Liberty Mutual Implements Skills-Based Hiring Approach Creating Career Paths For Interns

April 8, 2024 | By Kevin Gray

Liberty Mutual interns working together on a project.

TAGS: best practices, candidate selection, Internships, nace insights, recruiting,

Fortune 100 employer Liberty Mutual Insurance hires hundreds of interns a year. That’s why it’s critical to equip interns with a wide range of skills and have the skill profile of an intern closely align with early career roles to prepare interns for potential future full-time roles. In a typical year, about 90% of eligible interns are given full time offers.

“This is a combination of essential skills and technical skills required for a specific function,” explains Maura Quinn, VP of Early Career, DEI, and Talent Acquisition Programs at Liberty Mutual.

Liberty Mutual’s interns represent a variety of talent, ranging from undergraduate and graduate students to code school and technical program participants.

“While the majority of interns are traditionally rising juniors or rising seniors, each year we welcome talent of all backgrounds in order to convert successful interns into our full-time opportunities,” Quinn notes.

One way Liberty Mutual is able to bolster the skills profile and build confidence of incoming talent is through pre-skilling. The company partnered with Cappfinity, a global talent solutions firm, to create a pre-skilling zone for candidates.

“Students can explore and find out more about their values, preferences, and learning styles, as well as get insight into the skills we look for in some of our high-volume jobs,” Quinn says.

“This pre-skilling preparation and our focus on foundational skills serve as the building blocks or ‘skills that build skills’ that create capacity for learning new things and developing new skillsets that are in high demand,” Quinn says, noting that these skills include learning agility and adaptability, critical thinking and collaboration, analytical reasoning, and communication.

“We’re always looking for candidates who are eager to learn. We are hiring people for their skills, experiences, knowledge, and their willingness to adapt and grow. We really value candidates who embrace a growth mindset, who are creative, nimble, and adaptable,” Quinn says.

“Casting a wider net through our hiring practices benefits our organization in so many ways. By expanding our talent pool and investing in programs like internships, apprenticeships, and bootcamps, we can reach talent of all backgrounds.”

Employing a skills-based approach allows Liberty Mutual to:

  • Better match candidates with roles that closely align with their competencies—As a result, they feel more motivated, engaged, and connected to work they’re doing leading to higher productivity and overall performance.
  • Hire for future potential—This is critical in the early talent space where candidates don’t have a long history of proven performance.
  • Retain talent—When employees feel valued and secure in their workplace, they’re more likely to stay and grow within the company.

“A skills-based approach tends to prioritize technical competencies and specific abilities which might overlook other essential skills like adaptability, teamwork, and communication. You need to build that into your process when considering candidates,” Quinn advises.

“Skills-based also prioritizes immediate performance and results, and in the early talent space, we need to consider hiring for potential. That’s why a robust selection and interview process is so important, and it needs to be multi-dimensional.”

Liberty Mutual offers many resources to help its interns and employees continue to build skills and grow throughout their careers. Examples include learning paths to help employees develop foundational knowledge, reflection guides to help them think about how skills may be applied in the context of their daily work, and self-directed development toolkits on key topics.

“We have a well-rounded, engaging internship program that delivers experiences for our interns that are similar to any new employee, with programing that immerses students into the company culture,” Quinn says.

“We know that interns are a quality source of full-time hires based on several performance metrics, which is why we continue to expand our program and increase the number of intern hires.”

The company is focused on improving retention, advancing employees, and strengthening Liberty Mutual’s talent pipeline.

“Our overarching vision is to have even greater opportunities for all people to have long and meaningful careers at Liberty Mutual,” Quinn explains.

blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at