Life Sciences Professionals Name Top 30 Ideal Employers

woman interviewee in suit shaking hands with interviewers

What do life sciences professionals value in an employer?

According to the first annual 2017 Life Sciences Ideal Employer Report by BioSpace, the top three most important attributes cited by life sciences professionals around the world are the opportunity to do interesting and meaningful work, a competitive salary and a good reputation.

BioSpace surveyed more than 2,400 life science professionals globally between January and March 2017. Respondents were asked to identify their top 3 ideal employers – companies they are most interested in working for – and then asked to rate various attributes of those employers. More than 7,000 votes for Ideal Employer were cast, and over 1,100 different companies were named. These are the 30 companies that rose to the top:

2017 Top 30 Global Life Sciences Employers


1 Genentech 16 Sanofi Genzyme
2 Pfizer 17 Regeneron
3 Merck 18 Eli Lilly
4 Amgen 19 Thermo Fisher
5 Johnson & Johnson 20 Bayer
6 Novartis 21 Abbott
7 Gilead Sciences 22 AbbVie
8 Verily 23 Allergan
9 Roche 24 MedImmune
10 Biogen 25 Medtronic
11 Celgene 26 Novo Nordisk
12 GlaxoSmithKline 27 Shire
13 Bristol-Myers Squibb 28 BioMarin
14 AstraZeneca 29 (tie) GE Healthcare
15 Illumina 29 (tie) Takeda

Surprising Insights

The 2017 Life Sciences Ideal Employers Report is more than a list of top employers, though; it delves into the professional, demographic, and attitudinal nuances that determine who life sciences professionals consider an “Ideal Employer” -- and why.

Women, for instance, are far more likely to rank diversity and corporate social responsibility as an important employer attribute. Fifty-nine percent of women surveyed consider a progressive stance on social issues such as equality important, vs. 41% of men. Women are also more likely than men to say that manageable working hours are important, but both genders want flexible working options.

What do men value most? We’ll answer that question – and more – in upcoming articles.

Interesting generational differences are also apparent. Eighty-four percent of millennials say opportunities for promotion are important, while gen X professionals place more importance on manageable working hours. Baby boomers aren’t as interested in career advancement or training as their younger counterparts; instead, they’re looking for companies whose culture matches their personal preferences.

Perhaps most compelling is the fact that respondents who have worked (or currently work) for a company typically rate the organization higher on nearly all positive attributes than professionals who have not worked at the company. Life sciences professionals who have not worked at a company are more likely to expect poor working hours, inflexible working options or scant opportunities for advancement than professionals with experience at that employer. Such a gap between perception and reality points to the need for companies to invest in serious brand work and outreach – and for professionals to ask direct questions about work conditions, rather than operating based on assumptions.

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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