Millennial employees currently make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Many industries are finding it hard to recruit and retain this huge, diverse generation. Solving this challenge is critically important as Millennials now age in range from 22 to 40 and their workplace roles range from entry-level and young professional to managers and executives.
Solving the challenge of recruiting and retaining Millennial employees is especially urgent for children’s hospitals as they need this next generation of nurses, caregivers, physicians and leaders to provide lifesaving services to communities nationwide.
“Working in a children’s hospital can be more difficult for Millennials, and every generation, than working in other types of hospitals or other healthcare settings,” said Jason Dorsey, co-founder and Millennials and Gen Z researcher at The Center for Generational Kinetics.
In an interview with the Children’s Hospital Association, Dorsey explained, “Children’s hospitals have an incredibly important mission, but a lot of times, they are misunderstood. So it’s really important to bring that mission, impact and human side forward in recruiting.”
Children’s hospitals need to bring their institutions to life through employment branding that resonates with Millennial job seekers. “That means sharing behind-the-scenes videos, talking about the culture, how you’re involved in the community and playing up the human side of the children’s hospital,” Dorsey said.
Here are Jason Dorsey’s three tips for recruiting and retaining Millennial talent in children’s hospitals:
1.Paint a clear picture of the workplace experience. “Make sure there is accuracy in the experience itself, so Millennials know what they are getting into,” Dorsey said. “If they don’t understand the reality of the position, they may walk out.” Or, as Dorsey frequently says, if they understand how unique the experience is and where they fit they may find this is the perfect setting to build their long-term career.
2. Provide regular feedback and employer stability. “Millennials need more frequent feedback, we call it ‘quick-hit feedback,’ so they need a five- or 10-second check-in every two weeks,” Dorsey said. “They also want to know that there is some sense of employer stability. Many of them have tremendous amounts of student loans, so employer stability is important to them.” You can message stability in descriptions of your children’s hospital and share the feedback frequency in your orientation and onboarding process.
3. Offer clear advancement opportunities. “Millennials want to see there is a talent development pathway or program,” added Dorsey. “They want to know this isn’t just a hierarchical system in which they can’t move up unless they wait for 20 years. So you need to consider how you are going to think about their talent, so they are even more committed, more loyal and more engaged.” This is particularly true in children’s hospitals where Millennial talent frequently receives numerous job offers. Showing them how you’ll invest in unlocking their talent shows you value them and that it aligns with how you value all the people you serve.
While children’s hospitals may face some added challenges in recruiting and retention, they also have an amazing story, powerful mission, and they save lives every day. Each of those foundational pillars aligns with Millennials and makes a difference in the world—the exact impact that many talented Millennials want to make.
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