In the middle of job-hunting or recruiting, time is scarce to take the longer or broader view on careers, markets and strategy. Yet your day-to-day decision-making will prove more effective when you include key trends into your thinking map, and one of those trends is the role and expectations of international Millennials. As you adjust your international recruiting perspective, here are several important trends to consider when hiring Millennials outside the United States.

You are probably familiar with the conversations about generational differences in the US, but did you know that

  • the employment picture for young professionals in Singapore and Germany is distinctly rosy? In these high-tech export-driven countries, low birth rates make for an excellent job market for university graduates. Young professionals make strong demands regarding work-life balance and flexibility and can expect responsiveness from many employers.
  • across the ocean in Argentina, a somewhat similar revolution is occurring in workplace cultures? Young, well-educated professionals facing a positive job market seek to find meaning, flexibility and greater participation at work. Many choose to work at nimble, small or medium-sized employers rather than for large corporations, which they perceive as too rigid.
  • in China, the Generation Y cohort is 200 million strong and well-educated? Here young people often prioritize the job security found in larger entities and prefer more conventional, hierarchical-working processes. Material status symbols and hierarchical advancement are important to many.
  • due to high birth rates, more than 10 million young people in Kenya (out of the country’s total population of 45 million) are unemployed? The challenges in Kenya are similar to the situation in several other African countries where young people make up the bulk of the rapidly growing population.

So what does this mean for you?

In a globally interconnected world, the Millennial generation will shape workplaces, consumer behaviors and socio-political environments. Successes or upheavals in one part of the world impact what is happening elsewhere, and that includes your career and organization.  However, when you take a global view, you are well placed to identify relevant opportunities and risks. In today’s global and precarious economy, Millennial job seekers, may take advantage of better employment markets in Singapore or Argentina. By broadening your recruiting perspective, in addition to finding qualified work, you will also develop highly valuable cross-cultural experience.

This also applies to developing talent strategy. What will it take for next-generation leaders to simultaneously manage multiple cultural and economic systems? How do you need to adapt recruitment and learning, so that your organization builds the appropriate capabilities? How will you find the talent able to innovate in a shifting global landscape where “bottom-of -the-economic pyramid” market-entry strategies in developing economies are increasing in importance?

The answer is found by globally savvy professionals who can engage well with complexity.  They are the ones who will generate the most positive career and organizational outcomes in the present and future. Ultimately, you need to ask yourself: how ready and skilled are you to thrive by utilizing this new generation worldwide?


Sabine Amend draws on 15 years of experience in global and intercultural competency consulting for client firms in North America, Asia and Europe. For 10 years, she also served as MBA faculty teaching international business and entrepreneurship for Jones International University. She is a researcher in the field of 21st century -change competency and leadership development. Contact: or