According to data published in March 2018 by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the United States could see a shortage of between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians by the end of 2030. Over the next 11 years, the study estimates a potential shortfall of up to 49,000 primary care physicians and 72,000 physicians in other specialties.
This deficit will come from an increase in demand in conjunction with a gradual decrease in supply. One-third of all presently practicing physicians will be 65 or older by the end of 2030. Baby Boomer physicians are retiring in multitudes or are planning to retire soon, and this will have the greatest impact on supply.
Patients and recruiters will need to look towards millennial physicians to bridge this gap. Millennial candidates, those born between 1980 and 1999, represent nearly half of the current U.S. workforce. Attracting and hiring millennial physicians may require a distinct approach, because they have different perspectives and expectations than their Baby Boomer predecessors. For instance, millennial doctors value good work/life balance, culture fit and location preferences at their jobs above compensation. Below are five effective tips on how to recruit millennial physician candidates.
For millennial candidates, finding the right job fit is equally as important, if not more important, than the job itself. Therefore, it’s important that you sell the company culture. Recruiters need to focus on the positive culture, community activism and purpose-driven work. Consider making a video to showcase what it would be like to work at the facility. Interview peer physicians and have them speak about their experiences and share what a typical day looks like. Distribute the video through social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. In addition, during the interview process provide candidates with a tour of the facility and a group interview with potential future colleagues.
Millennial candidates are looking for a personalized approach. If you’re considering an email blast, be sure and personalize the subject line and salutation. Demonstrate that you’ve done your research and know something about them. Start by stroking their ego and letting them know you are impressed by some of their accomplishments. You can do this by referring to them as a “leader” or “expert” in their specialty or by mentioning them in association with a respected university or medical facility and pointing out one of their significant achievements. Next, respond quickly to all communications. Millennial candidates grew up with computers, cell phones and social media, and they may expect instant gratification. Therefore, if they respond to your email, text or phone call, be sure and reply promptly and provide clear expectations about next steps.
Most institutions offer similar compensation and benefits packages. Unconventional perks may be a creative alternative to pique a millennial candidate’s interest. For example, many physicians complain about burnout and a lack of work/life balance. Among female doctors, poor work/life balance is the biggest reason for leaving positions. These issues could be addressed with some creative amenities, such as on-site daycare, fitness facilities or memberships, meditation centers, stress relief classes, and even in-house massage therapists. You could also help them achieve personal or professional goals by offering complimentary retirement planners, financial advisors or legal assistance.
Millennial physicians know they are going to work long hours, but offering some flexibility and even time off for medical sabbaticals can be enticing. Creative scheduling, such as working three 12-hour days a week, weekend-only shifts or staggered start times, can make your position more desirable. Others may value receiving some time off for personal renewal and medical education. For example, a millennial candidate’s desire to help others may be met through allowing physicians to participate in Doctors Without Borders. In other words, flexibility and time off can serve as motivators to present to millennial doctors during recruitment.
Millennial candidates have spent their entire lives learning, and they don’t want this to end after the initial hire date. Many have long-term goals in mind that involve further training, development and future career advancement. Over 70% of millennial new hires report they are likely to exit their jobs if their skills are not being adequately developed, and over 90% of employees typically change companies when seeking advancement. Providing on-the-job training, progressive responsibilities and continuing education opportunities are important steps towards attracting and keeping millennial talent. However, the most important step is to outline a path towards future growth and career advancement. Highlighting your program to provide training, mentorship and advancement opportunities will help millennial candidates look beyond today’s job and see tomorrow’s career.
Millennial physicians realize their profession requires long hours. Like their Baby Boomer predecessors, they expect fair, adequate compensation. However, they have different perspectives, values and expectations. They place more emphasis on good work/life balance, culture fit, flexible scheduling, paid time-off, ongoing training and opportunities for advancement. Creating and distributing a video via social media to showcase your organization, its work, its culture, its leadership and the position may be one of the best ways to attract and recruit millennial candidates.
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