Lou Ann Brubaker

Brubaker Consulting

If you were watching the television show, 60 Minutes, on November 11, 2007, you’d have heard Morley Safer tell viewers that “The Millennials are coming.” It sounded the warning that we should prepare ourselves for an over-indulged, overly sensitive future group of workers.

Let’s hope that in the years since that broadcast America has warmed to the idea that the fastest growing part of our workforce (born between 1980 and 1995) augers positive opportunities – to both meet critical staffing needs within healthcare AND transform our work environments in valuable ways.

Anticipated Need for Pharmacists & Pharmacy Technicians

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2017 job outlook projections, the need for Pharmacists will grow nearly as fast as average (at a 6% rate between now and 2026). The projected need for Pharmacy Technicians, however, will grow faster than average at a rate twice that (12%) in that same timeframe. That means that pharmacies will need to hire another 48,000 Pharmacy Technicians in less than 10 years.

Ramp up your recruiting approach.

First, mount a full-court press on recruiting the currently available Millennials to your organization. Waiting to evolve your culture into something more Millennial-friendly five years from now will cost you. Others will have beaten you to the punch.

Shift your outreach efforts to Linkedin, Ziprecruiter, and Indeed. Make certain your job application is mobile device friendly—smartphones are the number one tool Millennials use for nearly everything.

If your job posting is simply a litany of job tasks it’s a turnoff. Talk about the difference your staff makes in their work. “Every day we’re improving the quality of life of older adults and helping clients provide better care.” Sing your current staff’s praises on Social Media—Millennials will be looking you up on Facebook and Glassdoor to gauge what you’re about.

Create a Millennial career path.

Research from the fifth annual Global Millennials survey by Deloitte indicated that two-thirds of Millennials plan to leave their current organization by 2020. Number one reason why–insufficient opportunities to develop their leadership skills. You have to counter Millennials’ belief that it’s easier to quit and go find another job than find a new job within their current company. Look at work rotations that provide additional experiences—different customer base, location, etc.

Contrary to 60 Minutes warnings, it’s not that Millennials don’t want to pay their dues. It’s just that they don’t understand why their individually demonstrated abilities don’t result in individually designed increases in responsibility and authority.

Describe how you support Millennial life quality.

  • The whole work/life balance thing has been talked about for a long time.  With Millennials it is time to actually make it happen. This means moving beyond the ‘industrial’ mindset of specific work shifts to post-industrial flex scheduling that accommodates Millennial financial obstacles like childcare costs and transportation.
  • Get creative in your annual loyalty rewards. Tuition assistance is great for staff wanting to go back to school but offering student loan relief for those who already have graduated could be a game-changer in whether someone joins your company and stays.
  • How bad is the student loan burden? A May 27, 2018 NY Times article cited that “more than 80% of Millennials surveyed by the National Association of Realtors and nonprofit American Student Assistance said that student debt had forced them to shelve their plans to buy a home.” You could support the American dream.

Going forward the pharmacies willing to consider that ‘everything is on the table’ in respect to Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician recruitment and retention will be the winners. The time to get started is now.