A massive talent shortage in the healthcare sector is on the horizon — and it’s being driven by a number of factors. Pre-pandemic, the main cause of the impending shortage was the aging workforce. About 200,000 RNs were (and continue) to retire each year and about ⅓ of physicians will be over the age of 65 in the next decade. But the situation got even worse during the pandemic as nearly 1 in 5 healthcare workers left their jobs.
As we move forward, healthcare recruiters will need to turn to Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) to fill all these roles. The oldest members of this generation are already graduating from college, and by 2025, Gen Z will account for 27% of the workforce.
So far, data on the number of Gen Zers entering the healthcare field is sparse. However, there is reason for optimism that they’ll be drawn toward a career in caring for others given that they came of age during COVID. In a recent survey of educators, 55% said they’ve seen more students express interest in working in healthcare since the start of the pandemic. And Great Place to Work cites “meaningful work and a social conscience” as top factors Gen Zers value in a job — and a healthcare career certainly offers both.
In this blog post, you’ll learn what makes Gen Z different from previous generations and how you can leverage their habits and motivations to engage them for healthcare roles.
The majority of Gen Zers have grown up completely in the smartphone era. Members of this generation are digital natives who use their phones to accomplish everyday tasks, including applying for jobs and communicating with recruiters.
Younger candidates are increasingly resistant to long application processes, back-and-forth email exchanges, and phone screenings. Healthcare recruiters should instead offer a simplified application experience that can be completed entirely on a smartphone and connect and communicate with candidates primarily via text messaging (rather than through email or phone).
As more Gen Zers prepare to graduate from college and enter the workforce, there is a huge opportunity to connect with them on campus. Participating in career fairs allows you to meet young healthcare candidates, discuss their career aspirations, and share how your opportunities align with what they want.
Remember, Gen Zers are digital natives so instead of sending them away from the event with physical collateral and hoping they apply later on, you can have them submit an application right there on their phone. Offering text-to-apply or a QR-code-scannable application is a great way to engage young candidates and generate more applicants for open roles.
Candidates of all ages continuously say they want recruiters to communicate faster and more frequently. A survey from Robert Half revealed that 62% of professionals lose interest in a job if they don’t hear back within two weeks of applying or 10 days after the initial interview.
Gen Zers are quicker to exit your hiring process and shift their focus to other opportunities if they don’t receive fast and frequent updates from a recruiter. With recruiting automation, you can send automated, personalized messages to candidates at the different stages of their hiring journey so they stay interested in your opportunity.
Careers sites have come a long way in recent years. Talent acquisition professionals see the importance of having an employer branding strategy that showcases all the benefits of working for their organizations.
It’s time for careers sites to evolve even more to appeal to Generation Z candidates. Using an AI Chatbot, you can provide candidates with answers to questions that aren’t already included on your careers site — and even collect their application details, pre-screen them against role requirements, and schedule interviews. An AI Chatbot allows you to instantly engage candidates and provide Gen Zers with the real-time communication they’re accustomed to.
Like careers sites, job descriptions need to evolve to better appeal to today’s candidates. Keep in mind that Gen Zers want to do “meaningful work” so don’t just use vague and jargon-filled language to summarize the role. Instead, clearly describe how they’ll make an impact if hired.
That said, candidates of all ages say compensation is still the most important factor when considering a job. If you want to attract more talent for healthcare roles, consider listing the salary range/pay rate in the job description (a handful of states and localities already require this, and more are expected to soon). Check out our blog post for more tips for writing job descriptions.
As more healthcare professionals retire and exit the workforce, recruiters will need to count on young candidates to step in and care for those in need. Even though it will be challenging, there are new and exciting opportunities to connect with and engage Gen Z talent.
If you want to learn more about modern talent engagement strategies, check our ebook titled “The Definitive Guide to Talent Engagement.” It provides everything you need to know to succeed in today’s candidate-driven market.