The coronavirus pandemic is driving millions of Americans to retire early or quit their jobs in a reassessment of their lives, leaving corporate America struggling to fill open positions. Chubb Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg said his company and its 31,000 employees have adapted to the trend with heavier recruitment efforts and greater long-term flexibility in working arrangements.

“While we remain a work-from-office company, and will be, we have adjusted,” Greenberg said during the company’s Q3 2021 earnings call on Oct. 27.

Greenberg acknowledged the trend of “mass COVID retirements” has become widespread and has created retention challenges for Chubb as in other companies.

“Like with all companies, it’s a constant effort, and a difficult marketplace for recruiting, and retention rates are modestly lower,” Greenberg said. “It’s a combination of people moving around, and more retirements, and [individuals] just making different choices in their lives—an outcome, clearly, of COVID in many ways.”

Companies need to adapt, however, Greenberg insisted, as Chubb has done.

“We have to manage,” Greenberg said. “We have significantly beefed up and improved our resource capabilities around recruiting, and we have such an intense focus on it.”

Greenberg insists Chubb has adapted well to the trend in recent months. One example: The company has fewer open positions in North America now than it did in June.

“We’re making progress and continue to make progress, but you have to grind on it,” Greenberg said.

He later added that “the overall number of open positions here are down, and down not by a small amount.”

Some New Employer Flexibility

Part of that progress comes from Chubb adjusting its approach to remote work, after it, like most companies, was forced to implement the practice when the pandemic closed traditional offices down.

“Many people want a different way to work. They want more flexibility in the days that they work or the hours that they work,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg added that Chubb executives now realize that remote working technology enables greater flexibility and productivity away from the office.

“We recognize that and therefore are adjusting our own expectations around that,” Greenberg said.

Even with that greater flexibility, however, Greenberg said that Chubb will still look for ambitious employees that match its ambitious corporate goals.

“We are an ambitious company [and are] not going to moderate our goals and our objectives because of employment concerns,” Greenberg said. “We’re going step up our game to make sure we’re a place where those who share our ambition want to work hard but want a different kind of work/life balance…We want them to work here, and we want them to be motivated to work here.”