In many HR departments and recruiting circles, the discussion centers on Millennials and how to attract and retain them. While Millennials have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the predominant force in the marketplace, a reality that should be noted is that Baby Boomers and GenXers are living and working longer. With healthcare about to experience a serious provider shortage, recruiting teams should consider a more deliberate strategic effort to attract a multi-generational healthcare workforce. Here’s how to do it.
Building an All-Ages Productive Healthcare Workforce for 2025
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the number of workers age 65+ will increase by nearly 60% in the next six years. However, the total labor force is projected to only rise by just over 6%. During this time period, the GenZ population will just enter the workforce, creating a new labor pool with new goals and needs.
The latest reports show that the US will need to hire 2.3 million new healthcare workers by 2025 to keep up with demand. These realities make a good business case for hiring strategies to shift beyond the focus on the Millennial workforce, and instead, key in on a multi-generational labor team to help meet future needs. Inc. magazine recently discussed this very issue and make some valuable suggestions for hiring teams to change their approach. To attract and retain a multi-generational workforce, the article stated, healthcare hiring teams should:
- Rewrite the job description to focus on the benefits of the position, not just the skills needed for the job. Are there educational opportunities or loan forgiveness programs? Is there an overarching mission that might attract workers with a desire to contribute to the community? Make certain your ad does not reflect any unconscious biases in your hiring efforts and train your interview team to look for the most qualified candidate with the best attitude—no matter their age.
- Invest and promote upskilling opportunities. Is there room for growth in the advertised position and how will you help workers get there? For existing employees, upskilling may help you retain the existing team (and their institutional knowledge) while adding skills or responsibility to their current role. This will help keep your current workforce engaged in the mission of the organization. Work with current employees to create a roadmap for their career growth.
- Reverse engineer training. calls it “flipping the script.” Instead of having older or more seasoned workers train new or more youthful employees, consider whether younger workers bring new skills to the team. Then create cross-training where skills are shared between both older and younger employees. This will help the entire organization see the benefits of a workforce comprised of several generations.
Healthcare organizations seeking a new influx of multi-aged workers should emphasize the benefits and mission of the organization. High pay is one thing, but insurance and other benefits for older workers are very valuable. Studies also show Millennials value mission-driven work. Assistance with student loans is valuable for all workers, along with sign-on bonuses or other perks.
To reach these populations, leverage social media to attract new candidates. Healthcare providers are often too busy to do more than just post an add on their website. But proactively building a candidate pipeline takes a steady effort to reach candidates where they live, and that is still on social media.
Healthcare providers should also consider extending their networks by partnering with a professional recruiting firm. In the competitive healthcare world, this is more than a best practice—it’s a necessity. UHC Solutions specializes in attracting a steady flow of candidates into the FQHC market.