OUR SURVEY SAYS
Vault Verdict: Since its acquisition by
inVentiv Health, Campbell Alliance's future prospects have gone
from bright to very bright. While the acquisition promises to do
nothing but good for all parties from a business perspective-it has
opened Campbell's business to a global market and rounded out
inVentiv's offerings-as with any organization that undergoes a
change, employee pain points are sure to exist during the
transition, and Campbell Alliance's experience seems to be no
Thus, while insiders are overwhelmingly positive from a
business standpoint, there is a sense of regret among some at the
loss of the company's old, boutique culture. The good news for
Campbell: most of the complaints are fairly typical of any firm
that undergoes sudden change or upheaval, and are likely to recede
as the new culture takes hold and, crucially, new hires who know
only the organization as it is now come on board.
However, there are a few areas that have the potential to be
longer-term issues and that, if left unchecked, will be noticed and
grumbled about by employees new and old. Chief among these are the
questions of compensation and healthcare coverage. While there are
reports that the firm is attempting to find a solution to the first
of these-unsurprisingly, as it is the benchmark by which many
prospective employees weigh offers from competing firms-the issue
of health coverage may be worthy of attention too. Certainly
judging by the negative reaction of insiders we surveyed-not to
mention standards elsewhere in the industry-both issues could prove
critical to the firm's ability to attract and retain the talent it
will require if it is to thrive in the short- to medium-term
"A truly exceptional ride with some incredibly smart and
hard-working people in a very challenging and rewarding
"Lots of client experiences and ability to work on a lot of
different projects in a short area of time; no consistency across
"A good learning opportunity for those interested in
pharmaceuticals, which comes at a price of poor lifestyle and poor
"The fundamentals of Campbell are strong, but the human capital
"Great firm to start your career in consulting, with good
training programs to teach you the basics and lots of client
"A meritocracy that delivers on its promise."
"The interactions between employees, even within virtual teams,
is second to none, and makes the firm not only a good place to work
but also an excellent service provider to our clients."
"We are not supporting a large, highly-compensated Executive
team, which allows us to effectively manage our pricing and
compensation across the firm."
"Access to inVentiv Health's services in order to provide
convergent 'soup to nuts' services to our clients."
"If you are interested in healthcare-focused consulting firms
with balanced work and life style, Campbell is a good choice."
"The firm has come through a transformation, and has emerged
stronger. There are elements/offices that are still in rebuild
mode, but that has created tremendous opportunity for those who
have elected to 'step up.'
Quality of Life
"It's consulting. We expect every professional to be able
to work with their manager to figure out priorities. The hours can
be long and expectations are set up front."
"It's all dependent on project load, which can be highly
variable. There is almost no way to safely plan anything outside of
work more than a few weeks in advance."
"Office culture has a bigger influence than the overall firm's
culture on my work/life balance. Because my manager values having a
life, the consultants who work for him also are able to maintain
this balance. However, this is not always the case when working
with other managers."
"The work schedule flexibility is the best."
"Minimal travel (positive or a negative depending on the
"Campbell set up regional offices in order to minimize travel
costs for clients and improve QOL for consultants. In this they
succeeded, in that (for me at least) out of regional assignments
have been rare."
"Travel is maintained to a minimum within the firm which is a
key selling point as a consulting firm. The culture is in a state
of transition, but appears to be transforming towards significant
improvement over historical. There have been several new hires at
the senior level from prestigious firms who are changing the face
of Campbell for the better."
"Commitment to having social events and maintaining a culture of
open communication allows for better camaraderie and work-life
"Consultants' quality of life has eroded significantly since the
recent purchase, as senior management is now focused on
profit-taking (Campbell is ultimately owned by a private equity
"Great opportunity to grow as the organization is
expanding into new regions (Europe, Asia) and broadening its
"My firm prides itself on its system of meritocracy, and this
isn't just a catchy marketing phrase-I genuinely feel that my hard
work and commitment is rewarded through opportunities for promotion
and financial compensation."
"At Campbell Alliance, the best aspect of career development is
the variety of opportunity available. The worst is there are no
clear paths delineated (need to drive it personally)."
"We just moved from a semi-annual review cycle to an annual
review cycle, which could mean fewer opportunities for
"The firm tends to staff people on projects they've done before
since they know you'll be successful; this often pigeonholes people
into doing one type of project and makes it hard to build other
"I work on a smaller team, so there are a number of additional
opportunities to help build a service line. Cookie cutter projects,
while useful and welcome, are not always the best thing for
"There is little-to-no clarity about the expectations of job
responsibilities at any position or level. It is difficult to
assess what behaviors and skill sets 'matter' when being evaluated
or trying to best position yourself for career advancement."
"When Campbell was independent, career development was a
straight line up the consulting ladder. Now that we are part of
inVentiv health, there are rumors of possible opportunities within
other business units, but nothing formal has been rolled out
"The ability to push forward one's career can be highly
variable, but Campbell Alliance has opened up doors beyond what I
have seen coming from other large generalist strategy firms."
"Leadership has an open-door policy. They are always open to
requests to expand your career and develop professionally."
"Our training used to be very tactical and cumbersome, but it
has evolved to be less formal and therefore more effective. In the
past, we had number-driven promotional criteria and those have been
relaxed to also incorporate a fairer process. This was directly a
result of a senior leadership change."
"Best aspect is the base salary level (highly
competitive). Worst aspect is the disconnect between revenue
generated and total bonus."
"I wish the bonus structure was more clearly defined as to what
the grades translated to as far as percentage of salary and that
there was a more clearly defined average for raises."
"Health insurance is not the best."
"Non-monetary perks are very limited."
"Some team members get the opportunity to leverage flexible work
hours and telecommuting, but not all."
"Low compensation and poor allocation to the actual consultants
who are involved with the day-to-day work."
"The incentive compensation 'redesign' has been in the works for
nearly half a year. Campbell has also moved towards an annual
performance review cycle. On top of a horrid bonus payout this time
around and a lack of promotions, team members must know wait till
April 2014 for reviews/bonus payouts. Campbell no longer offers a
PPO as part of their health plan, meaning everyone was forced into
a type of Health Savings Account."
"Bonuses are so small as to be embarrassing, with senior
managers apologizing when delivering the news."
"The change in management has brought uncertainty and the
European business is a bit shaky right now. There isn't a constant
stream of projects coming in so people can go from not busy to
really busy in a matter of days."
"With the integration into the inVentiv Health group, we have a
strong business outlook for 2013. Overall, the worst aspect of 2013
business outlook is the challenges some of our pharma customers are
experiencing with the ACA and weak earnings in 2012."
"Our culture is radically changing. We are now the largest
pharmaceutical consulting firm worldwide and we are adding 2 main
components: strategic solutions and cross-functional projects with
research, market research, sales training, marketing and
"The firm has done a good job positioning itself as a trusted
partner for VP-level clients and entering the C-Suite in some
"The biggest challenge has been integration with our new
company, inVentiv Health. Many changes should ultimately improve
morale, but take a while to take root."
"The next year is going to bring a lot of consequences from last
year's decisions to bear. In particular, last year we saw the loss
of a large number of senior staff, hiring of a large number of
senior staff from outside of the organization, the reorganization
of our entire billable staff, a major overhaul of our evaluation
metrics, and on top of all of that it was an economically
"Right now staff morale is mixed. On one hand people are
optimistic that the changes will be for the betterment of the firm
long-term, but on the other hand right now people are confused by
the new processes, frustrated by how things are changing and the
lack of clarity around those changes, and pissed off because they
received low bonuses."
"Changing leadership, but strong selling talent has been
recruited and the benefits of such are starting to emerge."
"Employee morale is still very low, but Darius [Naigamwalla,
Managing Director, Campbell Alliance North America] has brought a
positive change to the company."
"With quality work and our partnership with the broader
inVentiv, I feel the firm is well positioned to thrive."
"I believe that the ideal candidate for my company is someone
who is intelligent and well-educated, who can communicate
effectively, who will show full commitment to their work, who is
self-motivated and ambitious, but who will also truly work as part
of a team, both in work and social life, and who does not have a
"I had a very good impression of the hiring process. Everything
was quick and I was kept in the loop at every step."
"Pharmaceutical/Biotech background is a must for
"Consultants that are young, motivated, ambitious and have a
diverse set of talents. These are not just the 4.0 students, they
are the star athletes, Eagle scouts, part-time hobbyists that make
our office robust."
Interview Tips and Questions
"Writing a timed essay which argues a case effectively. Building
a PowerPoint slide based on a PDF template to assess applicants'
knowledge of the program."
"Describe how you would put a valuation together for a product
in phase II."
"CA does not use the case method in the candidate selection
process. Typical new hires are experienced and have expertise to
"The hiring process typically includes only fit-interviews, and
there is very little evaluation of analytical skills. Case studies
are used by some regions, but the process is far from being
"An emerging biotech is considering a new oncology therapy that
will be competing with three other therapies on the market. What
are the commercial and R&D implications that must be considered
prior to launch?"
"How would you assess the market condition for a new product
entering the market?"
Diversity and Social Responsibility
"As far as I can see, employees are hired on their individual
merits, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. These
traits don't seem to bias recruitment positively (i.e.
quota-filling) or negatively (i.e. discrimination), which I think
is a very good thing. "
"I have never heard much about diversity at Campbell--the
company seems to view it as irrelevant in lieu of a
"I do see that we have some diversity within our organization
and I believe that there is no discrimination in hiring practices.
I do not know that there are any active programs to encourage
diversity. I really feel that is the best way. I like that everyone
is hired on their own merits and not for race, gender or sexual
orientation. I like that everyone can be openly who they are
"Women are represented in very strong positions in the firm, but
there is not that much diversity outside of that."
"The company does a lot for charity."
"Twenty- to thirty-percent of my colleagues are foreigners with
H-1B [visas] sponsored by Campbell."
"No problem at the moment. I worry that I would not be
supported/able to keep my job if I was to choose to have
"The company supports a diverse team and I have no comments or