Critical Talent Program


Chubb implemented a Critical Talent Program to identify key workforce risks or shortages and to develop solutions to strengthen its talent pipeline.

The problem addressed by the campaign: 
  • Finding talent to fill roles that require highly specialized, technical skills (i.e., boiler and machine underwriters) that have been filled largely by the baby boomer generation is difficult.
  • Young people are often not attracted to these types of jobs.
  • Chubb implemented a workforce planning model to:
    • Understand the business strategy
    • Identify the critical talent
    • Scan the internal and external environments
    • Forecast the future state
    • Analyse the gaps between current state and future state
    • Develop recommendations
  • Senior management has taken ownership of the recommendations and then prioritized and implemented them.
  • Lack of quality data was the biggest obstacle.
  • The programme was designed by HR generalists who support the business, talent management experts and line managers.
  • It was communicated through one-on-one meetings and surveys.
  • As Chubb continues to try to fill specialized insurance jobs, it is looking at ways to attract young people to the business. For example, Chubb is strengthening its relationship with targeted colleges and universities to help educate students about careers in insurance.
  • Chubb is also exploring ways to retrain experienced hires for careers in insurance, such as partnering with the military.
  • Chubb is in the process of measuring the impact as the recommendations are currently being implemented.
  • In the short term, success is measured based on the number of proposed solutions that the business has chosen to implement.
  • Impact will be assessed based on the time it takes to fill critical jobs, by turnover rates, by workforce productivity and by demonstrated ability to meet business goals.
Why has it worked?: 
  • The process was effective because of the focus on critical roles.
  • The process was also effective because of the mix of perspectives team members had, including field HR generalists, home office HR generalists, and corporate HR specialists.
  • Going forward, Chubb plans to involve line managers as part of the project team, rather than bringing them in as needed after the project is launched. This will improve the efficiency of the strategy discussions and the data collection. It will also help ensure their ownership of the recommendations coming out of the workforce planning process.
Conclusions and Recommendations: 
  • In terms of workforce planning, the key is to start out small and focus on specific roles and do this well and then grow the action.
  • Each workforce-planning model should fit the culture of your organization.
  • Encourage managers and HR to think outside the box to fill talent gaps. Millennials do not want to be trained in the same way as baby boomers.
  • Involve line managers and senior management as part of the workforce planning process from the start.
  • Carefully segment the population and focus on the groups most critical to the organization's business strategy.
  • Prioritize recommendations and focus on two or three that will provide the greatest return.
Foundational Issues: 
Information gaps
Level of Collaboration: 
Level 1: Collaboration within the organization
North America
Economic and political context: 

Chubb is the 11th largest property and casualty insurer in the United States and has a worldwide network of some 120 offices in 27 countries staffed by over 10,000 employees. The Chubb Corporation reported US$ 50 billion in assets and US$ 13 billion in revenues in 2010. According to Fortune magazine, Chubb is the 185th largest US-based corporation. Forbes listed Chubb as one of America's 100 Most Trustworthy Companies.

About the Author(s): 

For nearly 130 years, the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies has been delivering property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses and individuals around the world.