‘Meaningful Work' Most Important Factor in Choosing a Job

Core-Asset Consulting - 06-Sep-2017

EDINBURGH, Scotland, 6 September 2017

The quest for ‘meaningful work’ is the most important factor in choosing a job, according to a new survey by leading financial recruitment company Core-Asset Consulting.

In a survey of professionals working across the financial, accounting and legal sectors in Scotland*, people were asked to rank the importance of eight factors in choosing a job.

Key findings:

  • 'Meaningful work’ was most frequently ranked as the top reason in people choosing a job
  • ‘Pay & benefits’ was the most commonly cited 2nd, 3rd and 4th factors
  • ‘Flexible working’ was most frequently cited as the least important factor


  • Career progression
  • Company reputation
  • Location/length of commute
  • Flexible working
  • Meaningful work
  • Pay & benefits
  • Work-life balance
  • Working culture

Commenting on the survey, Betsy Williamson, Managing Director of Core-Asset Consulting, said:

“It may come as a surprise to many that ‘meaningful work’ is the most common number one factor in people choosing a job, particularly as this is a survey of financial, accounting and legal professionals.

“But however you interpret the term ‘meaningful work’, it seems clear that white collar professionals are now seeking much more from their career than material rewards. The implications for employers is far reaching.

“To retain valuable employees, companies need to clearly articulate the driving purpose of its firm beyond the simple pursuit of profit, and how a particular department, team and individual fits into this bigger picture. This can include things such as the creation of a financially secure future for customers, tackling environmental issues and transforming local communities.

“Failure to do so not only means employers will have staff retention issues, they will also struggle to attract the very best talent.

“It’s very much a candidate-driven market now – particularly in hard-to-fill areas such as risk and compliance. Companies that recognise the importance of ‘meaningful work’ will do better in attracting and retaining the best people. 

“But all this comes with a caveat: ‘over-selling’ roles comes with a similar risk of creating disillusioned employees. A delicate balance must be struck between aspiration and authenticity.”

*Based on a sample survey of 194 people. 


Notes to Editors

1. Results in detail

Factor Ranking
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Career progression 24.54% 11.66% 11.04% 9.20% 7.98% 8.59% 11.66% 15.34%
Company reputation 2.44% 12.80% 5.49% 14.63% 17.68% 17.68% 17.07% 12.20%
Location/length of commute 4.94% 6.79% 13.58% 12.35% 17.90% 16.05% 12.35% 16.05%
Flexible working 5.36% 7.74% 10.12% 7.74% 12.50% 13.10% 20.24% 23.21%
Meaningful work 28.31% 17.47% 8.43% 11.45% 9.64% 8.43% 7.83% 8.43%
Pay & benefits 17.34% 22.54% 20.81% 16.18% 7.51% 8.67% 4.05% 2.89%
Work-life balance 14.44% 15.56% 17.78% 9.44% 17.22% 10.56% 10.56% 4.44%
Working culture 9.84% 9.29% 14.21% 16.94% 9.29% 14.75% 12.02% 13.66%

2. About Core-Asset Consulting 

Core-Asset Consulting is a leading independent recruitment company dedicated to the asset management, accounting & finance, asset servicing, legal and wider financial services sectors in Scotland. A specialist recruiter based in Edinburgh, it offers its clients tailored solutions for permanent and interim positions.

3. Contact 

Richard England
Communications Director
Core-Asset Consulting
+44 (0)131 718 4600
Core-Asset Consulting
Financial and Professional Services Recruitment –
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