Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Millennials in a Global Context

Information about generational differences in America abounds, but today’s talent marketplace is global. To provide this critical perspective, the Interchange Group has partnered with Kairos Future, an international think tank and consulting firm dedicated to research on emerging workforce and consumer trends around the world. In their Global Youth study, Kairos explores national differences in generational attitudes toward employment across 17 countries. Their findings about American Millennials (born 1981-2000) in a global context have significant implications for U.S. and multinational companies alike.
  • Education: American Millennials place a lower value on having a university degree than young people in China, Russian, Taiwan and Poland.
  • Entrepreneurialism: American youth rank below Chinese, Russian, Polish, Estonian, Indian, Spanish, Swedish and Taiwanese youth in their interest in starting a company in the next 15 years.
  • Job Security: Employment security is among the 3 highest career priorities for young Americans and Europeans, but not for young Russians, Chinese and Indians, who place a higher value on good career opportunities.
  • Career Orientation: Childcare, healthcare, and education are among the 4 most popular industries for Millennials in the U.S. - Nowhere else except in France is this the case.
  • Willingness to Work Abroad: 21% of American youth state that they would like to live abroad for a period of time, compared with 53% of Chinese, 44% of Indians and 32% of Swedes.
Comparisons of American Millennials to their international peers will have a profound impact on the way employers plan for and manage their talent in the next decade. How prepared is your organization for this shift?

For more information on this research and for insight into recruiting and managing the different generations in your workplace, contact us at

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