Two Stereotypes that Make Millennials the Perfect Fit for Procurement


Like the generations before them, millennials find themselves on the receiving end of their fair share of negative stereotypes. They are cast as ungrateful, lazy, unfocused and self-gratifying. But the truth is that the procurement industry will have to fill the talent gap with this generation as the baby boomers begin to exit the workforce. Is that such a bad thing? Let’s take a closer look at a couple of these millennial stereotypes to find silver linings specially fit for procurement.

Millennials are entitled and job hoppers

Facts don’t lie: a 2016 Gallup poll found that 21% of millennials change jobs during any given year, making them the generation most likely to switch jobs. The poll also found that six in 10 millennials are open to new job opportunities. Obviously, this is challenging for companies looking to build a successful team, so it’s important to understand why millennials job hop.

Millennials are impatient, and for good reason. They’ve grown up in a culture obsessed with having things NOW. Fast food, fast shipping, fast texting control their lives­. This makes millennials much less inclined to “pay their dues” by moving up the corporate ladder. They get restless and start looking at other opportunities that may offer a shortcut.

Procurement organizations have the a unique ability to keep and groom millennials with integrated solutions and new technologies that allow them to experience different aspects of the industry. Also, as procurement teams expand their roles into other areas of the organization, millennials will find opportunities to grow and challenge themselves within the organization. The best procurement professionals and organizations are always looking forward to diverse cutting edge solutions. Directing millennials’ impatient tendencies towards finding these solutions will keep them focused on growing within their companies rather than looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Millennials are always on their phones and obsessed with technology

“Instagram or it didn’t happen,” “Are we Facebook friends?” 15 years ago no one would know what these sayings meant, but now they are part of everyday jargon. More and more, communication and relationships are dictated by technology.

While millennials may prefer posting an artsy picture of their cappuccino on Instagram to striking up a conversation with a stranger in line at Starbucks, they are more comfortable with constant communication and collaboration than past generations. This ability is extremely useful in the procurement world because professionals have to coordinate multiple parts of the supply chain puzzle. Millennials are so tech-oriented that they have a virtual office attached at their hips and lines of communication stay open. This makes them willing and able adopters of the new technologies that will drive procurement in the future.

So while many industries view millennials with an air of resignation and frustration, we think this generation is ideally suited to be the next great thing in procurement. What do you think?

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