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Moving millennials

Source | hrmasia

As the proportion of millenial employees continues to increase, how can HR best cater to their specific needs when it comes to their relocation? HRM finds out.

Is it time for HR to start building global assignments and international resourcing strategies that make full use of millennials in the workforce?

If the findings from Deloitte’s Managing the Talent Crisis in Global Manufacturing report are anything to go by, the answer is definitely “yes”.

The report revealed that younger generations of the workforce will account for 40% to 60% of international assignments by 2026. With the number of international assignments also set to surge over the next 10 years, millennials will change from being a minority in the workforce, to becoming the main generation group.

In order for businesses to maintain their global operations and ambitions, they must begin to develop global mobility strategies that incorporate the millennial generation.

At present, around one in 10 of today’s international assignees is a millennial.

Most of these younger assignees are from companies that align the role of mobility to the company’s talent management practices.

In fact, 22% of these firms doubled the percentage of international assignees between the ages of 20 and 29 years old last year.

For millennials, a global assignment is a career move that they typically don’t want to let slip.

A recent survey entitled, Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace, discovered that this generational group has a strong appetite for working overseas.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said they expected and wanted to undertake an international assignment during their career.

This should be great news for many employers looking for global growth.

However, millennials placed fully-developed-economies like the US (58%), UK (48%) and Australia (39%) at the top of their destination wish list.

Only 11% said they were willing to work in India, 22% in Hong Kong and just two percent in mainland China.

Over half said they would be willing to work in a less developed country, without specifying which, in order to develop their career further.

Breaking the trend

According to the Tomorrow’s Traveller Millennials and the Future of Business Travel Survey, millennials are more likely to have travelled for business in the past two years, as compared to those aged 35 and above.

Twenty-four percent of millennial respondents stated they had done so, as opposed to 15% of the older age group.

This was especially evident with the fact that relocation packages are now being customised to the needs of the younger generation, James Foo, Head of Group HR at ABR Holdings, notes.

“In the past, relocation packages were typically offered to middle or senior level executives with their spouse and children,” he explains.

“As mobility assignments continue to rise, millennial employees – including those who are single, young and childless – are mobile and eager to relocate at any time.”

Ilja Rijnen, Regional HR Director, Asia-Pacific at The Edrington Group, echoes this sentiment.

“Millennials have fewer responsibilities for trailing families and spouses, so are easier to relocate. But they are easier to alienate as well (as their home base is less stable),” he explains.

“Both factors should be taken into consideration when defining a package.”

HR considerations

Mobility patterns are becoming increasingly complex.

Organisations are also recognising the importance of regional roles in Asia-Pacific business, a survey by PwC has found.

It suggests this is the direct result of a relative shortage of experienced and skilled talents at senior levels, as well as the pressure on firms to have footprints in several countries to ensure organisational success.

With millennials slowly forming the bulk of international assignees, Foo says HR should take into account several considerations.



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