I start with personal experience to answer the question of how healthcare can recruit millennials — and retain them for the length of their respective careers. As a millennial who recently experienced a lengthy hospital stay (three weeks to begin recovery from a major injury!) I witnessed the healthcare industry in action. Amidst three different hospitals, three emergency rooms, two ambulances, two surgeries and endless meals made up of awful hospital food, I was afforded an opportunity—I met countless men and women who are bona-fide assets to the industry.
It was almost enjoyable to meet nurses, aides and hospital staff (including those who perform the clerical work) of the millennial age group—and felt comfortable when they related to me. It is important to keep these individuals engaged and interested in healthcare—they are the folks taking care of all of us and will be for years to come. In fact, Advanced Resources states that millennials want to work in healthcare—“seven of the top 25 employers most sought after by millennials are in the healthcare industry.” It is hard work to stay in the industry—how can health systems ensure millennials will continue to join—and stay?
Offer and Spread Awareness of Career Options
Spending years in and dollars on medical or nursing school to end up as a doctor or a nurse does not have to be your only option. If you love the field—but are not interested in becoming a doctor or a nurse—you don’t have to be limited. Clerical positions—such as a medical records technician—are essential to hospital and doctor’s office operation. See our list of healthcare careers for more options.
Talk to millennials through their preferred medium. Follow #healthcarejobs to watch how employers are engaging with potential employees via Twitter.
Pay Attention to Company Branding
While branding is important to any company in any industry—Advanced Resources indicates that healthcare companies need to “pay attention to the employer brand” as part of a plan to engage millennials. “Define the areas that set you apart and how these areas help your employees deliver the best care.”
Once Millennial Employees Are Hired:
Offer and Follow Through on Employee Benefits
Many benefits included on our list of non-salary benefits can be applied to the healthcare industry. Offer to help staff members further their education—even if through a virtual medium. Help aides become full-time nurses. Send EMTs to training designed to enhance their skills. And which industry better than the healthcare industry to provide employee-sponsored health insurance?
Exhibit Trust in Employees
Give millennial employees the opportunity to rise to a challenge and they’ll go after it. It is not easy to work in the healthcare field—in any capacity—and if you are willing to do the work necessary to be there at all, you are undoubtedly passionate about the field.
Assign Millennial Employees to Millennial Patients
Talking strictly from personal experience here—but I think it’s a win-win for everyone. Patients will feel at ease in the hospital—or at the doctor’s office—if they are interacting with someone who speaks “millennial language.” I loved having a quick chat with a nurse or an aide about our careers, our college lives, our neighboring towns and other millennial hot topics—it was a distraction from the fact that I was in the hospital.
Millennials are well educated, dedicated, passionate and technologically inclined. These characteristics—coupled with entry-level experience—make millennials an integral part of the current and future healthcare industry.