Millennials, defined as being born between 1981-1997, are slated to fill the gap in healthcare as Baby Boomers retire. Looking at the general current workforce, millennials make up more than one-third of workers, according to Pew Research Center. Based on AMA birth year data, when zeroing in specifically on the physician workforce, 94 percent of final-year residents and fellows are millennials. As this generation continues to rise up in the medical community, it’s important to understand their preferences when searching for a position.
The NEJM CareerCenter surveyed 200+ millennial primary care and specialist physicians seeking answers on job-pursuing behaviors. Of those surveyed, just over half were currently in practice, with the remainder in their final year of residency. Here are some of the key takeaways found.
The most important aspects of a job ranked from highest to lowest in the following order:
- Salary/Compensation (91 percent)
- Work/Life Balance (90 percent)
- Location (88 percent)
- Professional Growth Opportunity, Benefits (tied at 59 percent)
- Cultural Fit (47 percent)
- Employer Retention (26 percent)
Cultural fit mattered more to female physicians (64 percent) than males (56 percent).
What matters most with a new position?
The most important benefits that differentiate employers were listed as:
- Sign-on bonus
- Employer match retirement plan
- Loan payment assistance
- No call coverage
- Cash bonus
While salary and compensation were top aspects among both sexes, professional growth opportunities mattered more to female physicians (64 percent) than males (56 percent). When it comes to the desire for exceptional clinical support, community-based physicians were more concerned than academic.
Women were found to tap into their network of mentors and colleagues more than men, but regardless of sex, staff and leadership were the top choices when considering which employer to choose. In fact, “21 percent of female physicians asked their program directors or mentors for leads versus only 11 percent of male physicians.”
Top aspects of an employer.
Millennials desire excellent clinical support staff, medical staff, and administrative leadership, respectively. They also want modern facilities and quality outcomes at the institution. Lower on the list but still of interest: the latest medical equipment, history of clinical innovation, diversity in the workforce, and a track record of social responsibility.
Online resources are key.
Scanning online job boards is the first step many millennials take when searching for a new physician opening.
When it comes to choosing an online job site, trustworthiness ranked number one. A large majority (85 percent) of millennials check the employer’s website first to better understand the facility. They also look for news about the employer, conduct informational interviews, search for reviews on employer review sites like Glassdoor.com, and check the employer’s social media channels. The depth of employer ranked second, followed by the number of relevant jobs to the seeker, and career resources such as salary information.
[ READ: THE HEALTH ECAREERS’ SALARY GUIDE ]
Among active job-seeking physicians, most preferred email as the primary mode of communication, followed by phone discussions, in-person communication, and text messages, respectively. A crucial takeaway is that employers should be optimized for mobile, as smartphone usage is high. This falls right in line with a generation who has grown up online, with a smartphone in hand.
When do millennial physicians search for a new job?
Weekday evenings are the preferred time of day for job hunting for this generation, as opposed to weekday mornings or afternoons. The second favorite time was weekend mornings. Most millennial physicians (92 percent) spend less than 1 and up to 5 hours per week looking for a new role. Prompt communication is expected, along with decisive decision-making and speed to hire. 28 percent spend less than an hour per week looking for a new position.
After physicians reached out to an employer expressing interest, 43 percent expected a response within two days. The same percentage preferred a one to two week response time after completing the first round of interviews. Almost half of the physicians surveyed conveyed the desire to see an offer within one to two weeks after the completion of a final-stage interview. 30 percent selected three to four weeks to wait. Promptness and clear communication between employer and job seeker was key.