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Advice for Employers and Recruiters

9 tips for how government agencies can recruit students, recent grads for early career healthcare jobs

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Anita Jobb AvatarAnita Jobb
July 10, 2024


In the quest to draw in the bright minds of college students and recent graduates to the healthcare sector within the government, we’ve gathered insights from medical directors and founders. From focusing on operational excellence to personalizing impact and streamlining applications, explore the nine pieces of advice these professionals have offered to make governmental healthcare jobs more appealing to the younger generation.

  • Focus on Operational Excellence
  • Highlight Unique Patient Cases
  • Promote Mentorship and Development
  • Showcase Career Growth Success Stories
  • Emphasize Diverse Healthcare Opportunities
  • Communicate Impact and Offer Benefits
  • Showcase Real-World Impact and Growth
  • Stress Professional Development and Support
  • Personalize Impact and Streamline Applications

Focus on Operational Excellence

Healthcare talent in today’s marketplace is first and foremost looking for fair compensation and benefits. Besides that, one thing that large governmental agencies can do to set themselves apart in attracting college students and recent graduates is focusing on operational excellence and working conditions in their facilities. 

Working in healthcare can be a grueling and thankless job. Focusing on improving operations and giving healthcare professionals what they need in terms of staffing levels, equipment, training, and time off will not only boost employee retention but also attract new talent.

Nicholas Van Strijp, Founder, nursejobs.health

Highlight Unique Patient Cases

I advise a large governmental agency looking to attract college students and recent graduates to healthcare jobs by emphasizing the chance to work with a unique patient population and highlighting the diverse and often complex cases they’ll encounter. This offers invaluable learning experiences and the opportunity to significantly impact patients’ lives.

For example, at Wimpole Clinic, our team enjoys working on various cases, from rare hair disorders to innovative hair-restoration treatments. We recently treated a patient with a unique type of alopecia, which provided an excellent learning opportunity for our staff and a chance to develop specialized skills. Showcasing these experiences can help position the agency as a desirable place for young professionals to start and grow their careers, offering professional development and a sense of fulfillment.

Dr. Michael May, Medical Director, Wimpole Clinic

Promote Mentorship and Development

To attract college students and recent graduates to healthcare jobs within a large governmental agency, emphasize the agency’s commitment to fostering a culture of mentorship and professional development. Highlight programs that offer structured mentoring from seasoned healthcare professionals and leaders within the agency. Showcase opportunities for hands-on experience and rotational programs that allow young professionals to gain exposure across different departments and specialties within healthcare administration and policy-making. 

Emphasize the agency’s investment in continuous learning, certifications, and leadership development programs tailored to early-career professionals. This approach not only attracts talent seeking meaningful mentorship and career growth but also demonstrates the agency’s dedication to nurturing the next generation of healthcare leaders.

Jennifer Silver, Dentist and Clinic Owner, Macleod Trail Dental

Showcase Career Growth Success Stories

One piece of advice I’d give would be to actively promote the opportunities for career growth within the agency’s healthcare sector through hands-on experience. Crafting smart, targeted campaigns highlighting success stories of young healthcare professionals who have thrived in the agency environment helps to attract young talent. 

Emphasizing the experience programs that nurture college students and recent graduates, helping them meet their full potential, shows the value you place on them as individuals. While clearly outlining the impact that they can have on improving healthcare outcomes, the agency will appeal to young professionals seeking both a meaningful and rewarding career in healthcare.

Dr Ben Carvosso, Founder, Nutritionist, and B.App.Sc. Chiropractic, MP Nutrition

Emphasize Diverse Healthcare Opportunities

I believe that to draw college students and recent graduates to healthcare careers, it’s effective to highlight the different job opportunities available in large governmental agencies, especially in fields like dietetics, nutrition, and naturopathy. These are hot areas right now, as more young people are becoming interested in preventive health and wellness.

In these roles, you’re not just confined to a hospital or clinic. Instead, you could be working on community health programs, public health initiatives, or even helping to develop policies that focus on natural and sustainable health practices. It’s inspiring for newcomers to see that their work could lead to substantial changes in how people live and take care of themselves.

I always make it a point to share stories about people I know who have made a difference in community health as examples. These real-life examples show how someone can improve dietary habits across communities or advance natural therapies. These stories aren’t just motivational; they make the roles feel accessible and powerful.

Also, by promoting internships and mentorship programs, along with ongoing professional development, we reassure students that they will have the support they need as they grow in their careers. It’s all about showing them that their development is a priority and that there are real paths for advancement.

Aligning our agency’s goals with holistic health values and demonstrating a commitment to innovation and public service really seals the deal. It attracts those ambitious young minds eager to make their mark in the healthcare field. They see the opportunity to be at the forefront of health innovation and are excited by the possibility of making a real difference.

Nabila Jahan, Health and Wellness Educator, Acupuncture Atlanta

Communicate Impact and Offer Benefits

I’ve always believed that if you want to attract sharp, motivated college students and recent grads to healthcare roles, you have to spell out the big change they’ll have right from the start. Let them know that their contributions will be important in boosting public health and improving community health. They’re not just filling a position; they’re solving major healthcare challenges, talking about exciting research, and shaping policies that improve lives across the board.

What’s also really important is giving them benefits that matter. Think about it—loan forgiveness, scholarships, and flexible schedules can make a huge difference. These benefits show that we understand and value their needs and aspirations.

And here’s another important point: creating an environment that values teamwork and builds innovation is incredible. This is exactly what hooks young professionals who are eager to invest their talent and energy in a career that has meaning and progression.

By making these adjustments, government healthcare positions become not only appealing but also very rewarding. This could be a real win for the people involved—what an opportunity to make an important change!

Dr. Jasveen Singh, Pediatric Dentist & Owner, Pediatric Dentistry And Beyond

Showcase Real-World Impact and Growth

My advice to a large governmental agency looking to attract college students and recent graduates for jobs in healthcare is to create programs that showcase real-world impact and career growth opportunities. Highlight stories of professionals who have made a difference in communities, emphasizing roles that align with the students’ passions and interests. Offer internships and mentorship programs that provide hands-on experience and connect them with industry leaders. 

Make sure to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace that values innovative thinking and the fresh perspectives that young graduates bring. Utilize social media to share success stories and interact directly with potential candidates, making the recruitment process more engaging and relatable.

Kristie Tse, Founder & Therapist, Uncover Mental Health Counseling

Stress Professional Development and Support

Emphasizing a commitment to professional development and career growth is key. Highlighting mentorship programs, continuous education opportunities, and a clear path for career advancement can be very appealing. Personally, I always stress the importance of a supportive work environment and access to cutting-edge technology in my practice. Providing internships or fellowships that offer hands-on experience and showcasing success stories of young professionals who have advanced within the organization can also make an agency more attractive.

David Hill, MD, Plastic Surgeon & Medical Director, Fulcrum Aesthetics & Surgery

Personalize Impact and Streamline Applications

Having spent years in the dental field, I’ve seen countless talented young graduates embark on healthcare careers. While their enthusiasm is undeniable, attracting them to government agencies can be a challenge. Government healthcare, for all its importance, can sometimes feel distant and lack a tangible connection for recent graduates.

This is where I can relate to their perspective. Remember, I was once a recent graduate myself, eager to make a real difference. These eager professionals crave a sense of purpose, a way to see the direct impact of their skills on the lives they aim to improve. To capture their attention, government agencies should strive to showcase the real-world influence these roles can hold. This can be achieved by effectively communicating the human stories behind the data. Highlight success stories of young professionals within the organization. These narratives personalize the impact of government healthcare careers, making them more relatable and exciting for potential candidates.

Beyond showcasing impact, recent graduates often express frustration with the application process. Many feel their applications get lost in a sea of red tape, or that advertised “recent grad” positions require unrealistic levels of experience. Government agencies can address these concerns by streamlining the application process and clearly outlining the qualifications needed for each role. 

Additionally, consider offering mentorship programs or fellowships specifically designed to bridge the gap between academic training and real-world experience. By demonstrating a commitment to professional development, government agencies can position themselves as an attractive launchpad for a fulfilling healthcare career.

Brielle Renz, Dentist, All Smiles Dental

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