Worksite Planning

The Workforce Of The Future

What Gen Z and Millennials look for in the labor market

The new “Future Of Work” survey from Zenjob looks at the needs of young employees.  

LONDON, Dec. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In the middle of a skilled workers shortage, two generations are graduating and entering the labor market. Currently, Gen Z and Millennials are writing their dissertations and preparing to enter the workforce. But what do these generations look for in a job and employer? What will their work life look like?

In their second study on the topic of “Future of Work”, Zenjob, an employment agency for side jobs, looks at the needs of young employees. The digital staffing platform strives to contribute to better matchmaking between companies and the future workforce.

Here is an overview of the results of the latest “Future of Work” study:

A Generation Between Work-Life Balance and Work-Life Blending

From the outside looking in, Gen Z’s relationship towards their work ethic is complex and not always coherent. The generation is split within itself between the desire for fixed working hours (50%) and the need for flexibility (50%).

While 78% of Gen Z (and 81% of Millennials) want to clearly separate their professional and private lives, 70% (58% of Millennials) claim they have no problem being available for their employers, even during annual leave.

That said, there seems to be a consensus on the importance of autonomy that is even bridging generations.

83% of Gen Z and 84% of Millennials want to organize their time themselves to work at their own pace. However, this kind of self-organization does seem to introduce some challenges for the young workforce. One in two members of Gen Z and 58% of Millennials said that they do not always succeed in doing so.

Gen Z Values Ranked

As for Gen Z’s ranking of job preferences, it’s more reminiscent of a dating profile than a traditional job posting – at least apart from the salary category.

The under 25s want honesty, openness to communication, ideas and concepts, and appreciate it when companies invest in their individual and professional development. Sustainability and social commitment are also important to them, as well as a good salary.

Demands on corporate structure such as diversity, flat hierarchies and company celebrations are ranked less important. However, this does not mean that Gen Z does not want to socialize with their colleagues. Quite the opposite – 70% of them even enjoy spending time with them outside of work.

Ranking: What Gen Z values in an employer:

1.) Honesty and open communication

2.) Good salary

3.) Openness to new ideas and concepts

4.) Opportunity for further education and professional training

5.) Sustainable actions

6.) Social commitment

7.) Diversity in the workforce

8.) Flat hierarchies

9.) Regular company celebrations

Millennials, on the other hand, are more pragmatic. In contrast to the more idealistic Gen Z, a good salary is most important to them (31%), and flat hierarchies are in fifth place (15%).

Co-Creators Instead of Rebels or Careerists

The report shows that one thing is for sure: career alone is no longer enough.

While Gen Z is not rebelling against the labour market, they do want to be actively involved in shaping all aspects of their lives – including their work. But it’s not just the compatibility of the job with their private life (69%) and flexibility (54.8%) that are essential needs for this generation.

For companies, this means they need to promote flexibility and openness more than ever, act instead of talk, and above all – simply listen to what moves these two generations...

They also seek personal identification (54.7%) and diverse tasks (52.5%). The requirement of personally identifying with their work has risen in value compared with the previous year’s ranking by Zenjob and has moved from fifth place into the top three.

Additionally, job security is still important to 45.4% of Gen Z. Approximately a quarter of the Gen Z respondents (23.6%) want to work for a digital and progressive company.

Work no Longer Defines but Enriches Life

In the past, people were doctors, teachers, or office clerks. Today, you work as a doctor, teacher, or office clerk.

What sounds like a minor semantic difference results from a significant shift in consciousness: work no longer defines us; it enriches our lives. That’s the view of Gen Z.

They are just entering the workforce and want to shape the world of work according to their values. Two thirds of Gen Z want time for their private lives, not rigidly determined by their working hours.

A Generation That Knows What it Wants. Companies Should Know Too.

Frederik Fahning, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Zenjob, is excited by the results of the second Zenjob “Future of Work” study.

“Our study clearly shows that attitude and values are at the forefront for the employees of tomorrow. They want their employer to live and breathe these values and give them room for their own lives, personal development, and participation in the company’s further development. Our survey dispels many of the older generations’ prejudices about Gen Z. They are anything but passive. They show commitment and want to make a difference. We can and should all learn something from this.

“After all, Gen Z and Millennials will make up the majority of the population and the labor market in just a few years and are very similar in their attitudes. In the latter case, it is often evident from the demands they make that they have more work experience and thus assess the value of work structures such as flat hierarchies more significantly, but are also looking for meaning and appreciation. For companies, this means they need to promote flexibility and openness more than ever, act instead of talk, and above all – simply listen to what moves these two generations.”




About the Survey: In May 2021 Zenjob surveyed 1,237 representatives of Gen Z and 538 Millennials in Germany about their views on the world of work.
About Zenjob
Zenjob ( is a technology-focused employment agency for side jobs that provides companies with student temps and other part-time jobbers. Through the Zenjob app, interested parties book short-term jobs on an hourly basis or a part-time job for several months. Every month, more than 22,000 students are deployed in industries such as logistics, events, retail and gastronomy. The company’s more than 1,000 customers include Uniqlo, Flaconi, Malteser Hilfsdienst, Maredo and Mercure Hotels. Zenjob was founded in 2015 by Fritz Trott, Cihan Aksakal, and Frederik Fahning in Berlin and currently employs over 270 people. The service is already available in over 36 German cities and the Netherlands.