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It’s no secret there’s a significant staffing shortage in the senior care industry..

With 46% of the workforce set to be made up of Millennials by 2020, providers can no longer afford to misunderstand these multitasking digital natives--and companies that tap into their power will thrive and maximize overall performance.

The most educated generation to date, this group’s unique qualities and ideals are a result of a number of factors: 24/7 technology, social media, teamwork galore, excessive parental supervision, and access to information at their fingertips.

Here are 8 key insights to consider when trying to attract Millennial Talent:

#1 - Purpose over Paycheck

This age group prioritizes passion and meaning over a paycheck. 56% said they would take a pay cut to work somewhere that is positively changing the world, and 84% said helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition.


  • Communicate your mission and purpose to draw Millennial talent, who want to be part of something meaningful.
  • In a caregiving industry like senior housing, there’s enormous potential to communicate the value of your organization; internally, promote a culture of recognition and value.
  • Take service outings as a company (Millennials love team-building). Even better if you promote it on social media, which leads us to the next insight...

#2 - Must Embrace Technology

93% of Millennials use social media to communicate with friends and family. This group gets the vast majority of their information online, in addition to shopping, reading, banking, listening to music, and dating.


  • Tout technology! Providers must turn to social networks and enable quick, mobile-friendly online applications to promote job openings to this generation on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Indeed. -This tech-savvy generation expects quality websites with rich media (think visuals and videos), responsive design, and shareable social links.
  • It’s also vital to actively embrace modern technology within your organization to attract digital native talent. 

#3 - They Don't Trust You...

Millennials are less trusting than any other generation: just 19% believe people can generally be trusted, compared to 31% of Gen X and 40% of Baby Boomers.


  • Build a culture of transparency. Outline job descriptions, expectations and opportunities for progression up front.
  • Be timely, truthful and responsive in dealing with customers, the press and social media.
  • Strong communication can break down distrust or confusion. Customize communication by using apps or platforms that are open, accessible and easy to digest. Speak in their language: aka make it personal, genuine and colloquial.

#4- They Get "Bored" Easily

Millennials are the least engaged generation at work: 29% describe themselves as engaged, while 55% are “not engaged” and 29% are “actively disengaged.” This shows they just want a job that is worthwhile--and will keep job-hopping until they find it--and Deloitte’s recent survey shows that two-thirds of Millennials plan to have a new job by 2020. This presents an enormous opportunity...


  • Commit to creating an engaging, special culture: employees should be clear on what sets the company apart from the rest.
  • Companies that encourage progression and advancement of skills will retain this group, who will quickly leave a dead-end job if they feel stuck.
  • An efficient onboarding system should be in place for new employees to hit the ground running.
  • Offer collaborative discussions like roundtables that encourage everyone’s ideas to be heard across generations; Millennials appreciate less-formal atmospheres where they don’t have to fear offering their contributions.

#5 - They Actually Want Your Feedback

Research shows more Millennials are engaged in their jobs when their manager holds regular meetings with them and provide consistent feedback. What’s more, Millennials expect close relationships and view their managers as coaches and mentors--positive relationship with a boss manages Millennial retention risk.


  • Don’t ghost them! Millennials grew up with an emphasis on team sports and constant coaching: Schedule regular feedback for employees. It doesn’t need to be time-consuming and can be as simple as a quick email checking in.
  • Establish employee mentorships; consider incentivizing older employees to advise a Millennial and better yet show them the clear career path and opportunities for advancement.
  • Initiate an open-door policy to encourage enhanced communication.

#6 - They Love to Be Heard

Millennials are an open book when it comes to sharing online. From declaring love for each other on #ManCrushMonday to raving about a brand they love, a new study shows happiness is the main driver behind online sharing. However, Millennials are also most likely to leave a review or recommendation online to save their peers from the the horror of a bad product or experience.


  • Give them something to rave about--and encourage use of platforms to do so. Encourage employees to post testimonials about their positive experience, whether it’s on Glassdoor, Linkedin or your company website.
  • Creating a “work family” online network, customized hashtag, or creative campaign--anything for Millennials to truly connect to-- promotes loyalty and online sharing.

#7 - They Dig Diversity

Millennials are the most racially diverse generation. 43 percent are non-white, and studies show this group is more tolerant of races and groups than older populations.


  • Promote diversity within your organization. Enforce policies that require equal treatment for everyone and set standards for merit, not quotas.
  • Create diversity-friendly policies: for example, allowing employees to take time off for religious holidays or providing flexible hours for working mothers.
  • When you encourage people of all cultures, ages, races, and abilities to apply for positions, you gain a unique pool of talent and experience that ultimately strengthens your establishment and provides benefits beyond just attracting Millennials.

#8 - Flexibility is Crucial

3 out of 4 Millennials say work-life balance drives their career choices.


  • Go the extra mile to show employees you value them as humans, not just workers--and it will pay dividends for your company loyalty.
  • Provide flexible work arrangements for both men and women to spend more time with their families.
  • It might sound backwards, but Millennials were raised as a digital natives--and are well-aware of how much work can be done with just a Wifi connection, so consider trusting them to remotely work in the instances it may be doable.
  • Benefits such as gym memberships and wellness programs further shows you care about the health of employees.  
Hannah Chenoweth

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Hannah Chenoweth is a writer for influence group. Passionate about collaborating with thought leaders in real estate, design, construction & facilities management.

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