Why Eli Lilly Has the Strongest Reputation in the Life Sciences Industry

Published: Aug 09, 2017

Why Eli Lilly and Company Has the Strongest Reputation in the Life Sciences Industry August 7, 2017
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Eli Lilly and Company , based in Indianapolis, has earned the best reputation in the life sciences industry, according to 2,440 life science professionals surveyed in BioSpace’s first annual Ideal Employer study.

Conducted from January through March 2017, the Ideal Employer survey asked respondents to name the three companies they would most like to work for, and rated them on attributes important to the job search process including company culture, mission, salary, benefits and reputation in the industry. Respondents ranked Lilly #1 overall for having a good company reputation.

So how did Eli Lilly and Company build its stellar reputation?

“I think the company has a true passion for diversity and inclusion,” Ariana Gainer, Senior Associate, Global Recruiting & Staffing at Lilly, told BioSpace. “It’s not just focused on bringing in the best talent, but retaining them — and focusing on the ways we can encourage people to truly be themselves at work. We want them to enjoy coming to work, not just come in, get their work done and leave. Lilly really is a family.”


Lilly’s top reputation was also recently recognized by Ethisphere Institute when it named the pharma company as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2017.

While Eli Lilly and Company topped the list for best reputation, the company also performs well in several other attributes important to life sciences professionals. Lilly comes in at #9 for interesting and meaningful work, #4 in competitive salary and #5 for manageable working hours.

Certainly, all of the many lifesaving medicines that Eli Lilly and Company has discovered since its founding in 1876 contribute to its great reputation.

Lilly employs approximately 42,000 people worldwide, with more than 9,000 involved in research and development. The company conducts clinical research in more than 55 countries and has R&D sites in six countries as well as manufacturing facilities in 13 countries. In 2016, the company reported net sales of $21.2 billion.

“We’re here to help people and to improve global health around the world and in our community. The most successful employees want to give back to our community, both through volunteerism and corporate responsibility. Fundamentally, we are a company that discovers new medicines that will help people live longer, happier lives. That’s why we’re all here and why we all come to work passionate every single day,” Gainer said.

Michelle Schmidt, Project Consultant for Talent Acquisition, Science, at Lilly, noted that the company’s strong culture and reputation helps with employee retention.


“Many people have been here a long time because of the culture, the people we work with, the high integrity and well-trained professionals. We are all on the same mission — to discover medicines to make lives better,” Schmidt said.

The company expects to increase its diverse culture this year and next by hiring across the board from early phase research to development, manufacturing, sales, and supporting business functions.

With its admirable reputation and company culture, many life sciences professionals want to know what Lilly looks for in new recruits. Schmidt said it is a combination of “passion, humility and people who demonstrate our company values of excellence, integrity and respect for people.”

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

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