Members of Generation Z can help fill openings in your practice and bring teamwork, technology prowess and dedication to helping patients. Here’s how to get them in the door — and keep them there.
If your practice doesn’t have a social media presence, get started. Young workers are “looking to see if you’re communicating on the same channels as them, like Instagram and SnapChat,” says Maureen Uy of Uy Creative, a Milwaukee-based healthcare marketing consultancy and member of the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants.
Similarly, Rahul Desai, MD, owner of Restore PDX, recommends using social media to talk about the work you’re doing and what it’s like to work at your practice. “Building a culture for your practice is important,” he says. “Young people can help build a culture.” They might do this by organizing team events such as happy hours or lunches, creating videos and social media posts or interacting with patients in new ways.
Show your personality
Rather than using bland corporate-speak, look for ways to show your personality online — and in person. Uy helps medical practices unite “their funny side with their superior knowledge” through videos, photos and podcasts to show existing and future staff what working in a medical practice is really like. “It’s a real game changer to show them you’re human and can have fun while being top of your field,” she says.
Partner with local K-12 schools
To build a pipeline of committed healthcare workers in your area, open your doors to local schoolchildren and share your vision with those who are interested. “They have to see and experience healthcare occupation opportunities early on. Waiting until high school is too late,” Uy says. “A return to career days in (elementary and middle) school with on-site visits and a willing practitioner has much greater impact. This will be far more effective than an ad that just says, ‘You can have a future here.’ You have to show it.”
Give them pathways
When interviewing Gen Z candidates, ask questions like, “Where do you think you want to be in six months to one year?” recommends Leah Brown, a speaker, author and retention strategist at retention firm Crescendo Strategies. “Do not ask about 10 years down the road. Be able to accept the fact that most young workers don’t want to stick around in entry-level positions.”
But if you want your Gen Z employees to stay, create positions that might work for them. Find out what they want to do beyond this entry-level job. “Not all CNAs want to become nurses,” Brown says. “Some say, ‘This just fits my schedule right now, and I like working with people, but I want to be an accountant someday.’” To keep those strong employees on board, she recommends looking for cross training or educational opportunities as a path for career advancement within the practice.
Nancy Mann Jackson is a freelance writer based in Huntsville, Ala.