The fundamental question to anybody considering a new job, wondering if they should look to move, or indeed for those wanting to understand how to attract, recruit and retain staff is what actually matters in a job or career?
According to our respondents, who were each asked to choose their top three, it is not one thing or another. Performance marketers clearly want to be paid well – certainly fairly – but a deep aversion to toxic cultures and the necessity of work life/balance are nominally just as important, and perhaps reflecting a shift in the way we think about work in the 2020s.
Salary and culture top the charts
The top two most important factors to marketers when it comes to their jobs are salary and culture. Equally - by 39.5% of all our survey respondents each.
In fact, our senior executive and middle management respondents were slightly more likely to rank culture and salary – with flexible working options and total reward packages making up their top three. Similarly, our entry level and executive panel ranked flexible working and total reward as equally important (joint second), with salary and culture equally topping their lists.
“I think having flexibility is key now. I strongly believe that most people now that are looking for a new opportunity, even at entry level would expect to have that freedom. Culture's still a massive thing - knowing that there's people available to support you through moments of wellness and it's not just having free access to BUPA or ‘whatever’. It's actually having a team that is there that you can speak to confidentiality about whatever's going on in your world.”- Dale Fisher, Global Head of Paid Social & Display, Superbet
Suitable flexible working options was very close to marketers’ top two priorities at 38%, while the total reward package and a good work/life balance completes the top five.
It’s possible flexible working would have been high up the priority list pre-pandemic, but what is obvious is that rather than being seen as a ‘benefit’ as it might have been listed before, it is now treated as an often non-negotiable given for most in the industry when they consider a role.
“I realise the benefits of working for an employer that offers flexibility. It has made me look at work as a part of my life that can be integrated around my lifestyle, rather than a massive burden that holds me back.”- PMW survey respondent
Bottoming out our list of respondent priorities for their jobs were the more ‘benefit based’ options including pension (6%), bonus opportunities (10.5%) and generous holiday allowances (12%). However, with the total reward package higher up the list, prospective employees are simply considering the total package rather than the sum of each part. Employer reputation was also only in the top three for 15% of our panel but this is possibly because this is considered to relate to value alignment, which was cited as important by more than a fifth of those surveyed. This is supported by more than half (57%) telling us they would be put off applying for a role at a company with a poor reputation.
“Alignment of values and that toxicity (or lack of toxicity) is very important to people. Previously culture could have been more important because you spend more time in an office around your colleagues, but actually, now culture could be more important because you are not all together. I think what the last two years has done is that companies have had to focus more on those elements of culture. And the amount of programs that have been put in place around mental health, wellbeing - designing those for a remote world has been enormous.”- Matt Dailey, Chief Performance Officer, Havas
Meanwhile a lack of information about a company’s mission or values would turn 49% off putting themselves forward.
This indicates that while reputation may not make the top three in terms of job priorities, it should certainly not be glossed over as it could make or break whether someone chooses to move company.
The power of togetherness – and flexibility
“We’re all learning how to operate in new ways that work best for our people and our businesses. There is no one size fits all. We’re operating in a flexible way and believe we should give people the autonomy to manage their work, life and personal responsibilities in whatever way works best for them. But there are obvious benefits to spending time physically together, where people are comfortable. We try to bring people together in person for events that are useful and enable human connection and a sense of team culture, such as training, to celebrate, to brainstorm and naturally to meet with clients, partners and colleagues.” – Steve Buchanan, President Performance Media, dentsu UK