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Keeping up with Millennials in APAC

Also known as Generation Y or Digital Natives, Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000. They are the first generation of workers to grow up in the digital age and in a socially-networked world.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report “Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace”, 70 percent want or expect an overseas assignment at some point in their careers and with 1.8 billion Millennials predicted to make up 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020, employers need to ensure their relocation programs are attractive to this generation.

In this chapter we will:

  • Identify this generation in APAC and their habits
  • Look at the expectations they have in the work environment
  • Discuss how you can optimize your global mobility program to attract and retain Millennials, and benefit from their characteristics

Millennial’s characteristics


  • It is obvious they are technology driven, hungry for information and have the need to constantly stay connected
  • Compared to previous generations, they are the most diverse group and their habits are all very different, which makes it challenging to understand them
  • There are many segments of Millennials: the ones passionate about the environment, the ones focused on values, the ones focused on gaming, the ones focused on social media to stay connected with friends, etc.
  • Millennials have a different kind of loyalty, a loyalty built around a relationship, a message or a value, so brands must work on building a relationship with Millennials to understand their drivers
  • In Asia, they dominate the population (45%) and they will have more spending power than any previous generation
  • 60% of the world’s Millennials live in Asia
  • The APAC region is as geographically and culturally diverse as the Millennials themselves: It is unlikely that a message for Thailand will be effective in China
  • Millennials in APAC spend almost one day a week on their mobile devices and tend to seek validation beyond what they see on TV (online, share experiences with others and read reviews)

Millennials in the workplace and why is your Global Mobility Program key?

  • They want to work for businesses that are globally connected, culturally savvy and have a social conscience, and they want to be more engaged, have more responsibilities and more recognition
  • To be motivated, they need flexibility and stability with an opportunity to move around the globe and achieve personal growth
  • In an increasingly globalized world, international experience is seen as a vital element to a successful career. Millennials have a strong appetite for working abroad, with 71% keen to do so at some stage during their career
  • They are more keen to travel and work abroad on assignments because they do not want to be linked to just one place
  • Mobility for Millennials is about “How can I find a career which will allow me to travel and to save money to travel?”
  • Millennials are globally aware and oriented which enables them to cover global roles better than previous generations as globalization has enabled them to be exposed to the world and its different cultures, therefore employers need to keep up with Millennials and open the door to global career developmentMillennials in APAC
  • Help them grow: Managers need to really understand the personal and professional goals of Millennials. Put them on special rotational assignments more frequently to give them a sense that they are moving toward something and gaining a variety of experiences. Challenge them to come up with new ways to streamline processes and to exercise creativity
  • Millennials have a strong desire to work overseas and this is a rich potential resource for organisations focused on global growth. Less desirable locations could be positioned as an important career path milestone. (PWC, Millennials at work, reshaping the work place, 2011)
  • Opportunities such as global relocation are becoming a fundamental element in attracting, developing, and engaging with Millennials
  • They are unique and they no longer accept the “one-size-fits-all” approach, so companies need to continue to be more diverse in their global mobility approach
  • Millennials are also more likely to accept a short-term relocation, to experience something new while gaining long-term benefits


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We want to say thank you for the professional and uncomplicated handling of our move from Switzerland to Germany. The team worked fast and professional, they were friendly, helpful and made that the move was done without stress.
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