High salaries and unique perks will always get workers’ attention, but a recent Glassdoor survey indicates that many job-seekers are now placing a company’s mission, culture and purpose first when beginning their search.
Successful CEOs have seen this firsthand. Jeff Aronin, Chairman and CEO of Paragon Biosciences, has built three successful life science companies based on a clear and shared sense of purpose and meaning for the business.
Aronin says, “The best advice I’ve received — and now pass along as a mentor — is to build companies of meaning.” Paragon Biosciences creates biopharmaceuticals and advanced life science technologies aimed at patients with high, unmet medical needs.
This is why Aronin looks for “mission-oriented people” with leading industry expertise who execute at a high level while taking full responsibility and accountability for their work.
According to Glassdoor, 89% of U.S. job-seekers consider it important for employers to have a clear mission and purpose, with 80% of recruits saying they consider these elements even before applying for a any job.
According to consulting firm , “mission-driven” companies have a 30% higher level of innovation, 40% higher levels of employee retention and tend to be first or second in their market segment. Meanwhile, a 2016 LinkedIn report suggests that companies that lead with purpose are more likely to be profitable, noting that 58% of companies with “a clearly articulated and understood purpose” experienced annual growth of at least 10%.
LinkedIn adds that purpose-driven companies also produce team members who are more fulfilled in their work, more likely to be in leadership positions, and most importantly, more inclined to promote their employers to friends and colleagues.
Overall, how important are compensation and benefits to potential hires? Surprisingly far down the list, according to Glassdoor.
After workplace culture as the No. 1 search priority, prospective hires reported they evaluate the quality of senior leadership, future career opportunities within the organization, the employer’s business outlook and it’s overall work/life balance before compensation and benefits.
As for what defines a healthy culture, Glassdoor says job seekers want to see an environment of putting people first, diversity, integrity, innovation and recognition of high performance. When companies get their cultural issues right, it keeps their best on the job. Glassdoor says 69% of employed workers in their study say they remain motivated and engaged “because of our strong company mission.”
At Jeff Aronin’s Paragon Biosciences, shared purpose and mission are woven into the culture. Aronin explains that he and his team look for employees with advanced skills and sincere dedication who are “deeply committed to developing treatments for otherwise underserved patient populations.”
With an average of only 40 to 50 new drugs approved each year by the FDA, Aronin says team members with a high level of skill and determination are a must in his industry. Aronin adds, “To persevere through challenges, you have to believe that you’re doing something that matters.”
Such passionately shared convictions drive growth. Professional services giant KPMG recently reported that 58% of companies with “a clearly articulated and understood purpose” had a growth rate of 10% over a three-year period.