Millennials, the group of individuals born between the year 1980 and 1995, are estimated to make up 50 percent of the total workforce by the year 2020. However, much has been said and written about them, most of it indicating how they are lazy, entitled, pampered, self-involved and unwilling to stay on a job for more than a few years. Such facts are a terrifying prospect for hiring managers who fear that the future workforce is likely to be troublesome for them.
Luckily, this stereotyping is generally not holding ground for millennials, because there are many more traits that define this generation and prove that in fact millennials are tailor-made for procurement. One of the nicest things said about millennials, also referred to as Generation Y, is that they are highly tech savvy.
3 years ago, in 2014, ThomasNet and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) undertook a 30-under-30 competition to find out about some of the best young supply management professionals in the industry. To their surprise, they received over 200 nominations and among them were incredible talents that “literally blew them away”. From the competition, the two organizations discovered that millennials already in procurement are performing above par and obliterating the stereotypes imposed on them.
Here are 4 significant millennial traits that prove they are perfect or tailor-made for procurement.
They are Very Tech Savvy
Millennials have a rich grasp of technology. They have grown in its presence and therefore know how to utilize it for work, interaction, communication and other operations, so much so that they even integrate cutting-edge technology in the home. And as more businesses continue adapting automated business processing systems, it is only apparent that more tech-savvy employees will be needed.
Millennials’ great understanding of the tech industry gives them an edge in procurement as they are able to leverage their digital communication skills to enhance synchronization throughout the supply chain. Their skills also enable them to use the automated purchase order software as well as other software in the procurement industry to innovate, work, and deliver optimal results.
They are Highly Opportunistic
Millennials have been accused of not holding a job for too long unlike their predecessor generations. They have a reputation for job-hopping and, in fact, a poll by Gallup in 2016 showed that 60% of millennials are open to new job opportunities while over 21 percent of millennials switch jobs every year.
But is this really a bad move by the millennials? Well, not really. Millennials are just opportunistic by nature. They are impatient and always looking for new opportunities to challenge themselves with, innovate, and grow. With this trait, they are the perfect fit for the procurement department. They can easily search for cutting edge solutions to boost the operations of procurement in ways that non-millennials can’t.
They are Vastly Innovative
Millennials are a valuable asset to any organization when it comes to their innovative trait. For millennials, they are not just about reporting to work, working on what they are used to, and waiting for a paycheck. No! Millennials are all about being more creative and innovative in their work with the aim of making meaningful contributions and improvements to their organization.
They are all about determining innovative ways of analyzing complex information, interpreting it in a simple way, and deriving valuable solutions from that information. In procurement, this trait is highly crucial in boosting business operations across the supply chain.
They are Collaborative
Millennials have grown up in a global world where they have been interacting and socializing with a diverse range of people from all over the world. They are therefore more than ready to interact and work with multi-generational teams. In fact the 30-under-30 competition said that all of their finalists were “highly collaborative”.
Millennials are quick to learn and have the confidence to contribute in teams. When allowed to make contributions and make a difference in procurement, they can be a very dedicated force in the organization. If given a chance, it is evident that Millennials can really have a positive impact in procurement.
Kris Lindahl: Owner of The Kris Lindahl Team with RE/MAX Results
Kris Lindahl is a Minnesota native and owner of The Kris Lindahl Team with RE/MAX Results.