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Generational Insights: Onboarding and Job Search Preferences for Clinicians

By: LocumTenens.com | Updated on May 23, 2024

Generational Insights: Onboarding and Job Search Preferences for Clinicians

In a healthcare market that continues to evolve, understanding perspectives of healthcare providers is a critical step in improving the healthcare experience overall. But the provider workforce is not a monolith—it is a patchwork of different experiences. Fortunately, clear patterns come together when we take a step back and look at the data.

After 1,675 healthcare providers responded to a survey in the fall of 2023, we segmented responses by generational cohorts—Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials—enabling a more granular examination of the response results and more actionable insights for healthcare organizations, including a robust salary survey report. This deep dive results in more tailored strategies that align with the unique needs and expectations of each group—ultimately enhancing recruitment and retention efforts.

In this first part of our Generational Insights series, we explore the job search preferences and onboarding experiences of healthcare providers across these generational segments, giving physician recruiters and hiring managers in healthcare careers a leg up during a challenging labor market. When it comes to talent acquisition and onboarding, one size does not fit all.

Seeking New Work: Generational differences in how healthcare providers approach finding new assignments

Baby Boomers (born 1946 - 1964)

Baby Boomers tend to prefer traditional job search methods. According to the survey, 66% of Baby Boomers favor working with recruiters when seeking new opportunities. This generation values the personal touch and professional guidance that recruiters provide, which can be particularly helpful given the complex and competitive nature of the healthcare job market.

Generation X (born 1965 – 1980)

Generation X also leans towards using recruiters, with 54% of respondents indicating this preference. However, they are more open to leveraging online job boards and networking through professional contacts compared to Baby Boomers. Gen X values efficiency and convenience in their job search, balancing traditional and modern methods.

Millennials (born 1981 – 1997)

Millennials show a diverse approach to job searching. While 47% still prefer recruiters, a significant portion turns to online job boards and digital networking. Transparency in compensation and benefits is a major concern for Millennials, with 21% citing this as a discouraging factor in their job search. They prioritize clear, upfront information about what a potential employer offers.


Onboarding Experiences: Generational perspectives in the onboarding phase of work

Most challenging aspects of finding new work as a healthcare provider:


Baby Boomers

For Baby Boomers, the most significant onboarding challenge is the lengthy and complex credentialing process, with 45% of respondents highlighting this issue. They prefer a straightforward and efficient onboarding process, minimizing delays and paperwork.

Generation X

Gen X shares concerns about the credentialing process but also values a transparent and structured onboarding experience. They appreciate comprehensive orientation materials and clear instructions about reporting and team coordination on their first day.


Millennials have distinct onboarding preferences, emphasizing hands-on training and shadowing experienced staff. They seek interactive and practical onboarding experiences, allowing them to quickly integrate into their new roles and contribute effectively. Additionally, Millennials are more concerned with compensation transparency during the onboarding process.

Base your recruitment and onboarding strategies on provider intelligence

Generational differences in job search preferences and onboarding experiences highlight the need for healthcare organizations to adopt flexible and tailored approaches. By understanding and addressing these unique preferences with customized recruitment and onboarding strategies, organizations can improve the workplace experience for all generations.

Successfully bringing in new talent and acclimatizing them to their new role is a crucial step in improving healthcare for all.