Analyzing The Changing Workforce Of Young,
Highly Engaged Employees

APRIL 2022



The Receipt is our research network of 8,000+ Gen Zers from across the world. It is the largest vetted Gen Z network in the marketing industry. We use the Receipt to pulse test ideas, concepts, and campaigns for our clients through quantitative surveys and enhanced in-depth insights from qualitative surveys. Our quantitative surveys can last from 1 to 3 weeks upon launch and can gather 500+ responses within a week, whereas our qualitative interviews depend on the exact project needs.

We also conduct focus groups Gen Zer to Gen Zer. No more phony consumer personas — only real conversation and insights. Lastly, we’re fans of field research. Talking to Gen Zers like friends, not research subjects, is what we’re about.

These research methods not only bring our clients valuable, actionable insights, but they also act as a platform to amplify the voices of our generation.


We’ve been educated in digital classrooms. We’ve taken our first jobs without ever shaking hands with our boss. We’ve celebrated pivotal moments in our coming-of-age through YouTube videos in our living room. Even with the monumental changes our generation is facing as we enter the workforce, there is something about Gen Z’s spirit that remains unbroken. Throughout this study on the nature of Gen Z in the workplace, we found an unexpected and unparalleled need for passion and impact in the work we do. Passion is the lens through which we seek out new opportunities, find fulfillment in our current roles, and ultimately decide to move on to new ones. In this Yellowpaper (our hot take on the classic whitepaper) we will discuss the education, recruitment, retainment, and resignation of Gen Z employees through 501 respondents from JUV’s Receipt network. The way we look for and engage with our dream jobs has changed, so let’s get everyone up to speed on the highly engaged Gen Z’er in the workforce.


Big Brain Energy.

Gen Z is shaping up to be the most educated generation yet. We are continuing the upward trend of high school and college graduation rates we inherited from Gen X and Gen Y.

58% of respondents were either currently enrolled or recently graduated from an undergrad program.

Our respondents are reflective of the 57% of Gen Z’ers enrolled in higher education nationally. Our generation sees value in higher education and there are a few key elements we are looking for from our degree.

Networking (26%), Access to professional development (23%), and Knowledge/Learning (20%) were seen as the most valuable parts of a college education to our respondents.

We are also proficient multitaskers. 45% of our respondents are both students and part- time professionals. This could be connected to the higher cost of education, and/or greater competitiveness in entering the workforce, which makes the “side hustle” more appealing as we go through school.

Some respondents have utilized JUV’s Receipt Network as a first step toward their future careers. “My life has been a whirlwind since I joined The Receipt,” said Olivia Frary, JUV’s Senior Director of Marketing, “one day I was taking surveys and answering questions to win prizes, and the next I applied to one of the Consultant job postings. Before I knew it I was staffed to work for one of my favorite apps.”

Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me.

You want great talent and great talent wants you. What now? The successful recruitment of Gen Z employees starts with meeting them where they are. Luckily, this isn’t a challenging game of cat-and mouse, as this digitally native generation lives up to their tech-savviness both within and outside of professional spaces.

It is important to note that non-digital options including career showcases, networking events, brand ambassador programs, and university career resources fell to the bottom of the priority list in the job search process. Future research could ask whether COVID-19 temporarily impacted this shifted focus on digital job hunting, or if this marks an important shift in where talent will be secured for companies moving forward.

Even back in 2015, Pew Research Center found over half of U.S. adults go online to search for a job. However, leaders in the HR space still advocate for the importance of networking and word-of-mouth, but it seems many Gen Z’ers are taking their networking fully digital.

How does Gen Z seek out professional opportunities?

Where does Gen Z prefer to work?

Ok, so we know where Gen Z is at in the job search process, but what are they looking for? Our results aren’t so different from other generations.

Sure, our attention span may only be 8 seconds, but that doesn’t mean our generation is abandoning all structure and precedent. In fact, well-established organizations may be best equipped to address the key ‘want-to- haves’ indicated by respondents.


Passion for work (36%)


Salary and benefits


Work culture (15%)

The results of our survey may allude to a generation that wants a structure that enables and empowers them to exercise their passions while making these roles more accessible through digital venues.

67% Of Respondents Preferred A Hybrid/Flexible Work Environment.

Putting in the work.

So, you’ve successfully recruited Gen Z talent, now what? Having kombucha on-tap and overanalyzing Euphoria in the break room will only go so far in engaging Gen Z employees. If you’re looking for the key to our hearts, that’s exactly where you should look. The results
of our 2022 Gen Z in the workplace survey indicate.

Approximately 40% of respondents felt the impact of their work was the most fulfilling part of a work experience.

The passion we feel outside of work is the same passion we want to carry into our 9 to 5. The key to bridging the gap? Create spaces for action within your organization. This could look like new work culture or social impact initiatives driven by employees, or it could even be as simple as consistently reporting project successes while providing thoughtful feedback. At the end of the day, your organization should look at young talent and say ‘I see the work you’re doing, and it matters,’ in a way that feels authentic to the existing culture of your organization.

As a generation entering the workforce around the COVID-19 pandemic, we are no stranger to remote work. In fact, we’ve developed a preference for some remote work within the roles we take on.

67% of respondents preferred a hybrid/ flexible work environment.

These results suggest our generation hasn’t abandoned the value of face-to-face connections, but we may appreciate the chance to run to the laundromat between meetings or blast white noise while writing
a report, without getting side-eyed by distracted coworkers. This sentiment actually stretches across generations. A 2021 employee study by Accenture Research found 83% of the global workforce finds a hybrid model to be most optimal. Even more interesting, International Workplace Group research showed 72% of employees would take the chance for hybrid work over a 10% increase in pay. The value of a hybrid workplace can’t be underscored enough, and the sentiment among young employees is felt across generations. Finally – something we can agree on.

GEn Z and the Great Resignation: Fact or Fiction?

So, you’ve successfully recruited Gen Z talent, now what? Having kombucha on-tap and overanalyzing Euphoria in the break room will only go so far in engaging Gen Z employees. If you’re looking for the key to our hearts, that’s exactly where you should look. The results
of our 2022 Gen Z in the workplace survey indicate.

When asked about the likelihood of leaving a role for other passions or interests, respondents averaged a neutral score and leaned more towards ‘disagree’ the older and more experienced they get.

The average likelihood of 3.29 (out of 7) when it comes to leaving a role for other passions could mean we aren’t coming into a role with a predisposed attitude toward leaving. So I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s not us – it’s you. These results also indicate there may be other reasons our generation is leaving roles more frequently than generations prior.

30% of respondents would leave an organization for poor work culture or work- life balance. This is followed by a lack of passion for work (26%).

These findings show strong parallels across the study in the importance of passion and impact of work in the recruitment, engagement, and retention of Gen Z talent

The primary importance of work-life balance may have been inherited from our Millennial predecessors. This could be traced back to the impacts of the Great Recession, which left many budding Millennial employees scrambling for work or taking on the workload of 2-3 employees to stay in a given role. The sentiment around work-life balance has been apparent long before the COVID-19 outbreak. A 2018 study by FlexJobs found 70% of millennials would leave or consider leaving a role without flexible work options. That sentiment only seems to be growing while influencing younger generations.

In a similar way that Millennials paved the way for work-life balance, Gen Z may be paving the way for engaging a highly passionate workforce.

Want to learn more?

Reach out to Shaina, CMO at JUV

About the Author

Steph Strickland

Steph Strickland is currently working under contract as the Director of Research for JUV Consulting. Upon graduating from the University of Florida in 2020, the data- enthusiast began similar contract roles conducting qualitative and quantitative research for private and public institutions. She decided to take this flexibility a step further when she set off to hike the Appalachian Trail, a 2,000+ mile footpath across the Eastern United States, and submitted freelance pieces to The Trek, an online backpacking publication, to document her travels. Steph is in the process of completing her M.S. in Media Science at Boston University and is passionate about taking career steps off the beaten path.