Competing for millennials in the nursing workforce

If you’re looking to hire millennial nurses at your organization, it’s important to know what they’re looking for, as well as changes your company can make to gain a competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting top talent.

Here are five ways to attract and retain millennial nurses:

1. Invest in up-to-date technology and equipment

Millennials have grown up in the digital age and are accustomed to using the latest computers and devices at home and in the workplace. While it’s not necessary to buy iPads for each nurse, you will find that millennials are more easily frustrated with out-of-date or slow equipment; they will push for streamlined, modern technology to make processes more efficient.

2. Try to create a positive work-life balance

While it can be difficult to do in a busy health care setting, it’s vital to offer your millennial employees more in terms of work-life balance. Younger nurses want more flexibility with their schedules; they look for a flexible workplace that allows them to leave work early to pick up children or attend an important event like a wedding or funeral. They expect to have a generous amount of paid time off and the ability to adjust their hours when necessary.

3. Provide open communication from executives and leaders

One of the quickest ways to lose employees is to keep them in the dark about important news or make big decisions without any input from them. Millennials are used to having information at their fingertips. They also want to know their voice is heard. Learning about important company news at the same time that the general public does will only lower their trust in leadership and make them feel undervalued.

One way to help create a transparent culture at your organization is by conducting an anonymous employee survey to find out what your nurses want most in their work. Then make changes based on their feedback. Don’t worry, you can start small. Even little changes will help build trust among workers.

4. Communicate your purpose and provide ways to give back

Millennials are value-driven and committed to finding a company that helps them achieve this goal. Millennials’ search for ethical, socially minded companies aligns with the interests of many nurses who chose their profession to make a difference in patients’ lives. They want authentic leadership and established programs that give back to the community.

One easy way to help ensure millennial nurses understand your company’s purpose is to print your core values on the back of all employee badges so they see them each time they clip them on for work. Talk about these values and how they can be further defined as part of your employer branding. Additionally, highlight the ways your organization gives back and is actively engaged in the community. All of these can help employees feel like they play a role in enhancing a service-oriented company culture and in fulfilling their mission to do good in the world.

5. Invest in mentoring

Millennials are driven by their goals and actions; they want ownership over projects, and many aspire to be leaders themselves. Furthermore, millennials in the nursing workforce seek to work for an organization that not only provides quality health care but also values their employees.

Millennial expert and author Bruce Tulgan recommends mentoring these younger employees, providing them with regular feedback and guidance. Ask your nurse supervisors to allocate some of their time to coach new nurses and address their concerns and questions.

Provide your millennial employees with a mentor to help address a gap in soft skills, which are crucial in the nursing industry. This mentor could be another nurse or even a physician who can help them achieve their career goals and remain accountable. And of course, emphasize these programs when recruiting new nurses.

Find better ways to recruit millennials in the nursing workforce

The above are just a few key ways to cater your recruiting approach to millennial nurses. Of course, there are many more strategies based on studies of millennials and changes in the nursing industry. Sign up for Monster Hiring Solutions to receive expert recruiting advice and information on the latest hiring trends.