Generation Z Are Looking for Flexibility and Clear Communication in the Workplace

For the third consecutive year, we surveyed young talent’s career expectations – Student Study 2023. During April and May, we surveyed 495 students and workers, aged between 16 and 25, allowing them to share their opinions, expectations, and attitudes on the topic.

The results of this survey aim to provide advice and practical guidance to employers so that companies can make informed decisions about attracting and retaining young talent in their teams.

Factors in choosing an employer

When choosing an employer, the three most essential aspects for Generation Z are high salaries (45.3%), the acquisition of knowledge and skills (39.8%), and the possibility of flexible working hours (39.6%). These results reflect the priorities of young talent seeking fair pay, personal and professional development opportunities, and work-life balance.

Ranking the option of flexible working so high on the scale is a clear signal that Generation Z values the freedom to organize their work commitments and would purposefully seek one that will allow them to achieve a work-life balance.

Qualities young people look for in their future mentors and managers

In terms of the qualities that respondents look for in their future mentors or direct supervisors, the top three include the competence of the mentor (40%), the ability to listen to the opinions and suggestions of the team (39.2%) and Direct and open communication (37.2%). The data clearly signals that young talent is looking for mentors who have knowledge and experience in their field and can provide valuable guidance and leadership, but who are also open to the ideas of their teams and colleagues. In order to create such a working atmosphere, employers should train their teams towards effective communication and enforce transparency as a value in companies.

Professional direction

Respondents cited digital and general marketing, as well as IT and graphic design, as their most preferred professional orientations. It is also interesting to note that 11.8% of responses indicated “Don’t know yet”, which may reflect young people’s indecision or uncertainty about their professional preferences in a dynamic job market

We discussed what the data means for companies and what framework of action it outlines for employers who are purposefully seeking to attract young talent with representatives from some of this year’s partners – Here-There, Mentor the Young, JA, AIBEST – in the latest episode of our HR Navigator – Gen Z podcast—architects of the New Working World.

We would also like to thank our other partners AIESEC Bulgaria and Rotaract Bulgaria for supporting us to reach as many members of Generation Z as possible.

The full survey results can be found here