Employees’ Perception vs. Employers’ Reality!  New Research Shows the Top 3 Areas of Opportunity


Ideal Employer 2019

What makes an organization a desirable employer?  Do they need to be a large company with a recognizable name?  Should the organization pay their employees more than others?  BioSpace recently surveyed over 2,700 life science professionals to discover exactly what employees value in companies. Those results were published in BioSpace's 2019 Life Sciences Ideal Employer Report.  A wide variety of attributes were proposed to participants, who in turn responded with how important that area was to them.   

According to life science professionals, the top five ideal employers are: Genentech, Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, and NovartisJohnson & Johnson, Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, and AbbVie rounded out the list of top ten organizations.  However, there was quite a bit of variance between the level of importance employees placed on key attributes and if the participants believed their ideal employers actually embodied those same attributes in reality.  In reviewing the data, three primary gaps were highlighted that focused on what employees say they value, versus the strength of that attribute in their desired organization.  Here are the top areas of opportunity for life science employers!

1. Team Dynamics

Team dynamics, which include aspects of the organization’s culture, was noted as an area of disparity.  74% of survey participants indicated that team dynamics are important to them.  However, only 47% of respondents see those dynamics as strength of potential life science employers.*  Team dynamics, culture, and work environment are now being studied more in academia and applied in the workplace.  With the natural progression of social media and online platforms, it’s easy for employees to view the social events, activities, and processes of companies, other than their own.  In today’s talent market, recruiters can reach professionals in a variety of ways to communicate about potential job offers.  Those same recruiters are often describing new job opportunities with companies that prioritize their team dynamics and corporate culture.    

2. Opportunities for Promotion

Providing professional growth opportunities and career advancement was also a significant attribute for survey participants.  74% of respondents considered opportunities for promotion to be important when thinking about an organization.  In contrast, only 47% of life science professionals rated opportunities for promotion as an employer strength.*  Employees are looking for ways that they can progress within an organization.  What the data shows is that unfortunately, many workers aren’t seeing or accessing those career opportunities in reality.  Organizations that are looking to attract the best and brightest talent, can showcase the internal growth opportunities available to employees. 

3. Competitive Salary

Financial compensation is usually top of mind for most professionals and the results of the Ideal Employer report confirmed it.  Competitive salary was emphasized as important by approximately 81% of participants.  Despite this preference, only around 54% of respondents indicated that a competitive salary was actually a strength of ideal employers.  Organizational performance, sales, budgets, and individual contributions can all greatly affect salary.  Sometimes companies have a hard time increasing levels of compensation for their staff.  This is a factor where employees usually have less influence, due to organizational constraints. 

New research revealed in the 2019 Ideal Employer Report shows the most desirable organizations to work for, as described by life science professionals.  In addition, the most important aspects or attributes to respondents considering multiple organizations were explored.  In that analysis, areas of opportunity for companies or employer gaps were uncovered.  Team dynamics, promotional advancement, and competitive salary were all areas where participants indicated a high level of importance.  However, in reality, there was a significant disparity between level of importance and the attribute actually being seen as a strength by an ideal employer.  This shows that it would be a good idea for organizations to work on demonstrating their benefits to employees in those areas.  Are there any work factors your organization could improve on?

Follow Ideal Employer news on BioSpace over the coming months as we dive deeper into this multi-faceted research and provide insights valuable to both professionals and hiring managers.

Are you building your talent pipeline? Download the full report for access to detailed insights you can use to build your workforce strategy and attract the best talent.


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Porschia Parker is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. (https://www.fly-highcoaching.com) She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.

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