The Key to a Successful Millennial-Focused International Relocation Program

Posted by Ryne Inman on Jan 24, 2017 9:17:25 AM

international relocation program for millennials

It’s part of the conventional wisdom that Millennials are the most diverse and globally-oriented generation in American history.

They were raised to seek out international opportunities, like study abroad or simply traveling. A global economy has been the status quo for their entire lives, and the importance of approaching their education and careers have left a lasting impression.

While it is true that this rising generation is more open to, and often seeks out, international placements, there is one harsh speedbump that could upend things: They are still young and inexperienced in the workforce, and pinning your hopes on them as the foundation of any initiative is flirting with failure.

The perk to having an enthusiastic, Millennial-driven culture is that you are getting driven, growth-oriented professionals. A jolt of energy can shake your company from inertia and push things in a new direction.

In what seems like a contradiction, Millennials are also poised to absorb cultural and professional lessons. Their lack of experience means that they don’t have the means to create and enact any changes on their own.

With that in mind, it’s key to foster a culture of mentorship and learning, especially in the international realm. These assignments can be a boon to both employer and employee, but only if everyone involved is set up for success. New professionals will need guidance professionally, culturally, and even emotionally to successfully meet and exceed the expectations they set.

Most Millennials are looking for personal and professional growth when they go overseas. The cultural and occupational curiosity displayed by these workers is unique and a force that your company must harness.

The talent shortages we see today, and the high-stakes competition to nab the most qualified, mean that the recruiting and mobility sectors need to have comprehensive, mentor-driven development programs in place in order to attract, recruit, and keep the best and brightest.

building the ideal expat journey


Topics: International Relocations, January Blog

Leveraging Your Workforce: How to Encourage Employees to Learn From One Another

Posted by Aria Solar on Jan 9, 2017 2:58:08 PM

millennials and boomers

Whether you're a Millennial, Gen Z-er, Gen X-er, Baby-Boomer, or part of any other generation in today's workforce, you know how different the traits of each can be.

Every generation comes with its own slew of stereotypes and expectations for how they should behave—this is nothing new. But, what we are finding now, is that there's actually quite a bit one generation can learn from the other once we set those stereotypes aside.

First of all, before we dive into this, it's important to put out the disclaimer that while generalizations about characteristics of different generations are helpful to know in terms of motivational tactics, involvement, and communication, they are still stereotypes, and not everyone will fall under these assumptions.

That said, let's take Millennials and Baby-Boomers (our favorite generational comparison) for example. 

A point accurately identified in this article about mixing Millennials and Boomers in the workplace is, 

"Millennials and Baby Boomers can complement each other well in a work setting, filling in the gaps to create a diverse and accomplished team. For example, Millennials who are new to the workforce will require a certain amount of direction and supervision. Baby Boomers, who are exceptionally skilled at delegating assignments, can easily fall into this role and provide instructions to their younger counterparts."

However, the difficult part can be identifying the different opportunities for these complements. Take international expansion or global assignments. Typically when we think about these types of opportunities, Millennials are the first people to come to mind for the job. And there's good reason for this. We know Millennials want to travel. We know they see international opportunity to be almost a requirement for their place of work.

In fact, Millennials and Gen Z are so infatuated with the ability to travel and work abroad, that they barely even recognize the opportunity by its presence, but rather, by its absence. They struggle to understand how this option wouldn’t be accessible, and may not be as quick to consider it as a benefit to tip the scales. But, without it, you’ll put yourself at risk for boxing out a big demographic of potential candidates. Because so many things have become seamless, the ability to work remotely in another country falls within the same category. 

That said, there is one thing to pay attention to when it comes to putting Millennials into these positions. We are often a little too quick to assume that simply because Millennials are tech savvy or globally accepting, this also means they're automatically programmed to be the best fit for driving installation in a foreign location.

The truth is, this isn't always the case. In fact, it's rarely the case.

Opening offices in foreign locations is a huge project, and it requires a certain level of experience and business knowledge—something that doesn't come after just a few years in the workforce.

We often find that while Millennials are excited and eager to accept the opportunity, once they arrive in their foreign location, they need a little extra time to get their bearings and develop this global savvy-ness we already assumed they had. 

This is an example of a prime opportunity for apprenticeship between Millennials and Boomers.

While your Millennials might not be ready to dive into leading-up the opening of your new office across the globe, there are people in your office who have the necessary experience to help support this endeavor—you guessed it, your Baby-Boomers. 

If companies are able to come to the realization that many of them have  already put employees through the necessary development required of a task like this, and can identify who their most globally rounded person is on staff, they can then have that person be a mentor or  regional assistant to these local setups. This allows them to exercise their willingness to teach and share their knowledge, and Millennials will appreciate the guiding hand once they arrive on site. 

Millennials will be driven and active at the thought of an international assignment, but they might not necessarily have enough experience that's required for an agile jump into a brand new environment with brand new surroundings. 

Especially as the dreaded talent shortage comes back to rear its head, partnering in ways that encourage mentorship, apprenticeship, and regional guidance will be the best way to develop guide your Millennial groups pushing for global presence.

Aside from just this specific situation, we should strive for partnerships like this beyond just one-off situations and expand them to more deeply impact an organization. All generations have so much to offer one another, and if we can strike a balance with how to achieve this in a way that doesn't disrupt the workforce's natural work habits, you'll see great value in the results.

trends in relocation

Topics: Millennials & Gen Z, International Relocations

The Most Attractive Benefits for Globally-Minded Millennials

Posted by Ryne Inman on Nov 1, 2016 9:45:46 AM

millennials and international relocation

As the Millennial takeover of the workplace population continues at a rapid pace, your corporate policies need to be updated to reflect the changing expectations of this new generation of employees.

For many offices, the first round of Millennials caused a fair bit of shock and culture clashing between the various generations in the office. Those initial sparks should be dying down, as employees have had time to settle in and you have had plenty of time to update policies to address the changes.Millennials are the most diverse and globally-minded generation in American history. They’re more likely to study abroad in college and are more open to relocating internationally than previous generations. With this in mind, many companies have opted to provide benefits that appeal to this demographic trend.

Robust relocation benefits are essential for any international relocation, but ensuring a good experience for these young employees is even more crucial. Destination services, like language training, are part of the end goal for a relocating Millennial. They see a move abroad as a chance to gain valuable skills and knowledge that will allow them to stand out among their peers. You want them to put those skills to use for your company, and not take them with them if they leave.

Providing solid benefits displays your commitment to their personal development, and can convince them that the best place to continue working and growing is at your company.

Millennials are adamant about having a sense of purpose to the work they do. They to be actively contributing and making a difference. Educational benefits help fulfill this requirement, and the personal growth and knowledge they gain in the process increase their value to your company. It’s an investment in your own growth and success.

One very interesting benefit that’s uncommon, but becoming more popular, is a paid sabbatical. Companies seeking the best talent in a competitive landscape are offering employees up to one month off (on top of regular annual earned paid time off) every four years.

Young Millennials find this incredibly attractive, as it gives them the chance to travel abroad and explore their interests. For the employer, it increases retention rates, so that the investment you are putting into your employees, and the valuable knowledge they are gaining about the industry and the company, aren’t lost. This is a massive benefit, and it’s easy to see how it is only used in very niche and aggressively-hiring companies.

The high-ideal, global thinking of Millennials was first seen as a detriment to their generation. Their drive and insistence on personal growth were misconstrued as entitlement.

Companies have since adjusted, and benefits like these are allowing them to attract the best and brightest of an increasingly more powerful generation.

building the ideal expat journey

Topics: Millennials & Gen Z, International Relocations

Subscribe to the UrbanBound Blog

state of relocation
Relocation Statistics

Recent Posts

Human Resources Today