In the United States, it has been a long-held practice to attribute generational monikers to individuals based on the year of their birth. If we look at that breakdown, it makes sense to see that the number of physicians is relative to the population of the generational mix. For example, in the U.S., 76 million people were born between 1946 and 1964, these baby boomers also represent the largest numbers of practicing physicians. Studies show that over 40% of the nation’s physicians are over age 56. The second largest generational mix are the millennials, with 62 million born between 1981 and 1996. As the Boomer generation ages and retires, the Millennials are increasingly representing a greater proportion of physicians in the U.S., and there is a good reason why that matters with regard to recruitment. Let’s look at how recruiting millennial physicians is different than past generations.
Digital Recruitment is Key
Unlike other generations, millennials grew up in the technology boom. Doctors born in the millennial era are going to be more reliant on and more accessible through technology than their Gen-x or Baby Boomer counterparts. Because they are so connected through their smartphones, laptops, and other tech gadgetry, your utilization of a smart digital recruitment strategy will keep you ahead of the curve.
It’s Not Always About Money
Of course, millennials worked hard in school and want to be fairly compensated for the work they are doing, but recruiting them will not be solely based on a dollar amount in their paycheck. While they are sometimes inaccurately maligned by older generations as not being committed, or lacking drive, the truth is the opposite. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey, over 50% of the respondents placed greater or as great a value on quality of life issues over the highest salary. Millennials are looking for more flexible schedules, guaranteed time off, and less time on call. To recruit the millennial generation, work/life balance should play a prominent role in any job offers.
Don’t Overlook Culture and Fit
Much like millennials seeking greater work/life balance over annual salary, they also have strong opinions about how important it is for them to feel connected to the culture and values of their workplace. Millennials were raised in the era of participation trophies where teamwork and affirmation were valued above individual success. They are looking for the same in their work environment. Millennial physicians are comfortable with the trend toward team-based care and are drawn to organizations that are aligned with their own personal values.
Focus on Retention
Because culture and fit are such vital factors in the millennial physician’s job search, it is no surprise that it plays a significant role in physician retention. Older generations of physicians are prone to stay in a job for a decade or more, with little to no thought of leaving. The millennial generation of physicians will seek out new opportunities after only two or three years. To combat this tendency, healthcare organizations are more focused on finding a physician that first fits their culture, and then they develop a strategic plan to retain them. Successful retention strategies include affording them time to pursue research projects, or branch out into additional specialties, and pursue charitable endeavors. They key is keeping your physicians excited and engaged and not giving them a reason to look for greener pastures.
If your organization needs to develop a digital recruitment and retention strategy, contact the industry experts at Jackson Physician Search today.
Our Regional Vice President of Recruiting, Christen Wrensen, presented the Digital Recruitment Strategy Guide to members of the Texas Hospital Association at their 2019 annual conference.
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