iHire Decodes the Gen Z Workforce in New Research Report

Press Release from iHire

Analyzing survey results about Generation Z’s job search and career goals, challenges, and preferences, report advises the up-and-coming workforce and today’s employers on how to understand one another

Frederick, Maryland – May 21, 2024 – iHire has published a new research report, “ Gen Z in the Workforce: Decoding a New Generation of Job Seekers ,” highlighting Generation Z’s unique job search and career goals, challenges, and preferences.

Analyzing the results of a survey of 1,093 Gen Zers and 252 employers in the U.S., iHire’s report points to a disconnect between this up-and-coming segment of the workforce and today’s employers, offering advice for the two sides to better understand one another.

The following are some of the key survey findings and themes detailed in the report.

Stereotypes surround the Gen Z workforce.

34.4% of Gen Z respondents believe negative stereotypes will adversely impact their job searches and career advancement in the coming year, as employers expressed concerns with this generation’s entitled mentality, lack of commitment, and poor work ethic.

However, not all stereotypes were negative – employers also described Gen Z as “tech-savvy,” “socially conscious,” and “diverse.” The latter two descriptors reflect the fact that 70.3% of Gen Zers said it was extremely or very important for their employer’s mission and values to align with their own, and 68.0% said the same about their company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).


Employers advise an overly confident Gen Z to improve their soft skills 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% of candidates 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.


Gen Z is concerned about artificial intelligence (AI) replacing their roles but hesitates to use AI to assist in their job searches.

33.2% of Gen Zers fear AI replacing their job or making their role less significant in the coming year. But many Gen Zers are lagging when it comes to embracing generative AI tools to help them in their job search or career journey. For example, 42.7% of Gen Zers said they never use generative AI tools to assist them in their job search (such as writing a resume or cover letter with ChatGPT).


Most Gen Zers have a “dream job” and want that role to provide a positive work environment, fair pay, flexibility, and autonomy.

Contradicting the notion that they are not committed to their careers, 69.3% of Gen Zers have a dream job they hope to attain in the next 10 years. And, respondents said 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 22.0% said they want to manage other people in their dream job.


Despite the perception that Gen Z is a group of tech-savvy “Zoomers,” most want to work in-person rather than remotely.

82.4% of respondents 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.


Gen Z job seekers struggle to find jobs they qualify for and believe employers have unrealistic expectations.

38.6% of respondents said finding jobs for which they are qualified or have the required experience is one of their top job search challenges. Moreover, 25.6% were frustrated by employers’ overly specific or unrealistic requirements, thus creating high barriers to entry-level employment opportunities.


“Generation Z possesses unique perspectives and values shaped by growing up in the digital age and experiencing the pandemic during their formative years,” said Steve Flook, iHire’s President and CEO. “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.”

Access “Gen Z in the Workforce: Decoding a New Generation of Job Seekers” here: www.iHire.com/GenZ.

Research Methodology

iHire surveyed a Qualtrics market research panel comprising 1,093 people between the ages of 18 and 27 in the U.S. iHire also polled 252 U.S. employers across 57 industries from its customer database. Surveys were fielded in March and April 2024, and data was collected through the Qualtrics XM platform. All percentages are rounded to the nearest tenth.

About iHire

iHire is a leading career-oriented platform that powers a family of 57 industry-focused talent networks, including WorkInSports, iHireVeterinary, iHireDental, iHireConstruction, and iHireChefs. For more than 20 years, iHire has combined advanced job matching technology with our expertise in the talent acquisition space to connect job seekers with employers in their desired sector. With an industry-specific, candidate-centric, and data-driven approach to recruitment, iHire helps candidates find meaningful work and employers find unique, high-quality talent – faster, easier, and more effectively than a general job board. Visit www.iHire.com for more information.

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