How to Attract and Retain Generation Z in Healthcare

How to Attract and Retain Generation Z in Healthcare
Marketing Manager

Any organization that hopes to thrive in today’s marketplace should be actively seeking and engaging younger generations. This focus comes at a critical time when Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers to become the largest generation in the American workforce, and the Generation Z (Gen Z) population, described as being born post 1995, is expected to become 36 percent of the global workforce by 2020.

As Baby Boomers continue to retire from the field and the ongoing shortage of healthcare staff worsens, competition for top talent will only become more difficult. To overcome these challenges, employers must recognize that what once was thought to appeal to Millennials may not necessarily appeal to members of the Gen Z population.

Here are a few things to consider as your organization reviews its recruitment initiatives for tomorrow’s healthcare workforce.

Embrace Technology

Experts say Gen Zs dependence on and attitude toward technology will change the workforce. “When you come of age never remembering a time before smartphones—which is true for all Gen Zers in the U.S.—it fundamentally changes your learning, communication and workplace expectations,” says Millennial and Generation Z expert Jason Dorsey in a SHRM article. That means as Gen Z enters the workforce, they expect everything to be mobile, from communication and collaboration to training, retention and engagement strategies.

Your organization can embrace technology by offering employees development and training programs through live video chats. It can help employees expand their careers while also breaking down communication barriers between managers and remote staff.

Offer Workplace Flexibility

Healthcare HR often struggles with offering workplace flexibility for direct care providers because direct patient care involves a consistent level of staffing. However, Jim Link, Chief Human Resources Officer at Randstad U.S., states that workplace flexibility has topped the list for the first time ever as the most important benefit for Millennials and Gen Y—above healthcare, perks and benefits. In fact, when asked which employee benefits were most important, flexibility was ranked first at 19.1 percent, followed by healthcare coverage at 16.9 percent.  

Some popular programs aimed at promoting workplace flexibility include flextime, where employees can set their own schedules. Often, such programs require staff members to work a certain core part of the day or week to ensure continued collaboration between team members. Other possibilities are permitting staff to telecommute one or more days per week. Employers, however, should consider increasing headcount slightly to ensure that employees can take this time off without concerns that their colleagues will be overworked to compensate. Consult with staff members to understand their needs; they are sure to offer ideas that will properly align with your healthcare organization.

Cater Benefits to their Needs

While competitive benefits such as retirement savings and healthcare premiums may not be top priority for Gen Y, employers should provide benefits that cater to their needs. For example, offer robust benefits related to career goals, says Amber Hyatt, Director of Product Marketing for SilkRoad. “When asked what they’d look for in their first job, Gen Zs prioritized career growth (36%), fulfilling work (19%), and stability (19%) over traditional benefits. A workplace that enables mentoring, on-the-job learning and personal development is essential.”

Promote Transparency

Authenticity, honesty and transparency are the foundations of building trust and loyalty between Gen Z and their leaders. Their goal is to enter a career in which not only do they love, but also can thrive. “To attract and retain the top talent of this generation, hiring managers must take an active and engaged role in the hiring process,” says iOffice contributor Tiffany Bloodworth Rivers. Employers must be open and honest about the organization, its mission, and how their business fits into their everyday lives. “When interviewing candidates, remember that they are interviewing you as much as you are them. Highlight examples of both personal and corporate integrity, as these are attributes they are looking for most in an employer.”

What are your thoughts? Do you employ any of these methods at your healthcare organization? Please share; we’d love to hear from you!

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