Millennials are making up an increasingly larger part of the workforce, characterized by being mobile, flexible, and technologically skilled. They are the driving force and reflection of greater changes in society and business. This seems to lead to a new golden age of global mobility with agreement on business demands between employees/knowledge migrants and companies. However, reality is not yet so due to the complexity of expectations at different levels.

The increasing willingness of millennials to move abroad is accompanied by higher expectations in terms of lifestyle, career opportunities, and flexibility. The focus of negotiations with potential employers is primarily on experience, prospects for career development, and a good balance between work and personal life. For employers, this requires a more holistic approach to attract millennials to their organization.

Compared to previous generations, millennials are potentially more mobile, but particularly global hubs and trendy cities are popular, where not necessarily the companies are located that need international talent. On average, older generations consider a new career step every three/four years, while this is about one/two years for millennials. The faster (over)step is mainly due to the feeling that they want to experience progress and want ongoing access to new responsibilities and knowledge.

On the one hand, it is important to take into account the fact that some organizations are still struggling with the question of whether they actually want to start with global mobility or attract international talent to the Netherlands for the open vacancies they cannot fill within national borders. On the other hand, the pace of career management is increasing more quickly, which can lead to a greater gap between potential employers and knowledge migrants. To reduce or even eliminate this gap, it is advisable to evaluate the company’s mobility program and implement efficiency measures, improvement points, and solutions.

In addition, employers can benefit from the rise of international talent already working in the Netherlands. Years ago, this was only reserved for a small group of very mobile and experienced expats, this is no longer the case. Particularly because of the millennials who are willing to move abroad quickly and are happy to be knowledge migrants. A strong advice for organizations is to focus on a suitable moving policy for the millennials. This mainly concerns their specific needs to remain “mobile” and with the right mobility approach, you can retain the knowledge migrant longer within the company. In the context of talent retention, it is important to better integrate these employees so that they are aware of the possibilities for further career development within the company, even within the company in other countries.

Another tip is to soften the boundaries between (extended) business trips and commuting. These travels were previously managed as much as possible at the local or regional level, however, these trips fit within the profile of a millennial, and you can weigh the approach, for example: short versus long-term assignments and short versus extended business trips.

Finally, another possibility is to keep this group of knowledge migrants bound to the organization for as long as possible by moving jobs to people. In practice, this is often a difficult implementation, but the COVID-19 pandemic turned necessity into a virtue and the first steps have been taken in remote work. The employees can work from their home, which is located in either their home or host country. This results in the employer dealing with posted workers and both countries’ taxes will have to be properly regulated. In the short term, we will provide more information about posted workers. If you would like to receive more information about this in advance, please contact Global Relocation Compass.

In conclusion, millennials expect frequent new career steps, as they often see their careers as portable and flexible. They market themselves globally and are the entrepreneurs of their own career, preferring to avoid unclear prospects and long assignments with limited feedback. By acting more holistically as an organization in combination with encouraging business units and job types, it becomes easier to attract and retain this new group of knowledge migrants with a lot of added value.

Would you like to brainstorm on this topic or utilize our global mobility support? You are welcome to contact us at 0031 6 823 80 801 and