Atlas Magazine July 2005

Human resources, performance and flexibility

Once again the insurance news provide us with apparently contradictory information: while a boost to employment is witnessed at the European level with the recruitment in France, for instance, of 1000 executives per year for the upcoming years, some companies such as Converium yesterday and SCOR today are in no compromising mood when it comes to staff reduction.

The first finding: The recently-recovered good health enables the insurance sector to hire — but not any profile. Managers of human resources favor actuaries, experts in risk management, forecast management, client-relation, communication, and information technology, ..., that is, specialized profiles in line with the market requirements and in tune with the profession's evolution.

The second finding: Such optimism should not divert us from the logic of financial markets and shareholders whose key word remains: profitability. To reach that goal, companies will not think twice before using the weapon of structural adjustments programs.

Indeed, the increasingly-demanding market, competence wise, operates relentlessly within this context of job flexibility, not to say job insecurity.

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