• Article
  • April 18, 2018

3 Tips for Recruiting and Retaining Millennial Employees

Millennials make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce today. But it takes a different approach to recruit and retain these 20- and 30-somethings—especially for children's hospitals.

"Working in a children's hospital can be a lot more difficult than working in other types of hospitals or other health care settings," says Jason Dorsey, co-founder and millennials and Gen Z researcher at The Center for Generational Kinetics, a research and consulting firm focused on these two generations, and author of the national bestseller, Y-Size your Business: How Gen Y Employees Can Save You Money and Grow Your Business. "Children's hospitals have an incredibly important mission, but a lot of times, they are misunderstood. So it's really important to bring that mission, impact and human side forward in recruiting."

Dorsey says children's hospitals need to bring their institutions to life through employment branding that resonates with millennial job seekers. "That means sharing behind-the-scenes videos, talking to the culture, how you're involved in the community and playing up the human side of the children's hospital," he says.

Dorsey, a millennial and an expert on marketing to this generation (and to Gen Z, the generation right behind millennials), has worked with companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Four Seasons Hotels and VISA. Here are his three tips to help children's hospitals recruit and retain millennials.

Paint a clear picture of the experience

"In recruiting millennials, make sure there is accuracy in the experience itself, so they know what they are getting into," Dorsey says. "If they don't understand the reality of the position, they may walk out. We always want to help them get grounded in the experience and the expectations in terms of performance and excellence. That will drive retention because you will get the right people into the right positions.

Provide feedback and stability

"Millennials need more frequent feedback, we call it 'quick-hit feedback,' so they need a five- or 10-second check-in every two weeks," Dorsey says. "So less overall volume; just more frequency. They also want to know that there is some sense of stability. Many of them have tremendous amounts of student loan debt, so stability is important to them.

Offer advancement opportunities

"Millennials want to see there is a talent development pathway or program," adds Dorsey. "They want to know this isn't just a hierarchical system in which they can't move up unless they wait for 20 years. So you need to consider how you are going to think about their talent, so they are even more committed, more loyal and more engaged.

Have a leadership tip or lesson learned? Email magazine@childrenshospitals.org.