options.

There are several reasons behind the industry's struggle to attract young talent, and although there is no simple formula for solving these challenges, there are some steps the industry can take to reduce them.

Challenge: low awareness of credit insurance
One of the main reasons young people may overlook a career in credit insurance is a lack of awareness and understanding of the industry. At the university level, there are very few courses or subject options that cover credit insurance. And, unlike some higher profile sectors within financial services, credit insurance largely operates behind the scenes so it can be easily overlooked by those outside the industry, especially students looking to carve out a career path once they graduate and young professionals looking for a new challenge. Many outside the industry are not even aware of the existence of credit insurance as a career option, let alone understand the important role it plays in local and global economies.

Solution: develop credit insurance education programs
To address this challenge, the credit insurance industry could invest in education programs aimed at raising awareness about the exciting and tangible role credit insurance plays in international trade. Collaborating with universities, organising informational webinars, and participating in career fairs can help to build the profile of the industry and showcase the diverse and rewarding career opportunities it offers.

Challenge: perception of limited impact
Despite supporting sustainable economic growth, the credit insurance industry's impact may not always be apparent to young professionals. Compared to other choices such as sustainable investing which offers clear opportunities to make a positive contribution to society and the environment, the impact of credit insurance may not be so easily recognised.

Solution: promote the credit insurance industry's true impact
To attract young talent, the credit insurance industry must clearly articulate its socioeconomic importance and the tangible impact it has on businesses, economies, and communities. Showcasing the industry's role in promoting financial stability could help young professionals to see the real-world impact a career in credit insurance can have. This could involve publishing case studies that explain how credit insurance has enabled economic growth and resilience through various projects.
A 2023 Deloitte survey of more than 22,000 young people in 44 countries found that 39% of Gen Zs and 42% of Millennials have changed or plan to change jobs or industries due to climate concerns, and most also believe that business should play a leading role in addressing social issues 
Deloitte, Gen Z and Millennial Survey, 2023). As environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration and contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) become more frequent themes in credit insurance, the industry could attract the attention of younger workers by promoting stories of how credit insurance has had an impact.

Challenge: credit insurance has a conservative image
The credit insurance industry is often considered traditional and conservative, and less innovative than some other sectors that are known to have embraced disruptive technologies and offer the opportunity to work with cutting-edge innovations. Young, digital native generations may overlook credit insurance in favour of the industries they perceive to be more dynamic and where they can participate in less administrative work.

Solution: embrace a ‘new normal’ operating environment
The credit insurance industry must leverage its position as an industry of choice for data science and AI through the adoption of new digital platforms. Demonstrating that the industry is at the forefront of innovation and can provide employees with the opportunity to participate in less menial, more exciting tasks presents a huge opportunity to attract young talent, especially those who are looking for exciting careers that combine finance and technology.
The 2023 Deloitte survey found that young people deeply value hybrid and remote working arrangements, and that flexibility in when and where they work is the number one consideration when choosing an employer. Credit insurers looking to attract new talent should not dismiss this or consider it a ‘nice to have’ benefit and should instead look to embed flexibility as their ‘new normal’.

Challenge: industry specific skill requirements and complex operating frameworks
The regulatory landscape surrounding credit insurance has stringent compliance and risk management requirements which rely on deep and specific industry knowledge, a thorough understanding of the risk landscape, and a long-term perspective. Young professionals – particularly those early on in their careers – may feel intimidated by this complex regulatory environment and the many years of professional experience they feel they would need before being able to make a meaningful contribution.

Solution: offer mentorship and internship programs
To alleviate this concern, industry organisations and credit insurers could introduce mentoring and internship programs designed to help young professionals learn from their more experienced colleagues as they navigate the regulatory landscape. By matching up junior employees with more experienced mentors willing to share invaluable guidance and insights, they can develop the confidence they need to tackle the steep learning curve and thrive in a regulatory-intensive environment.

Challenge: limited career development opportunities
Industries that offer clear pathways for career development and advancement are often able to attract new talent more easily than those with less defined pathways. Currently, the credit insurance industry does not appear to have defined progression opportunities even though many professionals spend their entire careers working in the industry, so young talent may overlook it as a viable long-term option.

Solution: create structured career pathways for professional development
To attract young talent, credit insurers could consider implementing and publicising structured career pathways and professional development programs. These could be in the form of rotational graduate programs that give new employees exposure to different areas of the business so they can develop a first-hand understanding and appreciation of the industry and what it can offer them. Other initiatives can include employer-sponsored professional upskilling or post-graduate courses. By demonstrating a stronger commitment to employee growth and development, credit insurers can create an environment where their younger employees feel valued and
invested in their long-term career success.

Mainstreaming diversity in credit insurance for enduring impact
For young professionals seeking challenging and rewarding careers in finance, the credit insurance industry holds tremendous potential. Many inside the industry would agree with this, as they themselves have chosen to stay for decades and often for their entire careers. It is also these experienced industry professionals who are responsible for credit insurance startups, while in other industries, start-ups are often founded by young talent.

The current lack of new talent entering the industry poses significant challenges, as the industry needs to balance out its largely mature, experienced workforce with new ideas and perspectives. By addressing some of the factors that limit its ability to attract young talent, the credit insurance industry can create a more inclusive and dynamic environment that is constantly innovating and evolving its important value proposition of enduring impact.

About the Authors
Olivier Saint-Raymond, Solutions Expert
Olivier joined Tinubu in 2016 as Chief Product Officer to drive the Tinubu platform evolution. Today, as Solutions Expert, he supports Tinubu and its customers in identifying and defining new initiatives to expand the capabilities of the Tinubu Credit Insurance platform, especially in the MLT credit insurance or Trade, Receivable & Export finance sectors.
Olivier has over 15 years of experience in the software industry. He started his career in 2006 as a Technical Account Manager at GL Trade Hong Kong and then moved to various product management roles in the electronic trading industry at Fidessa, SunGard, and Société Générale, both in Hong Kong and in Paris. 
Olivier holds an MSc in Engineering in Computational Fluid Dynamics from Grenoble INP - UGA.

Marc Meyer, SVP Subject Matter Expert Insurance
Marc joined Tinubu in 2005. With more than 30 years of experience in the Trade Credit Insurance industry, he plays a major role in the development of the international portfolio.
He started his career in 1989 as a credit analyst at NatWest. In 1993, he joined Euler as a senior Risk Underwriter. He then participated in and led projects which resulted in the acquisition and opening of 14 subsidiaries in 13 countries (Europe, South America, Asia), and took part in the merger with Hermes.
He holds a master’s degree in Public & International Laws and Policies from Poitiers University and a diploma in public service from Sciences Po Paris.

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