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5 Tips for Navigating Healthcare Recruitment in 2024: Top Trends and Strategies

5 Tips for Navigating Healthcare Recruitment in 2024: Top Trends and Strategies

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the recruitment of talent stands as a pivotal challenge for hospitals and health systems. Understanding and aligning with Millennial and Generation Z preferences and priorities and the evolving trends within these demographics becomes critical for healthcare providers’ financial and recruitment/retention success.

1. Embracing Technology and Telehealth

Millennials and Gen Z have grown up in a digital era. They are accustomed to seamless technology integration in all aspects of life, including healthcare. Remember, these generations hate the expression “We’ve always done it that way.” Change, especially increased efficiency, through technology is sought after, not feared. Telehealth and digital health solutions have surged in popularity, not only as a response to global events but also due to their convenience and accessibility. Indeed reported a 392% increase in remote nursing jobs in 2023. Five years ago, this would have been considered impossible. Hospitals and health systems need to highlight their technological advancements, promoting the integration of telehealth services and innovative technologies within their facilities to attract tech-savvy talent, but also to show their willingness to innovate and look to the future.

2. Focus on Work-Life Balance and Flexibility

Both Millennials and Gen Z prioritize work-life balance and flexibility more than any previous generation. In November of 2023, I had the privilege of attending the Northeast Physician Recruiter Association’s annual conference. One conference highlight was Matt Clancy of the NEJM/NEJM CareerCenter’s presentation on “Understanding Millennial Physician Job Seekers.” The research results came with a big reveal. In all the years the NEJM/NEJM CareerCenter has produced this research, the number one incentive for physicians was, you guessed it, compensation. Today, physicians are telling us, “Balance is the new compensation.” Flexible work hours, remote work options, initiatives allowing employees to work at the top of their license, and a focus on employee wellness are critical for attracting and retaining Millennial and Gen Z healthcare professionals. Make no mistake, it’s still critical for organizations to be competitive financially, but health systems that promote their robust wellness programs gain a competitive edge in recruitment efforts.

3. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

Millennials and Gen Z are considered “social justice” generations. They are known for, and passionate about, their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Transparent and proactive efforts to create a diverse and inclusive environment resonate strongly with these generations. You may be thinking, “We put our EOE statement on all our jobs, we post our jobs to the minority-focused websites, we make sure we show photos of diverse groups of employees working for us,” but that’s just a start. A true and genuine commitment to DEIB is evident in everything you share with candidates and patients. It’s included in every job posting, not as a footer but weaved throughout the description and responsibilities/requirements. It’s included in your website content and even more importantly is truthful and resonates throughout the hiring and employment experience. This isn’t something that can be faked. It’s something that needs to be lived, from a candidate first learning about your organization through the hiring process and through the entire employment experience. Don’t say it, live it.

4. Career Development and Continuous Learning

The desire for continuous learning and career advancement opportunities is high among Millennials and Gen Z. While their battles with older generations’ priorities and workstyle have been discussed and debated for years, health systems that push for more experienced generations to invest in their more youthful counterparts’ professional development are more likely to attract and retain this talent. Both Millennials and Gen Z seek mentorship programs and educational assistance. They WANT to be great at what they are doing, and they are seeking someone who is willing to come alongside them and to guide them. Emphasizing internal mobility and offering opportunities for skill development are crucial.

5. Purpose-Driven Work

Purpose. We all seek it, but these generations have an innate drive to make their work about more than financial compensation. In addition to a competitive compensation package, Millennials and Gen Z are drawn to organizations that align with their values and contribute positively to society. They want to be excited about what they are doing and the difference they are making. They want positive stories to share with their family and friends. They want to wake up in the morning and know the long hours and frustrations they are about to face are making a positive change in their community. Hospitals and health systems emphasizing their mission, community engagement, and social impact resonate deeply with Millennial and Gen Z professionals.

As we move into 2024, you should be focusing your efforts on:

  • Enhanced Digital Presence: Utilize social media, employer branding, and digital recruitment platforms to reach and engage talent.
  • Personalized Recruitment Approach: Tailor messaging and recruitment strategies to align with the values and preferences of Millennials and Gen Z.
  • Highlight Technological Advancements: Emphasize the integration of cutting-edge technology and telehealth solutions. Don’t be afraid to show how you are innovating.
  • Promote Work-Life Balance: Showcase flexible work options, wellness initiatives, and a supportive work environment.
  • Embrace DEIB Initiatives: Highlight a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across all facets of the organization.
  • Invest in Career Development: Emphasize opportunities for growth, mentorship, training, and continuous learning.
  • Emphasize Purpose: Showcase the organization’s mission, community involvement, and societal impact. Share stories that candidates will want to share with their friends and family.

2024’s healthcare landscape is unlike anything we’ve experienced in the past. It necessitates a deep understanding of the preferences and values of Millennials and Gen Z. Health systems that can adapt and flex their recruitment strategies to align with these trends and priorities will be better positioned to attract, engage, and retain the talented workforce needed to drive the future of healthcare.

Are you unsure where to start? We are passionate about helping our client partners recruit and retain great talent. It all starts with a conversation. Let’s talk.

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