In this recurring series, the partners and consultants of MRA Global Sourcing share their learnings, observations, and the occasional rant cultivated from years of experience in recruiting and placement for supply management functions.

3M - Much Maligned Millenials

In this section, we’ll share stories about particularly memorable job candidates as cautionary tales for those Millennials actively searching for employment in Procurement and Strategic Sourcing. Think of it as a “what not to do” guidebook.

Our first ever 3M winner is a young man in his early 30s who has drifted in the world of the contingent workforce as a Sourcing mercenary.  Perhaps it is this freedom and flexibility that affords this Millennial the luxury to be so very picky that turns him into a caricature of sadness whilst seeking employment. You just cannot ask your interviewer and potentially future boss if they are a yeller or screamer, claiming that that behavior renders you ineffective in your job. Nor can you be a single person sans any familial encumbrances and ask your interviewer if you will be required to work more than 40 hours. And after said bungling, you sure as heck cannot wonder why with your stellar credentials and qualifications it is taking so long to land your dream job.  The big takeaways here?

- Remember to always put your best foot forward in an interview. You may think you’re just being forthcoming/forthright in asking direct questions about work environment or culture, but really what you’re doing is coming across as spoiled, entitled, inflexible – and frankly lacking the sensibility that makes for a strong career. Which brings us to our next points:

- You must be comfortable working with various personality types. Some bosses and co-workers wear their hearts on their sleeve. Some are extremely diplomatic and soft-spoken. You can’t expect that your career will only ever involve working with people with personality types you prefer. Certainly we’re not suggesting that aggressive or hostile behavior in the workplace is acceptable, but you must develop a basic competency in cooperating, coexisting, collaborating with all types.

- You must have expectations that match your ambitions.  Generally speaking, our younger workforce places an emphasis on “Work/Life Balance” – which often gets distilled down to “I don’t want to work nights and weekends.”  That’s a perfectly reasonable perspective - depending on the job you’re pursuing. If you’re an hourly worker, and you’re capped at a certain number of hours per week, then the equation is pretty straightforward. But if you are salaried, then you effectively have no hours restriction. It’s not as though you can work full steam ahead on an important project that is due the next day, and then suddenly drop everything and leave the work unfinished because the clock struck 5:00. You must accept the reality that, on occasion, you may need to work extra hours to really knock it out of the park.

-If you absolutely have to get answers to these questions during the interview process, think of different ways to ask that don’t put you in a bad light. For example, “How would you describe the way that this team responds when things don’t go according to plan?” or “Describe a typical week here.”

In our next blog, we will highlight the antithesis of the 3M – the Smart Cookie Millennial (SCM). Come back for more and you’ll learn what an SCM looks like!

‘Til then - Save Big and Prosper…


MRA Global Sourcing is the preeminent firm specializing in recruitment for procurement and strategic sourcing, connecting the best talent with the best opportunities. Visit them on the web to learn more.
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Ken Gaul

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