This insurer is calling the shots in the war for tech talent

 
Hayley Kirton
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Hastings may not be jeans and a t-shirt in East London, but it is attracting some great talent (Source: Getty)

Finding appropriately skilled staff for technology projects is a problem which plagues many businesses, but one insurance company has told City A.M. it seems to have it sussed.

Gary Hoffman, chief executive officer of Hastings Group Holdings, revealed the company was increasingly looking beyond other insurance firms to sniff out the best talent and turning to tech giants, such as Google and Amazon.

"There are plenty of people in the technology, data, analytics space...that do see what we are doing and do see us as different and, when they meet us and when they come and see our business and how we're using data, how we're using technology...it's very unusual for them not to join us once we start to get interested in them and make them an offer," Hoffman said.

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However, Hoffman acknowledged his company couldn't win every battle for talent. "For some people, jeans and a t-shirt in Shoreditch, the excitement of a startup, is the type of environment they want to be in," he said.

Hoffman regards Hastings, in some ways, as one of the growing number of insurtech companies, and the business is continuously investing in technology to help develop a competitive edge.

Earlier today, Hastings revealed operating profit had increased by 20 per cent to £70.8m for the six months to June, no doubt helped by a 73 per cent increase in live customer policies in its telematics offering to 39,000.

"More and more young drivers are taking telematics because they see it as a way of getting lower premiums and I suppose practically, and almost more importantly, their parents see it as a way of making sure they are a bit safer and that they can keep tabs on them," remarked Hoffman.

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He added the company was yet to see telematics take off among older drivers but he thought that trend would change over time, making it a market ripe for growth.

The chief exec also feels the UK's decision to leave the EU is unlikely to have an adverse impact on his company.

"Brexit has not affected us at all because everyone buys car insurance, whether you're in Europe or not...so we just see more of the same, which is good news, given the trajectory of trends we've got," he said.

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