In healthcare, the demand for — and competition over — millennial talent is more fierce than ever. Attracting millennial healthcare talent to your organization requires you to restructure your recruiting strategies to align with candidates’ needs.
You must understand millennials’ mindset and priorities along the entire recruiting process. Here are three recruiting strategies to help your organization attract the best and brightest new healthcare talent.
1. Make the Application Process Easy and Straightforward
Many organizations are tempted to use long, detailed applications to gather all the information they can about candidates up front. They use the application to test candidates’ interest in the job opening by seeing how much time they’ll spend on it.
However, making the application difficult and time-consuming is one of the easiest ways to kill millennial talent’s interest in your organization. “In today’s market, candidates expect easy,” says Natalie Brehm, Director of Recruitment Product Strategy at HealthcareSource. “Candidate drop-off rates increase when the forms become difficult to navigate, lengthy, and non-mobile responsive.”
Qualified candidates who may be an excellent fit could be deterred from applying in the first place, particularly given the demand for quality healthcare talent. Remember that you must vie with competing healthcare organizations for candidate interest — and if the other company’s application process takes five minutes versus your hour-long application, you risk losing the opportunity to add that new talent to your team before you’ve even had the chance to review their qualifications.
“Most millennial job searches are starting on a mobile device,” says Brehm. “Ensuring that applying for a job is easy from a mobile device is critical. Any steps you can take to make the job application process faster, simpler, and more accessible will ultimately result in more candidate submissions.”
For example, HealthcareSource Position Manager® offers a short apply feature, which presents an abbreviated form to candidates for the first interaction. “This allows recruiters to collect basic information from candidates first, making the upfront application short and painless. Then if interested, recruiters can invite the applicants back to complete a longer application only once they are being actively considered. This practice helps drive quantity.” According to a number of studies, job application completion rates can be as low as 10 percent, but the optimized apply feature from HealthcareSource has a completion rate of 60 percent.
2. Be Prepared to Move Quickly with Millennial Talent
Gone are the days when drawing out the hiring process while searching for better candidates is a valid strategy. While you sit on the fence regarding a talented new candidate, your competitor may be taking the opportunity to extend them an offer. How quickly should you be prepared to move? Depending on the role, same-day hiring can be a viable option. For example, MacNeal Hospital in Illinois launched a program several years ago that authorized same-day offers for urgent roles. This initiative combined with large hiring events allowed the hospital to reduce the time needed to fill highly in-demand roles by 30 days.
Our consultants at Lean Human Capital by HealthcareSourceSM work with clients through The Recruiter AcademySM to reduce time-to-fill, which benefits both the healthcare organization and the millennials you are trying to attract.
“One of the biggest ways we help clients reduce time-to-fill is we start by identifying which jobs categories could be candidates for just-in-time, or demand-based, recruiting,” says Deb Vargovick, a Senior Consultant with Lean Human Capital. This is a pull-based approach to talent acquisition in which recruiters provide qualified candidates to hiring managers at the right time and number needed. “These can be entry-level positions where candidates don’t need a lot of work experience and there is a high level of demand in the market. They are job categories the organization hires on a regular basis and can include entry-level clinical roles, like new nurses, or entry-level corporate roles, like IT, marketing, and sales.”
It all comes down to using data to understand the forecasted need. “Our process begins with collecting budgeted headcount for that job category for the year, identifying historical turnover for the prior one to two years, and understanding projected growth for that category. Then using this data, you know how many people you will need to hire this year,” explains Vargovick. “We can then divide by 12 to find your monthly need. Then, why not create a pipeline of these candidates and get them fully assessed and screened ahead of time and begin a strong relationship with the candidate? A calendar of regular interview events is scheduled out for the year, every month for hiring managers — the same place, same time every month, with the idea to extend an offer in 24 hours.”
“From the candidate’s perspective, if they are new in the market, these organizations using this process are going to be forming relationships with new healthcare talent and will get them into a job faster than ever before,” she says.
Even if same-day hiring is unrealistic for your organization, increasing communication between recruiters, hiring managers, and HR can help you move more quickly when a qualified millennial talent applies for your open position.
3. Leverage Social Media and Recruitment Marketing Strategies
You need to market your organization to millennial talent as much as they need to pitch their qualifications to you. “It seems like it is true for everyone, but especially for millennials: Job seekers do more research on organizations before they even apply,” says Nydia Ruleman, Product Manager for HealthcareSource Recruitment MarketingSM. “What is important to them is learning more about the company and the culture. So you need to have that information out there for them to find on the types of the channels they use. And for millennials, that channel is the digital space.”
Millennials emphasize the importance of fit with the employer’s culture and current employees over everything else when looking for a job. According to a recent Collegefeed survey, more than 75 percent of all millennials use this metric to evaluate potential employers. Having an online presence is critical for any organization looking to connect with millennial candidates.
Many new graduates won’t give your healthcare organization a second look without understanding its values and identity. You need to turn your values and culture into an employer brand story, tell it on your career site, and then distribute your story to potential candidates through social media. According to SDL, five out of every six millennials in the country use social media to connect with companies and professional organizations, making a healthcare organization’s social media presence one of the easiest ways to grab their attention and gain awareness.
Ultimately, a comprehensive and well-managed recruitment marketing strategy is necessary. Recruitment marketing brings together the varied activities that are used in healthcare talent acquisition, helping them to work in concert to broaden reach, build candidate relationships, and attract the best talent.
“For example, enabling a talent network gives millennial candidates a low-pressure way to opt in to get more information about your organization,” suggests Ruleman. “Then you can use the candidate relationship management (CRM) functionality within HealthcareSource Recruitment Marketing to send emails catered to specific members of your network.”
Additionally, millennials are more comfortable than their predecessors in blurring the lines between work and their personal lives. “That’s why our Job Broadcast feature is so powerful. It can help you reach millennials where they are to make them aware of your opportunities,” says Ruleman.
In light of the shortage of qualified healthcare workers across the industry, focusing on attracting talented and skilled millennials should be a priority for every healthcare organization. Taking steps to adjust your recruitment procedures to match millennials’ needs and attitudes is the best way to increase your success in winning over the latest group of graduates.
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