How to Attract Millennial Employees to Your Supply Chain Team

Posted: 21st July 2017 08:17

Millennials have composed the largest group in the American labor force since 2015, when they totaled 34 percent of the U.S. workforce, Pew Research Center says. But only 3 percent of manufacturing professionals are in their 20s, IndustryWeek says, creating a potential succession planning problem for supply chain managers. Recruiting millennials to your supply chain team is imperative to position your company for future survival and success — but most companies aren’t doing it successfully. Millennials seek different qualities in employers than previous generations, making them harder to attract and harder to retain if you don’t use the right methods. Here’s a look at what draws this generation to employers, what turns them away and what companies can do to keep them around.

What Millennials Want in Employers

At their current age, millennials are inclined to see jobs as stepping stones to other opportunities, making opportunities to learn, grow and advance extremely important to them in a prospective employer. Millennials are also highly concerned about the quality of managers and management. Another strong motivator for them is interest in the type of work they do. Finally, compensation naturally ranks as a high priority for them, particularly in light of the high student debt levels they face.

Gallup’s research also dispelled some myths about Millennials. Contrary to stereotypes, being part of an organization that encourages creativity, having a fun place to work and an informal work environment are not strong motivators for this generation of job seekers.

Why Millennials Leave Companies

The reasons millennials leave companies correlate closely with the qualities they seek in employers, other Gallup research shows. Fewer than four in 10 millennials strongly agree that they learned something new on the job over the past month, and less than half strongly agree they’ve had opportunities to learn and grow over the past year, indicating that these needs are not being met. Millennials value life-work balance, but only 29 percent feel comfortable approaching their managers to discuss life outside work, pointing toward dissatisfaction with management quality. And when it comes to compensation, 44 percent would consider taking a new job for a raise of 20 percent or less.

How to Recruit and Maintain Millennials

To recruit millennial workers, it’s important to use the right methods of reaching them. Where previous generations were raised on television, millennials have been raised online, and they watch 2.5 times more Internet video than TV, a Defy Media study reports. For this reason, smart companies are increasingly using video to reach out to young employees. For instance, o-ring supplier Apple Rubber uses its YouTube channel to educate its target market about who the company is and what they do, which also serves to inform prospective employees about what it’s like to work at their firm. The company also uses its blog to showcase educational opportunities the company offers, potentially appealing to job seekers desiring to work for an employer who helps them learn and grow.

In promotional videos and other recruitment campaigns, employers need to emphasize qualities that will make supply chain work appealing to millennials. North Carolina State University Supply Chain Resource Cooperative recommends that recruitment ads should emphasize how supply chain work offers opportunities to be challenged, grow, learn technology and get involved with the Internet of Things. Emphasizing how supply chain management can help the environment or society can also pique millennial interests. For instance, if your company uses eco-friendly material sourcing, this can be a selling point.

Fronetics adds that offering work-from-home opportunities and flexible hours can appeal to millennials’ desire for life-work balance, and can also communicate that managers care about their employees' needs. Finally, when it comes to compensation, 34 percent say healthcare is the most important benefit employers can offer, making this a compelling incentive to attract young workers.