Attracting and retaining Millennial professionals


It has been well documented that over the next decade we will see a significant shift in workplace demographics, with Millennials set to make up the majority of the workforce by 2025.

Our latest whitepaper examines the motivations and workplace habits of Millennial professionals in order to better attract and retain this key demographic.


Specifically, this whitepaper explores:

  • Career motivations of Millennials and personal characteristics most valued in the workplace
  • Millennials' job search habits and use of technology
  • Sources of inter-generational conflict in the workplace
  • Preferred training and development for Millennials

More than 1000 professionals were surveyed, where it was discovered that almost 9 in 10 Millennials working in Australia and New Zealand want to go overseas to work. 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 local economic downturn and a rise in unemployment: Millenials, or Gen Y, have grown up in a borderless world with greater access to international travel, so their sights are set high to begin with.

“With recent economic downturn locally, paired with rising unemployment, we are seeing a reverse trend from the post-GFC period when we were dealing with an influx of foreign workers looking for gainful employment.

“Now that the tide has turned, we are seeing a drive to go overseas stemming from a sense of instability in our local market. Millennials are 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 also 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.”

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.

Interestingly, 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.

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 reputation’ (50%). 

Exactly half the Millennials surveyed felt that their employer has an adequate plan for their career progression. 

View the full whitepaper

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