Posted By Abhi Muthiyan On May 30, 2018

Millennials: How to Hire and Retain These HR Change-makers

Millennials HR Change Makers

{Note:  This is the fourth installment a blog series spotlighting the impact the Millennial generation is having – and will continue to have – on healthcare.}

Who are millennials – as employees?  What is required of businesses and agencies who hope to hire and retain them?  

Gallup says, “Millennials will change the world decisively more than any other generation. . . So, we, too, must change.”  

What is the impact that is to be anticipated as millennials bring their change-making force to human resource departments? Plain and simple:  HR, this is your “All Aboard!” warning and call.

Per a 2017 survey published in January of this year focusing on local health departments in California,“80% of the local health departments surveyed have a problem with either recruitment, retention, or both” (particularly in regards to Public Health Nurses, PHNs).

The Public Health Foundation writes:  

Protection of the public’s health depends on maintaining a sufficient number of workers capable of delivering essential public health services. The recruitment of qualified and capable individuals into the field of public health and the retention of these individuals. . . are two important elements public health organizations must address to fulfill their responsibilities to the public. . . . In order to maximize the potential for success, ideally, recruitment and retention activities would be informed by evidence about influences on public health workers’ employment decisions.” (Emphasis added.)

Some incontrovertible facts to consider, along with the application to be made:

  • Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce now, according to a Pew Research Foundation report from April 2018.  They compromise 35% of American labor participants.
    • Application: Millennials cannot be ignored.
  • Ironically, as the Gallup organization has observed, they also have “the highest rates of unemployment and underemployment in the U.S.” at 29%.  
    • Application: Millennials should be a prime target for hiring, as nearly a third of that generation is not currently employed.
  • 86% of Millennials would rather be healthy than wealthy.”  That is good news for the healthcare sector!  As a generation, they care about making a difference, and choosing good health, and making a difference (and being altruistic) for others, too.  
    • Application:  Millennials are ideal employees for local health departments, behavioral health agencies, and FQHCs.
  • 83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues (vs. 70% U.S. average).“
    • Application:   Millennials are hard-wired to care for social issues and are poised to be aligned with any agency affiliated with public, behavioral, and community health.
  • 85% of Millennials access the internet from their phones, per the Gallup survey.   They crave technology and scorn workplaces which are behind the technological curve.  Per Gallup: “Millennials are first-generation digital natives who feel at home on the Internet. Technology ― particularly gadgets like smartphones, but also tablets and laptops ― has revolutionized the way they connect and interact with one another and with the rest of the world.”
    • Application:  This means they are the ideal employees to implement and utilize cloud-based electronic health records for healthcare agencies.  They “lean in” to technology.  So “lean in” to them!

Why heed the “All Aboard” call?  We must face the music, name the pink elephant in the room, get our heads out of the sand (and any other “wake up” metaphor we can find!):   public health is already a sector plagued by problems attracting and retaining younger generation employees. No one can afford for this issue to get worse.

As Gallup summarizes: “Purpose and development drive this generation.”  So, get aboard the Millennial train – embrace them as employees, and let Millennials drive your healthcare agency to greater purpose, development, and success than ever before.