~An analysis of the industry, company issues, and value of network principles~
Tomorrow marks nearly four weeks since I’ve been interning for Vencon Research, a global provider of compensation benchmarking data to the world’s leading management, IT, strategy, and consulting firms. The field of consulting compensation metrics is a relatively small field, but the data provided is critical for a firm’s formation of a compensation package, which is an aggregation of the base salary, allowances, and target bonus cash compensation provided to an employee. Throughout these last few weeks, I’ve retained knowledge about the firm:
What is compensation benchmarking?
Compensation benchmarking is the method of using internal (in this case, internal is referring to the provider which is Vencon Research) to match to established salary survey jobs to identify the external market rate for each benchmarking position.
Why is this important?
Establishing market rates for various positions in a firm is important because it guides firms in their decisions making with regards to hiring, promotions, internal equity salary adjustments, and general compensation budget planning. Labor costs are considered the largest fraction of costs for any organization; an understanding of the external value of core positions allows the firm to establish their own guideline regarding their compensation framework. Executives in firms place extreme importance on attracting and retaining their employee and talent base. Compensation benchmarking provides the information executives and partners need to measure the costs related with salaries and other compensation components.
How is this showcased in VenconResearch?
The products VenconResearch offers to their clients are as follows:
- Salary Surveys
- Benefits Surveys
- Partner Compensation Studies
- Administration and Staff Support Surveys
- Family Friendly Working Policies
- Bespoke Studies
I have only been exposed fully to salary and benefits surveys. The names are somewhat self explanatory. Salary surveys provide data on specific salaries paid to different positions in a firm whereas benefits surveys provide data on the benefits (health insurance, allowances for traveling, etc.) supplied to employees by their firms.
VenconResearch has data all over the world from leading companies like Ernst and Young, McKinsey, and IBM. Their database consisting of 20 years worth of data provides very accurate and comparative information for their clients. The data is stored in organized files in excel sheets along with templates needed to carry out necessary calculations.
The firm’s major competitors are the other compensation benchmarking services that exist; however, it is interesting that other benchmarking services provided highly varied products to their clients. These competitors range from small companies to large companies. For example, McLagan, a company that considers itself to be under compensation benchmarking services, does not provide the same same kinds of services Vencon Research does.
A unique challenge that I was able to derive from working for VenconResearch these past few weeks is a client’s timeliness and communication. Because VenconResearch and other consulting firms require a lot of data from their clients, it is essential that their clients do so in a timely fashion. However, there have been many times during my internship experience where no further analysis could be done because the client did not provide enough data.
With regards to the structure of Vencon Research, there are different departments of people who carry out different kinds of tasks. I am mostly stationed in the data department, working with data integration and maintaining data integrity. Other departments include the sales department and the editing department. Normally, the project or product beings at one department and it travels to other departments for checking, editing, and data input. I consider VenconResearch a formal organization with a lot of structure.
The products VenconResearch produces relies heavily on data provided by their films and by a lot of research. Much of the analysis involves using excel, and there are a group of programmers who help with establishing the necessary formulas. VenconResearch doesn’t distribute an immense of products every year because they are a lengthy process; however, each product is valued at very high amounts and their services are lucrative. The final products are provided to clients digitally in different formats like PowerPoint and Excel Sheets that are tabulated, organized, and very easy to navigate and access.
A lot of employees in VenconResearch have many years in data analysis, business, economics, and math. These are very helpful in working with formulas and analyzing the kinds of business practices involved. Additionally, the multi-ethnic, multilingual employee base allows business negotiations to occur around the world.
Finally, here’s a picture of the office dog! He comes in a few days a week and likes to yawn, stretch, and sleep in the hallway.