How to understand and appeal to millennials
Upfront and personal approach
Dr. Matthew Krauthamer, emergency physician and national director of Knoxville, Tenn.-based TeamHealth’s “special ops” group to staff client hospitals and physician groups
“Recruiters need to get to know millennials personally to win them over. Millennials like to feel part of a team. Recruiters should ask millennials: ‘What are your needs? What do you want as an individual and how can we find a place for you?’ And make sure it’s a good fit. When it’s not a good fit, give them the support to change.”
Use of physician shift schedules rather than on-call schedules
Millennials “want to make good money, work their shifts and go home. Their values are different than previous generations because they put so much importance on quality of life.”
Monique Valcour, executive coach and faculty affiliate at the Center on Aging and Work at Boston College
“Millennials expect their workplaces to provide current technology. They shy away from organizations that don’t have the latest in electronic health-record systems like those they used during their residencies.”
Balancing work and personal life
Dual-career couples among millennials are common, and the only way they can make their lives work is to have flexible schedules. “Medical careers in the past could be really brutal with very long hours and very little control over time. If you have to be on call twice a week and you’ve got little kids at home and you’ve got two people trying to do this thing, it’s just not going to work.”
Many millennials seek out large multispecialty practices that offer more flexibility in hours than is available in small practices. She added that some millennials have opted for medical specialties such as dermatology, radiology and anesthesiology because they offer more predictable schedules.
Heavy use of text messaging
Dr. Matthew Gibb, executive vice president, system chief medical officer, Carle Foundation, Urbana, Ill.
“Millennials want text messaging because they want immediate responses. Our recruiters will tell you that text messaging is the only way you can communicate (with millennials). And if you’re not adept in the texting world, you’re going to fail as a recruiter.”
Carle is testing a new Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant text messaging system with the goal of phasing out its pager system. “We did a physician engagement survey a few months ago and the No. 1 gap we identified was needing to improve the way we communicate as an organization,” he said.
Use social media
Dr. Lisa Batson, co-leader of the psychiatric division of Crystal Run Healthcare in the Hudson Valley outside New York City She and her husband learned about job opportunities and communities they were considering via Google, recruitment websites, Facebook pages and looking at videos on YouTube.
Readiness to quit if unhappy
Bob Collins, managing partner at the Dallas-based Medicus Firm, a physician recruiting company If millennials are unhappy on the job, Collins said they are likely to pull up stakes and move on. “Another contributing factor to the added mobility of doctors is the shift of the physician job market from private practice to more employed opportunities, which makes it easier for physicians of any age to move around as employees.”
“Most millennials likely don’t know any other way (than being employees), whereas older physicians are more likely to be or have been in private practice. Being an owner or partner in a practice made switching jobs a bit more complicated. It could be done, but physicians would lose money if they did it too much.”
Importance of teamwork and collaboration
Fred Horton, vice president at AMGA Consulting Services in Alexandria, Va. Physicians in the past worked in isolated silos, Horton said. But the new generation of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians tend to train together. As a result, they expect to collaborate when they enter the workplace. “They want the team-based environment. That really fits with the change in clinical models today.”