Attracting the Millennial Worker: International Opportunity

Posted on Jun 13, 2019 | 0 comments

Attracting the Millennial Worker: International Opportunity

Millennials are fast becoming the most important workforce segment in the global market.  What do employers need to understand to recruit and retain these workers? Appreciating a desire for travel and new experiences may be key.

Former generations had the idea that travel was something to aspire to after retirement. This is not a millennial generation perspective. They don’t see living or working abroad as a reward to be earned. Quality of life and location are valued as equally if not more important than salary and professional benefits.

Additionally, millennials are comfortable with location changes and willing to frequently relocate. KPMG International highlighted in their study of business students from 23 different countries that 89% said they were comfortable moving regularly to a different location or country to get job opportunities. Furthermore, 80% of those asked also said they expect to live in 3-6 countries throughout their career. Travel and relocation are highly viewed as reasonable expectations.

A further worry for employers is a noted lack of “loyalty” in this generation to a current workplace. A Deloitte study documented this “loyalty-lite” approach among millennials, noting among other findings that this group is extremely comfortable putting their own personal values ahead of organizational goals and priorities. This noted preference combines with being better prepared to work within a freelance economy. Millennials believe the future of work lies in freelancing, and they are comfortable with the thought of working for themselves instead of committing to an employer.

To attract and retain these workers, employers need to consider using a global strategy and hiring internationally. It may be less expensive in the short-term to hire locally, but there are advantages to considering casting a wider net:

Investment: Hiring a worker from another country requires investment on both sides. The employer may incur expenses to support the relocation, but the worker is also committing physical, psychological, and material resources to enable the move. Both sides of this investment encourage mutual commitment and loyalty.

Opportunity for Growth: It has been demonstrated that this generation highly values opportunities for continued education and ongoing personal development. Some employers have responded by offering continuing education units or providing tuition assistance. However, employers should also consider recruiting workers from another country as a means to provide a sense of development. Living in a new country provides a barrage of different experiences and personal growth on a daily basis just be being present in an unfamiliar environment. Additionally, the desire to travel is largely answered by living in a location that is unfamiliar and new.

Citizenship Opportunities: Some countries allow the possibility of citizenship after a period of being in-country on a work visa. This could be a very motivating factor to some employees and greatly increase their loyalty to the hiring organization.

Millennials are often classified as being more open, tolerant and accepting of diversity than previous generations. They are future focused and want to make a difference in the world and display more independence and openness to travel as a way of seeking knowledge and expanding their horizons. Recognizing and enabling these tendencies can be an important aspect of recruiting and retaining millennial workers.


Interested in learning more about how to support international employment opportunities?

Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding an international job or internship, country-specific business protocol and culture, alternative career opportunities, writing country-specific resumes/CVs, cover letters and interview strategies for other countries. If your university/college, organization, company, embassy, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios and global career training program (50,000+ pages of expert content for 90+ countries and 275+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please click here to contact us (or send email to: regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career. Individuals making a career transition are also encouraged to contact us for a free demo of our portal.



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