Are You Cool Enough for This Year’s Grads?

Not every company can offer a flashy tech job with perks like free meals and gym memberships, but without some changes, industries such as supply chain management could miss out on top young talent.

Millennials are changing the market as consumers, but increasingly they’re also changing what’s hot on the job market. They have specific companies in mind (Google and computer game design are especially hot), and they have others they’re completing resisting.

But there are jobs in those other markets — lots of jobs. With extreme growth that is expected to drive almost 270,000 new jobs annually and an aging workforce nearing retirement age, the supply chain management and logistics industries are exciting frontiers for new grads, but one many aren’t seeking. I interviewed Laurie Weaver, human resources manager for Bastian Solutions, a material handling system integrator, to find out what jobs millennials are looking for and why they’re resisting some previously popular markets.

What jobs do most millennials gravitate toward?

Weaver: In our organization, millennials gravitate toward project management roles. They are looking for positions where they have a lot of variety and a lot of responsibility. Millennials tend to be very well-rounded and they want to experience the technical side of a position as well as the business side. Many millenials are hoping this will be a step toward people management. Laurie Weaver

Why the little interest in roles such as supply chain management and logistics?

Weaver: When students graduate, many don’t know what they want to do. It seems that some want to be in a company with a large, recognizable name. Many students start engineering because they are interested in cars. These students want to get into the automotive industry. I think supply chain is becoming a more sought-after industry, but mostly for industrial engineers.

You spend your time promoting them going into this field; why is that? Why is it good for them? Why is it good for that industry?

Weaver: The material handling industry is exciting. There are a lot of unique concepts and designs for conveyor and automation. Once students see this they become intrigued and they enjoy the problem solving that comes with the industry. Material handling is a stable industry and will always be needed. The projects are diverse and they will probably not have two projects that are exactly the same in their career. The industry needs bright minds to continue to bring new ideas and innovation. In material handing you are able to make a large impact easily.