Bye, Great Resignation: The Great Reconfiguration Is Here Thanks to Gen Zs

Work to live, not live to work.

millennials and Gen Z in work

( Do you have a Gen Z coworker, or are you that Gen Z employee? Chances are, you've heard about how the younger generation of workers are more vocal—insistent, even—compared to their older peers when it comes to career expectations. Experiencing the pandemic and seeing how the older generation is dealing with work burnout and time poverty, the young ones have a clearer picture of what an ideal company culture should look like.

Goodbye, Great Resignation, and welcome to the Great Reconfiguration. In this new era of work, the majority of employees—mostly Gen Zs (born between 1997 and 2012) and millennials (born between 1981 and 1996)—are changing the game by shifting the bargaining powers to job seekers who want stable careers with good work-life balance, according to JobStreet. Their new mantra? Work to live, not live to work.

"I would say it's positive to have Gen Zs and millennials in your organization. It challenges the nature and culture of current business practices," said JobStreet PH Country Manager Philip Gioca during the launch of its global report tackling the future of recruitment on March 1. 

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How Millennials and Gen Zs Are Shaping the Future of Work

Jobstreet Philippines marketing head Kim Viray
Filipinos are more confident now when it comes to job hunting, said JobStreet Philippines' marketing head Kim Viray.
PHOTO BY Pia Regalado

The COVID-19 pandemic was a "wake-up call" for both employers and employees. Even with the threat of recession, the balance of power in labor markets shifted to job seekers as more organizations look to recover from the loss of jobs during the pandemic, said SEEK Asia Chief Executive Officer Peter Bithos.

In the study "What Jobseekers Wish Employees Knew: Unlocking the Future of Recruitment", 68% of job seekers worldwide believe they have strong negotiation power over employers. In the Philippines alone, 78% feel positive about their negotiating positions, the study said.

About 63% of 90,547 respondents are aged between 21 and 40 (basically, Gen Zs and millennials). It's the world's largest study on recruitment preferences by JobStreet, Boston Consulting Group, and The Network.

"We are knee-deep in the era of the 'Great Reconfiguration’ as employees are reconfiguring their work and personal lives, prioritizing the latter with greater demand for work-life balance and flexibility," said Bithos.

"Meanwhile, employers are increasingly looking for different skills, with a continued focus on digital and technology skills. Employers that want to attract great talent with the skills that their businesses require must cater to these changing needs."

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Millennials and Gen Zs live in the era of the Internet. Being digital natives proved beneficial to them as they observe how other employees in other parts of the world enjoy a proper work-life balance, higher salaries, flexible work arrangements, and better company culture. This allows them to be more vocal in terms of what they want in their careers, compared to their elder counterparts who glamorized and rewarded hustle culture and overworking, said Gioca.

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So what does this mean for employers? If you want to entice job seekers, it's high time to revisit organizational structures and be agile in terms of compensation, benefits, and work culture, he said.

"It gives us that push to adapt because if we do not, they would leave. There are really good talents because they give us that ability to be faster and to think in different ways to connect to the Gen Zs who are also our customers," said Gioca.

To jobseekers, Gioca has this to say:

"Continue to be vocal, continue to participate in such revolutionary change in the workplace because without them, this wouldn't happen. And because they are the ones voicing out and acting on it, it will change the employee and labor force landscape."

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