In this insight report, we examine what gen-z and millennials want and expect from employers and future jobs.
We asked respondents to rank characteristics they thought employers would prefer in their employees. The 7 traits were work ethic, good communication, teamwork, creativity, leadership, being a fast learner and organisation skills. The most preferred traits and characteristics among employees are work ethic (38%), good communication (21%) and teamwork (15%). The traits that viewed as less important are Creativity (30%), leadership (22%) and being a fast learner (18%).
For the type of employer young people would like to work for, the vast majority would prefer to work for a large or medium-sized business, with 63% of respondents indicating so. In general, medium-sized businesses are most popular, while also 30% of respondents said working at a large business would be their lowest preference. Start-ups are the most unpopular company type, with only 15% saying it would be their first preference for where they would like to work. 40% of respondents indicated that working at a start-up would be their lowest preference for where to work. This preference for larger organisation is most likely due to job security, especially due to COVID-19 and a looming recession.
Almost a quarter of respondents expected to have a salary between €30,000-€34,999 for their first job out of university. Only 15.5% believed they would earn €50,000 or more in their first job out of university.
60% of young people would prefer little direction from their employer in exchange for a higher amount of autonomy. However, roughly 70% of respondents would rather a higher salary compared to a greater level of decision making and control over their work. 71% of respondents preferred smaller teams with more autonomy as opposed to larger teams with less.
56% of respondents would sacrifice a higher salary to work for a company with a positive world impact. To a lesser extent, 51.4% of respondents would sacrifice a higher salary for a job with greater opportunities to learn. In fact, our respondents claimed they would be willing to give up 10-20% of their expected salary if their chosen company fit those criteria.
Similarly, future career opportunities far outweighed job flexibility and opportunities to work abroad when deciding on a future employer.
Young people are looking for diverse and inclusive workplaces. They want the work they do to be fulfilling and they desire a positive work environment and fair leadership with strong ethics.
Many respondents spoke about the importance of work-life balance and want to work in company that understands that. Crucially, they wanted to be rewarded for good work with good working hours and holidays. Young people also want flexibility in what they do, craving independence and individuality.
Regardless of size of desired company, young people want a company that is impactful, both globally and in their personal lives. Respondents wanted a company that was doing important work that was benefical to society. They also wanted a company that allowed them to learn and better themselves and their career .
Such a diverse range of answers, with a lot of uncertainty, shows that this young cohort are very flexible in their future work, unlike previous generations. Employers need to focus on company values and employee preferences, rather than salary or the role itself as the key focus.