Are You a Gen Z With Your Sights Set on a Procurement Career? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a Gen Z looking for a job you could make into a career, consider procurement. It could be your way into building a life-long career.

If you’re from the Gen Z era – born between 1997 and 2010, or in your early to mid-20s – and looking for a career, don’t overlook procurement.

Procurement 101 for Gen Z

It’s the function of buying goods and services for an organisation. You could work for a large corporation, a government agency, a non-profit group, or a local government. 

While the goods and services you will procure might vary widely, the processes are often similar. The goal is to find the best product and services to buy that meet your organisation’s requirements and work within the budget.

For a food manufacturer, you may be in charge of buying ingredients like truckloads of onions or bushels of potatoes. For a large company, you could negotiate contracts for IT services and buy components like circuit boards or zillions of nuts and bolts to manufacture products. 

Procurement also involves office supplies, chairs and desks, janitorial services, and just about everything it takes to run an organisation.

You might hear it called purchasing or something similar. But it’s basically the same job. You help your organisation get what it needs to succeed.

Procurement career path

Every job has to start somewhere

In procurement, you will be involved with many people and departments within your company. Once you’ve started, you can work your way up the career path for more challenging roles and higher compensation.

Entry level titles


Purchasing Analyst

Purchasing Agent

Sourcing Agent

Your organisation may add junior,  assistant, associate, or something similar to indicate an entry-level position or indicate you’re new to a higher position. 

Mid-level titles

Purchasing Manager/Director

Senior Buyer

Senior Purchasing Agent

Senior level titles


Assistant Vice President

Vice President

Chief Procurement Officer

In the US, procurement jobs are typically salaried managerial positions without overtime pay. They are often cross-functional, which means you’ll work with people from other departments. You’ll help them buy what they need to do their jobs.

Usually, a bachelor’s degree is required for entry-level positions. That may be changing, especially if you have experience in a relevant field. 

There aren’t many degrees directly in purchasing. Common educational backgrounds include finance, economics, business administration, supply chain and logistics, engineering or something related to the organisation’s business.

Skills for Procurement

Regardless of your education, these are the kinds of skills that will help you succeed in the world of procurement:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Research
  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Project management
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Technical skills

Is procurement the right path for Gen Z?

Few people grow up thinking they want to be a purchasing agent. So, the career may not be on your radar. 

If you’re looking for your first or second job out of college, you could fall into a procurement position and make a career in it. Only about half of the people working in procurement sought out a job in the field. For others, it was where they could find an opening and land an offer.

By its nature, procurement is multidisciplinary, which can help make it attractive as you continuously learn about your own organisation, as well as those you do business with.

Here are a few aspects of procurement that might make it attractive to Gen Zs looking for a future.


Gen Zs are the first generation embedded in a digital world from birth and are therefore digital natives, growing up with a tablet or phone close by, and living online in games and social media. 

Technology use is growing fast, with automated intelligence, online auctions, and data analytics becoming more important every year. 

Being comfortable learning new tech could make you an asset to a procurement department looking to take advantage of the latest technology.

Collaboration & Inclusivity

Procurement is a team sport, so there’s plenty of opportunity for collaboration with co-workers from different departments and backgrounds. 

There’s growing recognition of the need for, and benefits of, diversity and inclusiveness. Younger generations, like millennials and generation Zs have long pushed for social change, and research shows they are more actively socially conscious than generations before.

As a procurement professional, you could help your organisation connect with suppliers from diverse populations and minorities to expand your supplier base and boost the economy.


You could help shape your organisation’s environmental and social impact through sustainability and responsibility efforts. 

You could steer purchasing to sustainable resources, expand the use of renewable energy, and contribute to the company’s mission at the same time.


Gen Zers like to communicate differently to older generations – instead of long boardroom meetings, they prefer short, sharp and to the point memos. Ditch the phone calls and use instant messaging services instead. 

They prefer regular but quick in-person conversation most of all – so short, daily catch ups for feedback and progress reports are optimal. If using written comms, like email, ensure it is concise and includes clear expectations, but if you want to foster 2-way conversation, instant messaging is best.

Hiring Gen Z talent

If you’re a procurement hiring manager, take a chance on Gen Z. 

While Gen Z is bringing an unprecedented level of technology skills to the workforce, they may not have the traditional background that fits nicely on a CV. 

They may have different priorities than previous generations, and advancing their career is not necessarily their main goal in life.

They also have a finely honed mistrust of the status quo, so the standard corporate song and dance will come across as cringe. They also suffer from FOMO or fear of missing out. There’s no such thing as too much communication.

Here are essential factors for adding Gen Z energy to your procurement department.


Gen Z, like many workers, value flexibility and autonomy. 

Remote work or some balance of remote and onsite will be attractive. Be open to variety in their tasks and assignments. Put them on special projects or have them shadow a more experienced colleague.


Accommodate different work styles while making sure the work gets done. Emphasise impact and productivity more so than hours spent in the office chair.

Personality fit

Hire for the characteristics you desire, and train for technical skills. For example, you could find project management pros with a hospitality background and put them to work wrangling business partners and vendors.

Doing Good

Gen Zers want to do good for the world in addition to doing well for themselves. Highlight the role they could play in shaping the organisation’s social and environmental mission. Give them a sense of satisfaction while supporting the lifestyle they want to have.

If you’re a Gen Zer looking for a job you could make into a career, consider procurement. It could be your way into building a life-long career.

If you’re a hiring manager, you can attract top talent and build a diverse, motivated, and effective procurement team by embracing what the younger generation has to offer. They may require a different management style, which helps you develop as well. 

Are you Gen Z and interested in procurement? Or a hiring manager looking for talent? Let us know your thoughts on the next generation in the comments below.