Salary vs. Purpose: What Do Employees Want?

Jan. 31, 2022

As a follow up to his initial interview study, Bucky Fairfax (DBA ‘21) asked working professionals how they rank the following four factors in importance during their employment search: opportunities for growth, people they work with, salary and purpose fit. Of the four factors he studied, purpose fit was second most important, behind only opportunities for growth.

Fairfax also found that participants were willing to accept less pay to work in a position that conveyed more purpose. Notably, this finding held true even for professionals with economic instability, indicating that purpose fit was important to workers across the socioeconomic spectrum.

Fairfax’s findings are important for employers trying to recruit and retain employees. Talent acquisition teams that do not define their social mission in their recruitment strategy may be at a competitive disadvantage.