Vital Findings Reviews | Glassdoor

Vital Findings Reviews

Updated September 1, 2017
22 reviews

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3.5
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Jason Kramer
20 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Senior Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Culver City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vital Findings full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    In my two years here, I have grown in more ways in terms of research skills, methodology experience, and leadership skills than in my entire career and education before joining here. Since there aren't different departments (research vs. account management vs. sales, etc.), everyone gets exposure to the entire research process from proposal to report delivery. That's a huge asset and something I really value, having come from a more siloed MR company before this.

    To that end, VF is also a place where at every level, you know how your role contributes to the project process and to the company. VF is very transparent about its goals, progress, and initiatives, and how each level contributes to and is affected by them. There are always opportunities to stretch up in ways I haven't seen in other companies.

    With everything we do, we're always looking for our twist: what is new and creative that will push the limits. This is challenging for sure, but also exciting and energizing. This is a place of possibility where ideas can take shape and grow into reality. Things are always changing (in a good way), and there's always an introspective reflection to learn from and improve upon everything we do.

    We're able to find those twists and push those limits thanks to our collaborative nature here. It's always amazing to me the things we come up with as a team, and the ways every contribution makes an approach or a report better. It's liberating to be a part of that process--and to also know that whenever you're stuck or in trouble, you 100% have the support of the people around you.

    VF also cares about your overall career growth, not just your project performance. They put a lot of care into making sure you are on the path you want to be on and have opportunities to grow in ways you want to grow, whether that's within the office or outside training.

    Finally, we work hard here, but the company also cares about your quality of life. And it's just a great group of people to work with! We have fun outside of work, like happy hours and local excursions, and do little things in the office to make things fun like pot lucks, costume competitions, and celebrating big moments' in peoples' lives. Things like that are personally very important to me. With as much time as we devote to our jobs, in my mind it's critical to work with people whom I respect and who make it enjoyable, which is absolutely the case here.

    Cons

    Part of creating custom methodologies and innovation is that you're often doing something no one has done before--which is exciting, but also means that sometimes you're left to feel as though you're shooting in the dark without any real direction or guidance.

    There are also times when the workload gets a bit overwhelming, or certain individuals are taking on much more than others. To an extent, this is part & parcel of market research, and a small firm at that. Even with this con, however, the company also takes it seriously when these moments happen. After a particular rough period, they held internal focus groups to assess workload, work/life balance, and overall morale, and implemented both immediate & long-term changes to help keep a better balance.

    Hard work and dedication are the bare minimum here. I personally don't see this as a con; this is a company full of innovative, driven, passionate people, and it's energizing and motivating to be part of that. But it's something that should be taken into account: if you're looking for a place to work 9-5 and coast through without pushing yourself, fair warning, this is not the place.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to take an introspective look at the company, and an empathetic ear to employees. Continue to keep an eye on workload & resourcing to prevent burnout. Be sure to set a clear vision when approaches are especially exploratory and new. Be careful not to box people in to certain roles or opportunities.


  2. "Quality shop, market research for researchers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Culver City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vital Findings (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Vital Finding has a smart and motivated team who care about research and the market research profession. I feel we’re at the top of our profession, and we have some of the best in the business. Other research companies I've worked for seemed more like a report factory - reports moving down an assembly line with no real line of sight to the end product. However, management here is always pushing for a better end product, and we have a team of designers that makes the work really stand out.

    We seem to get really interesting work, and there’s lots of variation. Clients come to us with their tough business questions so the team is encouraged to try new methodologies, or create new twists on established methodologies. We also seem to get a good mix of qual and qaunt, so there’s always an opportunity to do something new and different. I like that it’s not the same thing over and over again.

    I think the best thing about Vital Finding is we’re really starting to get recognized for our work. I’ve been told multiple times in the past year I’ve delivered the best report or proposal the client has ever seen, so that feels really good. More than one client has voted us their #1 research vendor in 2015, too.

    The pay and benefits are good. I received a bonus every year (3 years), and sometimes double bonus. We’ve also had profit sharing kick in 2 of the last 3 years. We have a peer rewards program where we get cash for being recognized by our peers. Everyone gets recognized, and I’ve bought some nice things with that extra money :)

    Cons

    The first few months were tough for me here because it’s very different from the big box research companies. I was challenged to not be lazy with my research, and to have excellence throughout the process (even in the parts the client probably wouldn’t see). It was honestly challenging, but I’m a better researcher because of it now.

    The hours can be tough, but management has recently instituted flex time and comp time for weekend work – so that helps.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing on building the skills of the team. You’ve got some great development programs, but continuing this will ensure Vital Findings stays top notch.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "WARNING DISASTROUS COMPANY AHEAD"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vital Findings full-time

    Pros

    Good location.
    Decent pay and benefits.
    OK work/life balance for the industry not much better than other market research companies though.

    Cons

    Ok, this company has a bad reputation if you’ve been in the industry you know and it honestly lives up to it! Stay far away even when they offer you more money, you can find better elsewhere!

    Dubious research methods along with other dated procedures, lack of knowledge on software. If you’re an intellectual, you’re looking in the wrong place.

    Don’t be deceived by their initial friendliness, the senior management likes to express their anger openly and shamelessly (occasional slamming doors and passive aggressive comments towards others – not the most comfortable environment to be in) as well as mixing in some condescension and humiliation.

    General bad attitude – talking down about other companies not only makes you unprofessional but clearly insecure.

    The true key to success here is brown nosing, unfortunately merit doesn’t get you far.

    Employees seem to not enjoy working here as there is a very high turnover rate and senior management shows a lack of compassion.

    False advertisement – not as many clients (many are no longer active) as they show on their website.

    Shifting expectations and questionable work ethics.

    Not that important but worth mentioning:
    Office space is tight and you’ll probably be sharing your space with another person or two even at the senior level.
    Outdoor parking.
    Incentivize you to skip your lunch hour

    At the end of the day, the only vital finding you’ll discover is how awful it is to work at Vital Findings.

    Advice to Management

    Unfortunately, I think it's beyond any advice at this point.


  4. "A company made up of intelligent, driven, and creative researchers striving to deliver beautiful, actionable insights."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vital Findings full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Vital Findings brings together top researchers in a collaborative and creative environment unlike any other company I’ve seen. Senior leadership is always open to suggestions from junior members and everyone’s contributions are given equal weight. Decisions are rarely made without team discussion. Vital findings is also a great place to grow one’s career because of this. Frequent and active discussion with senior team members helps junior members to grow in the market research field.

    The projects at Vital Findings are challenging. Many projects entail custom methodologies and entire studies are created from scratch. It’s very exciting as a research to carry a custom project all the way through, though it can lead to late nights. Employees are all motivated to produce high quality, actionable research for clients and don’t let the time stop them from finishing. Vital Findings also has a diverse collection of clients. Because of this, I think one of the best parts about working here is the diversity of your projects. Only researching one thing will become boring, but here my projects span a wide variety of areas, which prevents me from growing bored of one thing.

    Unlike at larger companies, junior members are given tasks outside of their comfort zone. This hands-on learning is unique to Vital Findings, and something I am very grateful for. While it can be challenging it is also extremely rewarding to be able to look back at your accomplishments. I am also interacting with clients more than I could have ever imagined when I began working here. Vital Findings trusts all team members to interact with clients, whether it be through email or in person. This client interaction is invaluable experience that I will take with me through the rest of my career.

    Cons

    Intense projects and many projects going at once can lead to late nights. However, dedication to projects pays off at Vital Findings.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to hire people that fit the Vital Findings culture so we do not lose our small company feel as we continue to grow.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "A Talented and Ambitious Company That Offers Amazing Opportunities to Those Motivated to Succeed"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Culver City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vital Findings full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Vital Findings is a company that caters to motivated individuals. Give, and you shall undoubtedly receive, in ways that other companies would never even consider. VF offers opportunities to advance your career like no other.

    The company is run by a true visionary, one of the smartest and hardest-working people I've ever met. He's a guy who will stop at nothing to deliver the finest, most actionable research possible. And beyond this, he's very kind and generous. He expects you to work hard, and truth be told, you will absolutely have to to make it here. But if you do, I can promise, you shall reap the benefits.

    I also have nothing but high praise to say about the rest of the staff either. They are truly outstanding individuals, both in their personal demeanor as well as their intelligence. I'm very lucky to have crossed paths with them in life.

    In my ~2 years of employment at this company, I can say with utmost certainty that I've never grown more as an individual.

    Cons

    Occasional long hours/weekend work, but other than that, I have no qualms with this company. Employees must be dedicated and hard working.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to be supportive of your staff, while allowing them to exit their comfort zone


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Not worth your time, find something better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vital Findings full-time

    Pros

    Gave me a sense of the industry
    Relaxed office environment
    Good location

    Cons

    Company has a bad reputation
    A lot of better options out there
    Founder takes people who don't know any better because it's their first job


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Exceptional Place to work - consultative, collaborative and FUN!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Vice President in Culver City, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vital Findings full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Pros: amazing leadership, exciting projects, team atmosphere, regular parties/happy hours, personal achievement and job fulfillment.

    Vital Findings is an exceptional place to work. The people are amazing - each hand picked to collaborate well as a team and to be able to function well autonomously. VF does very high level, consultative research engagements with clients. Senior management makes it clear that VF doesn't take just any type of project for the sake of revenue. Hence, the company actually vets the type and kinds of projects and clients it pursues. It's all about building relationships, externally and internally. And that's why VF is in demand.

    A lot of resources are utilized to ensure that the staff is properly engaged and motivated at VF. Regular in-depth performance reviews reveal clearly what employees must do to move to the next level. Continuous recognition and reinforcement programs (peer to peer) mean terrific incentives for every day successes. The culture at VF is all about true teamwork - from the top down. Project teams collaborate and participate in brain storms regularly. People are not pigeon-holed into one client or methodology. There are daily staff meetings to align projects with resources and ensure that staff utilization is appropriate.

    The work is intense, at times, but extremely fulfilling. Some days are long, but all days are rewarding. This is a company that has top people, amazing clients, a team-based culture of quality and a commitment to work-life balance. It is financially solid as a rock and enjoys amazing leadership. The managing director of this company "walks the talk" - he works as hard as anyone at VF and he is the first to pitch in when a hand is needed. He is also a superb, visionary leader with great plans to continue the growth of this company. My personal motto at VF - Work hard, have fun, and GROW!

    Cons

    Cons: like any other excellent research firm, days on deadline can be long, Vital Findings is growing fast but is extremely selective when choosing new personnel

    Advice to Management

    As the company grows, keep the same unique culture. The skies the limit for Vital Findings!

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Smart, hardworking employees, great mentorship and commitment to individual growth."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vital Findings full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Vital Findings is a great company to work for and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to apply or has been offered a position.

    The atmosphere of the office is creative, hardworking, smart and fun. You start to feel like a family as you work here and Jason (the owner) is committed to making the market research industry better. The team is very supportive of individual market research goals and everyone has a strong commitment to great research that is high quality and actionable. Jason has a long history with market research and enjoys teaching from his experience and being involved in the projects. If you are tired of doing templated market research and want to add some problem solving and creativity to your work, Vital Findings is a great company to work for!

    Cons

    There are some late evenings, but this comes with the territory of working in market research. Vital Findings is not shy about the fact that the market research industry is not a 9-5 job, yet the management also takes work/life balance strongly into consideration. Since I’ve been here, the managers have done everything they can to even out the workload through hiring freelancers and even slowing down sales outreach (I’ve never heard of this in any other company I’ve ever worked with) during really busy times.

    Advice to Management

    The Caught in the Act program is great, keep it up!


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Run--Don't walk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Vital Findings full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Many of the people that work there are nice. The pay is alright--though there are some huge discrepancies within the pay bands for each title.

    Cons

    This company is trying to box well above its weight and it simply fails to accomplish its goals. Unfortunately, a lot prospective employees are fooled into believing that this company is something that it is not. The website and even the meeting room in which they interview candidates share photos and graphics of exciting research projects (done years ago and largely outsourced)--types of projects and research they don't do anymore.

    Plain and simple: It's all just...smoke.

    The Practicals:
    The management has a condescending attitude and often puts employees down.
    Workloads are poorly managed.
    Turnover is extraordinarily high.
    There is very little difference in the skill/experience levels between the upper management employees and the lower level employees, so the reporting structure is a joke

    Advice to Management

    Take a look at other start-ups. See how they organize and treat their employees with respect.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Great perks but no growth opportunities and management style is dictatorial"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Culver City, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Culver City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Vital Findings full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I have worked at other market research companies and the hours are long. Not so at Vital Findings. Schedules are flexible and lunches are free. Cool location in Culver City so you are close to great movie theaters, restaurants and with short hours, every night is an opportunity for happy hour at a Culver City watering hole.

    Cons

    Management is dictatorial-style and unfriendly. There has been a lot of turnover since I started here. More people have left than actually work here. The daily office atmosphere is very tense which makes escaping to happy hour all the more necessary. I think the hours are short because there are not as many clients as management states there are on the website.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to trust your employees and stop being so oppressive and imperious in the way you manage. It's no fun going to work and worrying all day if you are going to be humiliated in front of your co-workers.


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