Allow me to change gears with this first in a series of posts discussing where technology might take us in the future in the Landscape/Snow-Ice industries.
The Future is in...Provo?
Last week, the Aspire Software team was in Provo, Utah, as a sponsor of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) National Collegiate Student Competition. If you have not been to this annual event, you need to go. These kids are our future. We witnessed talent and passion. They are future salespeople, account managers and operation supervisors. And you need to know what they want in an employer.
We also observed just how unique they are. They are, in a word, Millennials. For more information on this, watch Simon Sinek on “Hiring Millennials.”
Technology Makes the Job
Why does this matter to you? Simple: their advanced relationship with technology is totally alien to many of us, but central to their career choices. In short, the technology and software you use can make all the difference in recruiting the best.
Don’t believe me? The Aspire Software Company has made an investment in the Brigham Young University (BYU) landscape management program. We donated our software and expertise to the faculty to use as a teaching tool in the business management curriculum. The results, judged by student and faculty feedback, are exceptional.
The faculty loves the teaching tool and the students love the technology. It looks and feels modern to them. They are naturals with mobile devices and learn it easily (unlike many older employees in landscape companies, but more on that in my next post).
Ditch the Desk
Think about it: one big reason they choose our industry is the opportunity to work “outside.” And like most of us on the business end, they despise administration and paperwork. So if your systems chain them to indoor work spaces and paperwork, they are out. They said as much to their faculty and to us this week.
It was eye-opening. Maybe we should all get out more often. So, if you are serious about having more student job candidates from whom to choose*, and having the best and brightest choose you, you must consider your technology investment and strategy as at least as important as your equipment investment and strategy.
Bottom line: Millennials want to work for companies with technologies that make business management quick, fun, real to them and functional. They don't want to waste time searching for information they believe should be right in front of them.
It’s a brave new world.
* We learned that many landscape management programs at the community college and university levels are in danger of shutting down for lack of student enrollment. Why? Many of the other programs appear “sexier” in terms of technology to the students. They want mobile-compatible technology to use everyday and everywhere. It’s pretty simple, folks. Which means, it should be a simple fix.