How to hire and retain millennials who share your values – An NHS case study

May 8th, 2017 at 10:41 am in , Employee Engagement, Hiring for culture fit, Millennials, Values based recruitment by welovework

The priority for every  organisation centres around attracting and retaining millennial talent into their business. We know by 2050 they will represent 75%  of the workforce.  We also know that they are more driven by purpose at work and least likely to be loyal to an organisation if it is not meeting their desire for a sense of purpose at work.

“Millennials believe that business has the power to make a difference” – Deloitte Millennial survey 2017.

Back in 2015 We Love Work ran an 18 month recruitment program for the NHS to attract and retain more millennial talent into the organisation.  Over 50 % of NHS employees are over the age of  45. Our goal was to decrease the age gap and build a diverse talent pipeline  matching  high quality candidates into the organisation.

Millennials must feel like their work is valuable. More important than a fancy office and Ping Pong table, although there is nothing wrong with these employee perks, it takes more to retain your best performing millennial talent. Millennials want to feel that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves and their work environment. They want to feel as though they are truly making a difference.

Values and culture is a big area for the NHS. They have a strong set of core values which drives their recruitment strategy, but despite this they were still facing challenges.

Using the We Love Work screening assessments and methodologies the NHS hiring managers were able to:

  1. Measure the  personal values and motivations of millennial candidates.
  2. Match their values to the core values and  culture of the NHS team they were joining.
  3. Improve the quality for hire.

The Results

We Love Work increased retention amongst the millennial hires on the programme by an average of 22%.  This has a significant impact on the NHS time to hire, on-boarding processes and cost of turnover which can range from £1200 to over £5000.00  per hire.

Overall out of the hundreds of applicants We Love Work shortlisted the top quality candidates.

At least 30% of the candidates hired went on to work in other areas of the NHS or were promoted inside the organisation.


An overview of the project

30 Non clinical vacancies

100 job applicants between the ages of 18-25 years old.

40 shortlisted

30 hired.

Avg.  22% increase in retention 2016/16

Decreased time to hire and on-boarding time.

Improved quality of hire.

29% went onto progress in other departments within the NHS. Hardip ( seen below)  is an example of a candidate that was promoted to another area of the business.  Hardip says

” We Love Work helped me to understand the NHS culture and core values. I was prepared before the interview and I was able to see if NHS was a good match for my own values. I feel like I am helping to change lives through my work here. “


So what does this mean for your organisation? And with the new apprenticeship Levy being a legal requirement for organisations with a turnover of over £3 million, here are

We Love Work’s top 5 tips to attracting and retaining millennials within your business.

        1.Tell your story and your WHY – Attract purpose driven millennials by not just  shouting about what you do, but more importantly why you do it.

         2.Ensure your recruitment process and candidate experience measures up with who   you say you are. For a millennials the candidate experience is highly important and if                     your recruitment process does not line up with what you say your culture represents they won’t stick around for long.

  1. Be flexible  – Know that there are several ways to do things and to work. Millennials look for workplaces that are flexible rather than rigid and resistance to change or evolution.  Flexibility at work is seen as a huge gain for millennials at work.
  2. Understand what motivates them in order to keep them engaged – Listen to your millennial workforce and learn what makes them tick. You will have better results when keeping them engaged and motivated at work, when you can build incentives and perks around the values and motivations of your employees.
  3.  Stay on top of your competition – In a highly competitive  job market your only IP is your employer brand. None of your competitors can use the real life experience of your employees to sell their opportunities. Your employees are the best advocates of your culture, so use them to be ambassadors of your brand.  Their positive experiences will help to attract the best millennial talent.

For further information on how We Love Work online platform can support your organisation, hire great candidates who fit your culture,  contact us.


Share on Facebook2Share on LinkedIn0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *