The future of healthcare lies in the hands of Generation Y. Otherwise known as Millennials or the Net Generation, they are commonly defined as people born in the 1980s to mid-1990s. Attracting, hiring, and retaining these younger workers should be a top priority for any healthcare organization today.
So how can you prepare your organization for a younger workforce?
1. Take advantage of the recent JCAHO deregulation
Inaccessibility is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges facing young healthcare professionals today. Many young workers lack the certifications, qualifications, or years of experience often required for many positions — including entry-level jobs. On the other hand, they may also be overqualified for some jobs that don’t utilize their education. You can combat this challenge by taking advantage of the recent reduction of accreditation standards for healthcare professionals.
Besides eliminating 168 quality measures and standards, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) revised 14 standards across accreditation programs. The deregulation took effect in January 2023, and licensure and education standards became more lenient as a result.
What does this mean for you and younger candidates? You can focus on creating new positions targeting young, entry-level workers who didn’t qualify for certain positions before. You can close the gaps in your staffing while opening access to employment and internal promotions to young healthcare professionals.
2. Leverage technology
Young workers expect technology to be incorporated into their daily work and the recruiting process. After all, they grew up in an era of rapid technological advancements, and they’re comfortable with using technology to streamline tasks and improve patient care.
Embracing technology not only meets these expectations but also signals that your organization is forward-thinking. So how can you incorporate technology into your processes?
When it comes to recruitment, you can keep up with the times by using technology such as:
● Online job portals
● Talent acquisition software
● Social media
● Virtual job fairs
● Mobile-friendly job applications
● Automation tools such as ChatGPT
Integrating tech tools such as electronic health records (EHR), HR and payroll software, telemedicine, and advanced medical equipment into your day-to-day operations can also make your organization more attractive to younger workers.
3. Offer flexible work options
Data from Forbes reveals that 76% of millennials expect flexibility in work options, and 38% identify flexible working benefits as the most important benefit.
Some flexible work options to implement include:
● Remote work opportunities
● Flexible scheduling
● Shift swapping
● Part-time positions
● Job-sharing opportunities
● A hybrid workplace
Offering these options can increase job satisfaction, reduce burnout, and ultimately improve the quality of patient care.
4. Promote learning and development
Younger workers have a strong desire for professional growth. They’re looking for opportunities to learn and develop their skills continually.
Some ways you can prioritize learning and development include:
● Regular training and workshops
● Tuition assistance or loan repayment programs
● Career development initiatives
● Mentorship programs
5. Display a transparent growth path
Young professionals want to know there’s a future for them within your organization. They want to see clear, defined paths to advancement and opportunities to grow.
Transparency in career pathways can lead to increased job satisfaction, reduced turnover, and higher performance among employees. So, display transparency through:
● Structured promotion tracks
● Regular performance reviews and feedback
● Opportunities for lateral movement and skill diversification
6. Build a positive work culture
Work culture refers to the environment, values, behaviors, and interactions that make up your organization. Millennials value a positive, inclusive, and collaborative work culture where they feel valued and heard. In fact, over 50% of employees care about work culture more than salary.
Work culture’s intangible nature can make it difficult to know where to make changes. So how can you start?
● Encouraging open communication and feedback
● Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives
● Hosting team building and social events
● Prioritizing mental health
7. Promote social responsibility
Younger generations care deeply about the impact their work has on the community, the environment, and the world. So, get involved in community service or charity events, implement programs, and promote health and wellness in the local community.