Attract Millennials with Flexibility and International Assignments

By Natanya Rutstein

Experts predict that by 2020, millennials will make up 35% of the global workforce. Organisations are increasingly feeling the pressure to understand what motivates this generation of employees and the strategies they can employ to attract, engage and retain millennial talent.

According to a 2017 Deloitte Survey, millennials regard flexibility as having a positive influence on their productivity and engagement levels as well as enhancing their personal well-being, health, and happiness. These employee’s value flexibility as one of the top benefits offered by organisations.

Millennials also have a strong appetite for working overseas  and 71 percent would like to complete an overseas assignment during their career. A 2017 Mercer survey found that some of the most common reasons millennials are seeking out international assignments  include, career development/opportunities (98 percent), discovering new countries and cultures (61 percent), learning/studies (32 percent), higher compensation (27 percent) and family (3 percent).

Two innovative Mexican entrepreneurs have formed an organisation called Remote Year. seizing on the millennial pursuit of flexibility combined with a penchant for global mobility. The Remote Year helps people to enjoy an immersive cultural and community experience by working remotely from a different city every month. For a set fee they will arrange your housing, transit between cities, co-ordination of visa’s and activities as well as providing a co-working space in each city you travel to. You have the option of selecting to participate in a four or twelve-month programme.

 The first Remote Year programme was launched in 2015 and received over 25 000 applicants from across the globe. To date they have had over 2000 people from 40 different countries complete the programme, in professions ranging from lawyers to engineers. The average age of participants is 26-35 years.  Members of the” Remote Year Nation” are part of a global community which provides them with opportunities to build their professional networks, open themselves up to new perspectives, and create deep, personal connections with culturally diverse individuals.

Remote work is becoming increasingly common ,especially  in industries that are have embedded the latest technologies across the full spectrum of their business practices. The demand for remote work from top job applicants across the globe has seen  established  companies like Wells Fargo, Humana, Dell and Intuit now list remote positions as a part of their job openings.

If your organisation is not quite yet ready to send its employees on the Remote Year Programme, you at least need to be having conversations around the adoption of flexible work practices which tap into the needs of your millennial employees for increased flexibility and greater work-life balance. Failure to do so could result in losing your top talent to competing organisations who are already tapping into this growing demand.

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