How Education Level, Age, Gender and Location Shape How We View Our Workplaces

BOSTON/PRNewswire/   What factors determine how you view your workplace’s culture? Bullhorn, Inc. tackled this very question today when it released the findings of its Workplace DNA Project. Education has the biggest impact: 55 percent of what matters to us ties back to our level of education. The next biggest factor is age (25 percent); followed by gender (15 percent); and geographic location (5 percent).

“When people take jobs with new organizations, they frequently analyze responsibilities and compensation closely while relying on gut feel developed during the interview process to decide if they’ll actually like working there,” said Art Papas, CEO of Bullhorn. “But given that cultural fit is so important to hiring success, it’s not surprising that 46% of new hires leave within 18 months. We embarked on the Workplace DNA Project to better understand the critical issue of workplace fit.”

The Bullhorn Workforce DNA Project is a study that reveals the factors that influence which workplace attributes matters to employees. Workers with higher levels of education seek inspiration, while others are more likely to look for personal enjoyment and rewards. Men tend to seek cutting edge technology, while women cite female leaders more often as desirable workplace traits. Older workers cited earning potential, while younger workers appear to gravitate toward fun, or as Bullhorn listed it, “laugh factory.”

While the greatest variance in the attributes came from those with higher and lower levels of education, one of the most interesting findings of the survey is that despite the rivalry, there is very little difference between the West Coast and the East Coast. In both Boston and San Francisco, workers highlighted work-life balance, constant learning and flexible schedules as the traits that matter most in their workplaces.

Highlights of the Bullhorn Workplace DNA Project include:

Education: People with higher education levels seek inspiration, while those with less education gravitate toward more service-oriented workplaces

~ Workers who have completed a lower level of education are 12 percent more likely than workers who have completed a higher level of education to choose delighted customers as a trait relevant to their workplace.

~ Workers who have completed a higher level of education are 23 percent more likely than workers who have completed a lower level of education to choose an inspiring mission as a trait relevant to their workplace.

Age: Older workers want to make money, while younger workers want to have fun

~ As a top trait, younger workers picked “laugh factory.”

~ Older workers were more likely to choose earning potential as a relevant trait to their workplace.

Gender: Men look for technology and money, while women look for female leaders and balance

~ Women were 14 percent more likely than men to pick female leaders as a most relevant trait. Other top traits for women include being family friendly, having incredible mentors, constant learning, high IQ coefficient and flexible schedules.

~ Men were 11 percent more likely than women to say that cutting-edge technology was most relevant to their workplace. Other traits that men considered important include earning potential, inspiring mission, total freedom, rapid growth and promotion potential. The full report is available at

Report Methodology

The survey was conducted online during May and June 2011. 4,996 professionals in the U.S. participated. Respondents ranged in age from 22 to 45 years old, and reside in either Greater Boston or the San Francisco Bay Area. They had at least some college education, and have been employed for at least six months by an employer during the last 10 years. Respondents conveyed information on their work experience, and indicated characteristics that describe the culture of the companies where they have been employed. The data has a statistical accuracy of +/- 1.4% at the 95% confidence level.

About Bullhorn

Bullhorn® creates software and services that improve the way employees and employers come together. For over ten years our innovations have powered the recruiting and staffing operations of fast-growing start-ups up through the world’s largest employment brands. Headquartered in Boston, with offices in London and Sydney, Bullhorn’s recruiting CRM and social recruiting products serve over 5,000 clients and 50,000 users across 35 countries. Privately owned, Bullhorn is principally backed by Highland Capital Partners and General Catalyst Partners.

Contact: Francy Wade

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