Millennials are poised to take advantage of globalization in a very exciting way in the coming years: by expanding their job search internationally. As globalization takes hold and millennials begin to flood the workforce, there is going to be more international competition for talent and a stronger emphasis by job seekers on opportunities to work internationally. By some estimates, up to 75% of millennials want to be placed on overseas assignments.
Some may scoff at the idea of sending younger millennial staff on international assignments, those typically reserved for older, more seasoned staff, but there are more than a few good reasons why sending millennial staff on an international assignment may be a more attractive proposition than you first might think.
Millennials are Pre-Packed for Going Abroad
Millennials are lucky (in sort of a sad way) to not be burdened with all the extra baggage that older generations piled upon themselves. We are less likely to own a home, we get married later, and are waiting much later to have children. And where our parents valued life in the suburbs and filling their two car garages full of stuff, interested in experiences This has left us pre-packaged for international shipping to anywhere.
Without children, homes, and the other resource-intensive possessions that come with being older, millennials are ready at a whim to go wherever you need them. And without time being spent on how to handle all the strings that attach older people to their location, more time can be spent training and preparing us for our assignment, adding the benefit of increased professional development to the equation.
Millennials are Flexible Workers
Cloud platforms like Slack, Skype Google Drive, Bootcamp, Asana and other cloud tools have become ubiquitous with office work across industries. Personally, someone sending me a Word doc that I have to open, make changes to, re-save, re-upload, and send back is nightmarish.
What cloud tools have allowed is an increased ability to work from anywhere, a level of flexibility that Millennials find very attractive. Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial Survey found that remote working and flexible hours were the second most important factor when assessing job opportunities. What could be more remote than working in a different continent?
Our propensity for working in the cloud and working remotely perfectly aligns with the demands of international work and maintaining efficiency despite location.
Invest in Us, We Invest in You
Millennials have been driven through the mud as older generations have claimed us to be unloyal to companies and “job-hoppers.” In the end, like many things in life, the data doesn’t reflect what we feel; millennials are just as, and in many cases more, loyal to companies than their predecessors.
Having said that, millennials do need to feel that a company is invested in them if they are going to be loyal in return. Making international positions available to staff earlier is an exciting way to do this. By taking the time during their first year or two to prepare them for the long-term goal of working abroad, Human Resource teams can help foster those feelings of investment in their millennial staff. Working towards the goal of an international assignment is a great way to demonstrate you are invested in your young talent and happy to reward hard work and loyalty.
Thanks to their personal and professional flexibility, propensity for using cloud-based tools, and willingness to demonstrate loyalty to those who invest in them, young millennial staff can be a great resource for companies, especially when it comes to filling international positions. Human Resource teams trust and willingness to invest in millennials can be a big morale booster for young staff and afford them unique opportunities for professional development which they can utilize in the company down the road.
About the author:
Aaron Horwath is a project coordinator at an international technology company currently working in Da Nang, Vietnam. Originally from Portland, Oregon, he has spent the last three years working internationally.
Through 12hourdifference.co, he is trying to raise awareness to HR leaders and companies that they can send millennials abroad on international assignments and, in fact, for many reasons Generation Y is perfect for sending abroad.
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