Companies ‘desperate’ for technology leadership

Published on the 27/04/2016 | Written by Newsdesk


tech savvy

But tech-savvy millennials need not apply…

While millennials are expected to account for 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, not too many business executives are thinking much about recruiting them. This is a key insight stemming from a research study from Epicor Software Corporation, which it said underscores the need to address human capital and next-generation workforce requirements to fuel business growth.

Only 39 percent of respondents to its global study said recruiting millennials was a “fairly significant” or “major” focus. Epicor said this reveals a critical disconnect as “technology leadership” and a “skilled workforce” were top growth stimulants identified by those polled—elements that the software company said ‘today’s highly connected, technologically advanced millennials can well facilitate’.

Of course, there is the possibility that business executives aren’t ‘ageist’ and instead focus their efforts on finding the right skills to fit their organisational needs, irrespective of the demographics of the individuals targeted. That in its own right might get up the nose of the millennial, which tends to regard itself as the centre of the universe if the sterotype is to be believed.

In response to a query, Epicor said figures aren’t available for New Zealand, but added that in Australia the number of executives looking at recruiting millennials as a “fairly significant” or “major” focus was markedly less, at 27 percent. The company said there were “at least 100” Australian respondents; it didn’t provide a title for the research, nor a link to the study – but a footnote said the research was conducted by MORAR Consulting and surveyed 1,824 managing directors, and heads of finance, operations and IT in businesses spanning the manufacturing, distribution and service industries.

In a statement, Epicor noted that the manufacturing industry increasingly relies on technology to drive growth. It’s estimated that nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the USA over the next decade. With the working age population shrinking and Baby Boomers heading into retirement, millennial talent will be a key element to drive business growth in the next decade – both in the USA and elsewhere.

“The relative indifference in recruiting millennials to the workplace is especially surprising considering they are the fastest-growing generation in the U.S. workforce, and are both technology proficient and digital literate. Businesses that recognise and move to leverage millennial talent can gain significant competitive advantage in today’s age of digital disruption,” said Celia Fleischaker, Epicor CMO.

“Our research reveals many human resource challenges stand in the way of business growth that technology can help address. Organisations must re-think their relationship with digitally-literate workers and retool their organisations to attract, connect and empower this next-generation workforce via cloud, mobile, analytics and other enabling technologies.”

In other findings, Epicor’s research showed that freeing valuable staff from mundane tasks was considered important by 68 percent of those polled whereas using technology to automate key processes, along with allowing key individuals to focus on more stimulating tasks, was cited as a top goal of 67 percent of those surveyed.

What’s more, said Epicor, technology is necessary to prepare businesses for the next iteration of work encompassing robotics and artificial intelligence. “Today we’re talking about workforce strategies concerning millennials; tomorrow we’ll be talking about key considerations in the next workplace evolution—when millennials meet machines,” said Fleischaker.

Shudder.

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