Millennials have come of age during a time of economic uncertainty. The incoming generation of supply chain professionals is ambitious rather than entitled and willing to improve themselves to reach their goals. The SCM discipline offers an alluring crossroads of appealing compensation, long-term stability, and meaningful impact on fundamental processes—at a point in time perfect for improvements from emerging technologies. -Ryan Sullivan, Research Analyst, APQC
More and more Millennials are entering the marketplace, where they are a highly competitive and techno-savvy. APQC recently studied millennials to take a closer look at who is entering the supply chain discipline and why they are staying. Our findings refute many popular assumptions about Millennials.
Who are they and why did they choose supply chain?
* Among the respondents, nearly 90 percent had at least a four-year degree and 60 percent had formal education in supply chain management (SCM) or logistics.
* Millennials seek interesting and meaningful work and advancement opportunities. This trend is reflected among SCM professionals; they seek satisfying work, strong pay, and favorable career prospects.
* Respondents saw an opportunity in a fast-moving and growing area of the job market, with an opportunity to make decisions that affect profitability and customer satisfaction.
* Many of the respondents were attracted to the core mission of delivering products and services to the end customer. Respondents were also attracted to the discipline’s available job opportunities and compensation, with an average base salary of $67,441.
Supply Chain positions and millennials
APQC examined where Millennials enter the SCM discipline and what positions they currently have. Sixty percent of the respondents were still in their first supply chain role. This data goes against things we have heard before. Many have perceptions that Millennials are disloyal job hoppers; APQC’s study indicates that these SCM professionals are sticking with employers for traditional periods of time. Some 73 percent have been in their current position for more than one year. The tendency is to not leave employers.
What millennials like and dislike about their jobs
Millennials in SCM tend to be very happy with their career: 94 percent of respondents were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their career. Millennials in SCM are there for a reason. That reason? They like it.
To attract and retain millennial talent organizations need to understand what it is Millennials like and dislike about their jobs. The top five things Millennials in SCM like about their jobs are:
1. The job is challenging,
2. The work itself,
3. Relationships with their colleagues,
4. The high level of responsibility, and
5. Development opportunities
In order to attract and retain high quality Millennials, organizations need to make sure the roles they have offer what Millennials are looking for.
Millennials enroll in all types of continuing education. Sixty-five percent said they plan to take continuing education classes in the next 12 months. These educational plans are fueling both short- and long-term ambitions.
In the longer term, many survey respondents are focused on gaining positions with analytical capabilities. The leading desired job title was senior supply chain analyst, with other top responses being director of operations, director of materials management, director of procurement, and senior buyer.
Ultimately, Millennials reflect many of the concerns and ambitions that workers across generations have demonstrated when they entered the workforce and launched their careers. There is the same desire to make a living, support a family, and find meaning in work that has existed long before Millennials. Organizations should embrace these Millennials and look forward to what they can accomplish.
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