Millennials Expecting International Opportunities
•Technology not a deal breaker
•Aggressive ambition still a source of intergenerational conflict
A new whitepaper released today by leading specialist recruitment firm Robert Walters has found that almost 9 in 10
Millennials working in New Zealand and Australia want to go overseas to work. More than 1000 professionals were surveyed
and a huge 87% said that employers should offer international career opportunities as part of their training and
development programs, and 88% would value these opportunities.
Despite this, of over 400 employers surveyed, three in four said they do not currently offer these opportunities.
James Nicholson, Managing Director of Robert Walters ANZ believes this motivation could stem from a combination of New
Zealanders innate travelling nature and being ‘digital natives’: “Kiwis are renowned for doing an ‘O.E’ in their early
20’s, it is almost a coming of age milestone, this coupled with the fact that Millennials, or Gen Y, have grown up in a
borderless world with greater access to international travel, means their sights are set high to begin with.
“Millennials are also incredibly driven and have high expectations for career growth with international experience
viewed as critical, so employers need to be keenly aware of this.
“It is alarming that most organisations aren’t offering these overseas opportunities. Organisations wanting to attract
and retain good talent should look to develop international opportunities for their employees. For local companies, this
could mean developing partnerships with likeminded organisations overseas to fulfil this growing demand.”
Ambitious Millennials a Source of Conflict
The whitepaper also found that just over half (53%) of Millennials have experienced or witnessed inter-generational
conflict in the workplace, and an overwhelming majority (79%) of employers surveyed believe the biggest source of
conflict stems from younger generations’ expectations of rapid career progression.
All three employee generations surveyed (Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers) agree that the main source of
inter-generational conflict was ‘difference in expectations of organisational values and cultures’ (37%, 37% and 42%
The second source of conflict for Gen X and Baby Boomers is the younger generations’ expectations of rapid career
progression (with 29% and 40% respectively). For Millennials, the second biggest source of conflict was the older
generations’ ‘reluctance to engage with or use new technologies’ (24%).
Millennials not as Tech Obsessed as Employers Think
Despite citing their peers’ reluctance to use new technology as a source of conflict in their organisation, Millennials
are less attached to technology than employers think. The study found that while 87% of employers think that Millennials
would leave their organisation if they didn’t invest in emerging technologies, just over half of Millennials would
consider leaving their job if their employer didn’t invest in technology.
Despite this, 94% of Millennials said technology is extremely important, and 62% of employers have plans to invest in
Other findings include:
• Most Millennials specified that they work because they want to earn money to support their lifestyle (35%), or
because they want to fulfil their potential (35%).
• The most important factors to Millennials when choosing a new employer were ‘Salary and benefits meet
expectations’ (74%), ‘Clear opportunities for career progression’ (67%) and ‘Organisation has a strong culture and good
• Both the Baby Boomer and Generation X respondents valued flexible working arrangements more than their
Millennial colleagues (47% of Baby Boomers and 46% of Generation X, compared to 37% of Millennials).
• When assessing the personal characteristics that are most important in a manager, Millennials rated ‘Recognising
performance’ (70%), ‘Being open to ideas and feedback’ (69%) and ‘Being accessible and easily available’ (54%) most
• Exactly half the Millennials surveyed felt that their employer has an adequate plan for their career