Companies are operating in a whole new environment. An increasing number of young people move abroad to work upon graduation, and an increasing number of foreign born talent is needed to fill this gap. A growing percentage of this talent is a new generation: millennials. This generational change also brings with it a need for new operating models and forces companies to consider millenials’ needs in their plans.
The “milleanial profile” has been discussed unto death, so instead in this article let’s concentrate on how it reflects on companies’ needs in their international mobility matters. It is very tempting to offer a young person money and do-it-yourself solutions instead of traditional relocation and immigration services. Millenials are adventurous and self-sufficient, after all they are ready to jump into a new and unknown situation. Something that is easy to forget however is that the mover does not and could not know what needs to be taken into consideration. How to take care of mandatory official registrations, and how quickly? What needs to be considered when looking for an apartment or during the lease negotiations? What area suits their needs and lifestyle? What is the cost of living in the new location? A young person in particular can run into serious challenges if, for example, the first paycheck is delayed due to unresolved matters with the bank or tax office. The additional stress this causes is reflected at the workplace as well. Another very important matter to take care of correctly from the get-go is taxation. What income and benefits have to be declared in which country in order to avoid reassessment? Ironically, global and self-sufficient millennials require increasing amounts of practical support while the need for assistance in other matters, such as cultural training, has decreased. This holds true regardless of whether the milleanial is moving from abroad or is sent abroad.
There’s no need for gloom however. Millenials are brisk and have a global mindset. Many have already come in contact with different cultures during their studies and developed their language skills. This has created never before seen opportunities for companies to attract and recruit them regardless of country of origin. Millenials are also more loyal to their employers than a year ago, as found by this year’s Deloitte Millenial Survey. This could be caused by the maturing of the millennial generation. All these factors make millennials outstanding employees in international assignments and environments. They are also more linked than the previous generations, so a well handled and successful relocation will convey a positive employer image to a much larger crowd than before. Conversely, a failed move creates negative ripples.
Attracting and retaining millennials are vital matters for companies’ survival and success. Although our generation is ready and willing to travel far away for an interesting opportunity or country, we are also more sensitive than out predecessors when it comes to changing employment if we are not satisfied. That is why it is especially important to pay attention to and hold on to the company’s future by making the move as easy as possible.
– The writer is a member of the millennial generation and has moved internationally several times.