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What the Gen Z workforce really seeks in a "dream job" today

What the Gen Z workforce really seeks in a "dream job" today

Contradicting common perceptions that this generation is not committed to their careers, nearly seven in 10 surveyed have a dream job they hope to attain in the next 10 years.

A majority of Generation Zers surveyed said they have a “dream job” and want that role to provide a positive work environment, fair pay, flexibility, and autonomy.

Interestingly, contradicting common perceptions that this generation is not committed to their careers, nearly seven in 10 surveyed have a dream job they hope to attain in the next 10 years. The report added:

  • Gen Zs say it is extremely or very important for their ideal job to provide a positive work environment (82.4%), a fair and competitive salary (82.2%), and the flexibility to achieve a work/life balance (81.3%).
  • Further, 36.7% want to work autonomously and with minimal supervision, while only 22% said they want to manage other people in their dream job.

This generation have also expressed their ideal work arrangement, with most of those surveyed wanting to work in-person instead of remotely. Zooming in to the figures, 82.4% want to work in person at least some of the time – 55.8% desired an entirely in-person work environment, and 26.6% wanted a hybrid (mix of in-person and remote) setup. Only 17.6% wanted a completely remote job.

The survey, involving 1,093 Gen Zs and 252 employers in the US* in early 2024, was published in iHire's new research report, Gen Z in the Workforce: Decoding a New Generation of Job Seekers.

*While the survey was conducted in the US, HRO believes the data remains relevant to our audience in Asia.

Facing stereotypes

In further findings, more than three in 10 (34.4%) Gen Zers surveyed believe negative stereotypes will have an adverse impact on their job search and career advancement in the coming year, as employers expressed concerns with this generation’s entitled mentality, lack of commitment, and poor work ethic.

On the bright side, not all stereotypes noted were negative. In particular, many of the employers surveyed also described Gen Z as tech-savvy, socially conscious, and diverse. The latter two descriptors, in fact, resonated with the younger workforce –seven in 10 (70.3%) Gen Z respondents said it was extremely or very important for their employer’s mission and values to align with their own, while 68% said the same about their company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In view of the above, when asked for their advice to Gen Z, employer respondents called on the younger group to improve their soft skills in order to make themselves more marketable:

  • 58.3% of employers said Gen Z job seekers need to improve their interviewing skills, and
  • 57.5% said they need to communicate better with hiring managers and recruiters.

While Gen Z respondents agreed with employers in some instances (30.4% ofcandidates said they struggled with interviewing), in other cases, Gen Z’s self-assessments differed from employers’ observations.

For example, 52.8% of employers said Gen Z needs to improve their office/workplace etiquette skills, yet 73.7% of Gen Zers rated their own office/workplace etiquette skills “excellent” or “good.”

Similarly, 48.4% of employers said Gen Z needs to enhance their resume writing skills while 68.4% of Gen Zers were confident that their resumes would help them find a job or advance their careers.

Commenting on the findings, Steve Flook, iHire's President and CEO, said: "Generation Z possesses unique perspectives and values shaped by growing up in the digital age and experiencing the pandemic during their formative years. As Gen Z permeates the workforce, employers need to understand how to recruit, retain, engage, and motivate this group.

"Likewise, Gen Z candidates must understand employers’ expectations and how to best market themselves to find the right jobs. Our report aims to provide insights to both sides to move the employment market toward a brighter future."

ALSO READ: What do Gen Z employees expect from their boss?

Photo: 123RF

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