• Europe-wide survey of 2,000 20-30 year olds in tech warns that younger workers have fallen out of love with the industry with fears over layoffs, poor relationships with managers and a lack of clear career development 
  • Over half (54%) of all tech workers in Europe are considering a change of career plan
  • Almost half of UK tech workers are considering leaving their role in the next year 
  • In the UK and Sweden over a third of young tech workers say that they expect to be laid off or fired in this economic downturn
  • 70% of respondents would not recommend their workplace to friends or family, while a fifth of young people across Europe are actively looking for another job or plan to leave
  • Tech jobs are not meeting younger people’s expectations with only 19%  in France, 23% in Ireland and 27% in the UK saying their job is better than expected

London, UK & Tel Aviv, Israel – 4th October, 2022:   More than a third of young tech workers (35%) are unhappy in their role, with over half (54%) considering a complete change of career plan – according to the Young Generation in Tech survey commissioned by HR tech leader, HiBob and leading global venture fund, Eight Roads. Under 30s surveyed blame poor management and a clear lack of progression for job dissatisfaction, but there are signs that increasing concern over redundancies is a factor. 

This is leading to as many as one in four respondents thinking about quitting their current job, despite the cost-of-living crisis and fears they have about their future. Workers in the UK, Sweden, Ireland and the Netherlands are particularly fearful that they will be laid off.  Across Europe, 27% of young tech workers think they could be fired in the current economic downturn, while in the UK the figure is 37% and in Sweden 33%.

A wakeup call for the tech industry

The figures present an in-depth look at the working conditions of young people across the European tech sector, and will come as both a shock and a warning to an industry that prides itself on being dynamic, exciting and enjoyable. 

More than 2,000 Gen Z and younger Millennial employees working in tech startups and enterprises across France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK were asked about their ambitions, and fears. The sample included both technical and non-technical roles across engineering and product management, marketing, sales, operations and C-Suite positions. 

Their responses indicate that young employees may be falling out of love with the tech sector. They suggest that as the industry faces an economic downturn, companies need to urgently address issues including career development, progression, remuneration and workplace relationships,  if they are to keep their best talent from leaving the industry. 

Poor job satisfaction driving people away

Across Europe 30% of the 20-30 year olds surveyed described their current job as falling below their expectations, leading to poor job satisfaction, with the younger age bracket (20-25) being most affected. Only 30% of respondents said they would recommend their workplace to friends or family, identifying a lack of good relationships, inadequate compensation, and poor career development for their unhappiness.

The measures that would encourage dissatisfied employees to stay in their roles included better career progression (37%), an increase in salary (34%) and a contract that protected them against layoffs (18%), the survey found. 

Ronni Zehavi, Co-founder & CEO at HiBob said: “Our Young Generation in Tech Report is the first of its kind: a pan-European look at a crucial demographic and their feelings towards the world of work, career progression and job satisfaction.  The results suggest that today’s young people are prioritising compensation and security partly due to the cost of living crisis, but poor relationships with managers coupled with unsatisfactory pay, and unclear career opportunities means a quarter are seriously considering leaving their roles within a year. These findings suggest young people in tech have lost faith in their employers and the tech industry’s big promises. Responsible employers should take this as a warning and listen to their concerns or risk losing the best and brightest.”

Davor Hebel, Managing  Partner at Eight Roads, investor in HiBob said : “There is an entire generation of people entering the European tech workforce for the first time, or taking their first steps in their career, while attempting to navigate huge instability – economically, politically, and socially.  At a critical moment for European economies, our survey finds that the hopes and aspirations of many young people in tech are not being fully addressed. The findings should inspire businesses and organisations to assess where they can make changes that help them to attract and retain workers who are thriving and productive.”  

Job security over job satisfaction

The Young Generation in Tech survey also shows that across Europe, Gen Z and younger Millennials are prioritising jobs they believe will give them greater security over work enjoyment and job satisfaction.  

The most attractive feature when looking for a job (as chosen by 27% of those surveyed)  was the future potential of a company, closely followed by job security (25%). This motivation was highest in Spain and was higher in the older age bracket of 26-30 year olds, in comparison to the 20-25 year olds surveyed. Worries over job security even out-ranked the compensation packages on offer (23%), and were on par with working hours or models (25%), across all regions. In contrast,  only 18% of workers in Europe said they moved to their current role for a promotion.

The economic downturn is impacting  career decisions
Tech workers across Europe are facing career uncertainty as a result of the economic downturn, even though the tech sector is still hiring many more people than it lets go.  Job insecurity means that workers have less ability to make long term decisions, leading over half (54%) of all tech workers in Europe to consider a complete change of career plan.  Workers in both Spain (60%) and the Netherlands (59%) consider their career plans most impacted by the downturn. 

The flexible working dilemma

When it came to shifting working models, the Young Generation in Tech survey found that flexible hours were the most valued workplace condition among young people, with  1 in 4 joining their current company due to a flexible working model. Yet the challenges of implementing flexible working are laid bare in that nearly one in five said that lack of time in the office, and the opportunity to build relationships was one of the things they liked the least about their role. 

In fact, relationships were found to play a significant role in job satisfaction across the board.  Almost half (49%) of young people surveyed said their immediate team and co-workers were what they liked most about their company. While poor relationships with their managers was their biggest dislike. 

Regional differences

Despite many young people across Europe reporting the same concerns and experiences, there were some key differences between regions.

Most workers in UK, Ireland and France feel job does not match expectations

With many young people seeing tech as a promising industry in which to work in recent years, the survey shows that few young people have found a job that exceeds their industry. In France, only 19% of tech workers said their job exceeded expectations, while 23% in Ireland and 27% in England said their job exceeded expectations. 

Only 54% of young people in the UK said they planned to stay in their current role this year, or for the foreseeable future, suggesting a looming crisis for the UK economy which has seen the greatest investment in tech and startups in the last decade. The UK findings were  also damning when it came to career development: one in five young people in UK tech say they have no clear career path where they currently work, one in 10 say their current company does not support their career development and almost one in three would join a company that provided more concrete support for their career. 

German and French workers report highest job satisfaction

Meanwhile, workers in Germany and France were found to have the highest levels of job satisfaction, with 30% of German workers ranking their experience at work at 9 or 10, and 57% of French workers scoring between 7 and 8. In Germany, 80% of young people also said their work/life balance was just right, or better than expected. 

This may be attributed to Germany, particularly, offering the widest range of working hours and models, and is indicative of the reason why 75% of German workers plan to remain in their jobs for the rest of 2022, or the foreseeable future. 

About HiBob

HiBob is on a mission to transform how organizations operate in the modern world of work with its HR platform ‘Bob’.  Leading the way for the future workplace, Bob offers resilient, agile technology that wraps all the complexities of HR processes into a game changing, user-friendly tool that touches every employee across the business.

Since 2015, trusted and empowered ‘Bobbers’ from around the world have brought their authentic selves to work, inspired to build the exceptional HR systems that will revolutionize the work experience for HR professionals, managers, and employees. Agile and adaptable, HiBob innovates through continuous learning loops to produce seismic cultural shifts for companies with dynamic, distributed workforces.

HiBob is used by more than 2,500 multinational companies – including Cazoo, Hopin, Monzo, Happy Socks, Fiverr, and VaynerMedia. Organizations using Bob are able to accelerate hiring, retain the best talent, upskill and elevate employee engagement.For more information about HiBob, visit www.hibob.com.