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Kenway Consulting

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Vault’s Verdict

Kenway Consulting offers a work environment appreciated for its flexibility, engaging projects, and more than fair compensation. Insiders enjoy working with talented colleagues and appreciate the firm's focus on maintaining work-life balance. 

The firm's culture is marked by a strong focus on doing what is right, with guiding principles steering every action. This ethos fosters a supportive and ethical work environment. Consultants at Kenway are encouraged to take ownership of their career paths, with the firm valuing entrepreneurial spirit and individuality. The freedom to shape one’s work schedule and project choices contributes to a positive quality of life, though this can lead to variability in weekly workloads.

Compensation at Kenway is tied to the value of work performed, offering the potential for high bonuses based on individual performance. The firm's approach to career development is merit-based, allowing for fast progression for those who demonstrate capability and commitment. If that sounds like you, Kenway is well worth checking out.

Firm Culture

“A challenging job that is enjoyed due to dedicated colleagues, more than fair compensation, and great client relationships.”

“Great company culture that aids you to be the best that you can be while providing the clients with the right skills at the right time.”

“Kenway is a firm in which people succeed if they're willing to go above and beyond. If you do, it will absolutely be recognized, and you will absolutely be rewarded, both monetarily and with greater responsibilities. If, however, your goal isn't narrowly to climb the metaphorical corporate ladder, there's room for you as well. So long as an employee's value exceeds their cost, they may pursue any path they would like within the organization, and continually set professional goals that align with their interests, capabilities, and stages in life.”

“They truly do treat each individual uniquely, guiding principles are front and center and examples of the mission statement can be witnessed every day.”

“We are in the business of focusing on the means over the outcomes. We have turned down work because the data tells us it may not be the best fit for the client and/or Kenway.”

Quality of Life

“Employees are given the opportunity to specify their desired work week and Kenway will staff based on that desire.”

“Every year, Kenway solicits feedback from every individual employee for him/her to select the number of total hours they would like to work in the upcoming fiscal year, inclusive of a breakdown by client vs. internal hours (which includes operational functions, strategic internal projects, and business development, among other activities). During this time, Kenway employees also provide their desired level of PTO for the upcoming year. On average, Kenway employees work 45 hours/week and take 6 weeks of PTO, a very balanced mix.

Considering the ‘employer’ hat, Kenway leadership will not approve all employees' requests, but they will be taken into account during the decision-making process. Kenway employees also retain a great deal of autonomy in the management of their hours. So long as they are responsible, disciplined, and manage their time professionally, management will not dictate nor question how an employee is spending their time (that said, since billable hours are our only source of revenue, staffing is a constant topic of discussion throughout the organization).

The primary downside to this structure is that employees can experience variability in their weekly forecasts. For example, if an employee works a few ‘slow’ weeks, they are expected to make it up incrementally and work a few ‘heavier’ weeks to meet their overall commitments. This is not an issue for employees who responsibly manage their time.”

“Phenomenal focus on quality of life, employees are encouraged to work with the company to determine how many hours they would like to work so that each employee can find their own perfect balance. Expectations are very realistic for consulting.”

“We have the opportunity to specify the hours we work and the vacation that we take. We are compensated accordingly, as is fair, but are in control of the time we spend at work.”

Compensation

“Bonuses are very high and are determined by individual performance.”

“Employees are paid based on the value of the work they have performed regardless of tenure.”

“In line with Kenway's Guiding Principle of treating all individuals uniquely, Kenway's compensation package is highly tailored to each individual employee and, as a result, is so unique that we consider it proprietary. We employ a Value-Minus-Cost compensation methodology. Every year, considering a passel of quantitative and qualitative factors, an employee's individual cost AND expense is calculated. The difference is then paid as a bonus to the employee throughout the year as quarterly bonuses, with our end-of-year bonus generally being considerably larger than the intra-year bonuses.

To illustrate, if an employee's total annual value is calculated to be $150,000 (considering quantity and quality of  billable hours, quality of feedback provided during our performance evaluation season, quantity and quality of business development activity, etc.) and their total annual cost is calculated to be $100,000 (considering their salary, retirement benefits, health benefits, amount of oversight required by management, etc.), then the difference of $50,000 will be paid to them in the form of a performance bonus. Performance is measured intra-year and, as a result, employees will often receive intra-year bonus amounts, but smaller than their end-of-year bonus once employee and company performance is fully understood.”

“My base salary is very low compared to my level of experience and responsibilities. Bonus usually match it up, but a negative economy landscape is not beneficial to me.”

“Salary is very strong for college-hires in this industry. Salary progression is not explained to consultants, at least in the early stages, but assume that it is also well above market. Bonuses have been high in past years but yet to be see how they will play out this year.”

Career Development

“Best aspect is that promotions are genuinely merit based and do not fall along a strictly defined timeline.”

“Kenway allows employees to develop very quickly, almost too quickly (i.e., people are in roles they are unqualified for/not experienced enough for). I think it would be helpful if they implement a years of experience caveat into their various role descriptions. The years could be a nice to have versus a must-have so that there is always wiggle room for great candidates but could help re-set employee expectations.”

“Kenway is a company focused on defining and guiding each individual person through their own personal career path. They are very encouraging towards each employee to seek out what they are interested in and their own strengths and forge their own future.”

“One of Kenway's guiding principles is around entrepreneurial spirit, so if you take active control of your career, Kenway's career development opportunities are second to none. I started my career at a much larger consulting company, and the career development was very ‘cookie cutter’ and not unique to me and my passions. At Kenway, I have access to both formal and informal training opportunities and can craft my own unique plan. Further, I have had access to many different learning and leadership opportunities far earlier in my career at Kenway compared to other firms I've worked at and heard about.”

“Various cohorts are set up to support promotion activities (preparing to be in that next higher role) and training opportunities (such as business development). This allows for focused time and conversation for these areas.”

Community Engagement

“At Kenway, one of our guiding principles is to treat each individual uniquely, which we live day in and day out. With this guiding principle as a foundation, all DEI efforts fall into place making Kenway a diverse and inclusive place to work.”

“I feel Kenway has hiring practices that promote diversity and is great about providing equal opportunity to all employees.” 

“Kenway offers equal access to work based on employee skillsets and fosters an environment for employees to gain skills so that they can work in other areas if desired.”

“Our employees went through DE&I formal training a few years ago which we have indoctrinated into our culture. Since we have a guiding principle to treat every individual uniquely, Kenway makes sure all employees have the same access to training, challenging work, and equal opportunity for promotions and compensation.”

“Over 50% of executives/leadership are women at Kenway, which is great for the consulting and especially IT consulting industry. International hiring and hiring in regards to ethnicity is also a very strong point of Kenway, very equal opportunity.”

Business Outlook

“2023 has been a rough year from a macroeconomic perspective with our whole industry suffering. However, we run a tight ship and have invested in high growth areas positioning us well to grow rapidly, just as we have historically.”

“Despite the difficulties of the market in those days, Kenway is innovating and empowering employees with trainings and certifications on the latest market trends.”

“In the past year, Kenway has added a new service for Contact Center Solutions, playing off of Kenway's extensive experience working with telecommuncations clients. Based on economic impacts seen in 2023, Kenway fostered an environment to look for new client opportunities and build new skillsets along with allowing employees to improve on their skillsets.”

“Kenway had never experienced a year of revenue decline until 2020, even through 2008 and the years that followed. As we've grown, we've become more susceptible to the whims of the market. As such, we're experiencing an outlook similar to other consulting organizations through the first half of next year (to put it bluntly, relatively bleak). However, morale remains very high. Engagement and happiness are at all-time highs as a result of the time and effort Kenway has invested in our employees' career development during this period of low demand. We have been able to accelerate our development of competitive and innovative offerings, in addition to restructuring our go-to-market capabilities, invest in training, reorganize and refocus our business development leadership roles, etc., all of which I believe position us very well to thrive for many years to come.”

“The worst aspect of our outlook is the same in any economic cycle, we are dependent on our clients having budgets so we can help them (i.e., consulting). The best aspects are our business developers finding new prospects and our internal dedication to continuing to learn new topics, skills, and technologies that we can bring to our clients in the ever changing and evolutionary landscape that is IT consulting.”

Hiring Process

“Following a candidate's submission, their application is screened and, if it passes the screening process, the candidate will be invited for a 30-min screening phone interview. Following the phone interview, the candidate will be invited to a three-part series of one-hour interviews, focusing on the candidate's experience/skills, behaviors/values, and response to the case study. If the position being recruited is a specialized or senior position, we will then hold a single final interview with 1-2 Kenway consultants to validate the employee meets the requirements of the position.”

“If an employee does not make it to a particular round in the interview process, they are normally notified of the decision within 3 business days. Above all else, our firm is seeking candidates with a commitment to doing what is right (e.g., behaving with integrity and focusing on means over outcomes). He/she must meet the technical and functional requirements of the position being filled, of course, but we are deeply focused on ensuring all who are hired to Kenway have a great deal of integrity, accountability, and morality.”

“I think the ideal candidate is someone who is reliable, even if they do not have the requisite skills to perform the job. We take the view that we can train people on the things they need to know. But we cannot teach personality.”

“Our candidates go through a skills interview, behavioral/culture interview, a case study, and then a confirming interview (call back). We've found that going through these potential four steps is enough, but not too much (i.e., 6 rounds of interviews, etc.) provides enough scrutiny to make an informed decision.”

“We are looking for candidates who are a cultural fit, are intelligent, have a growth mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit.”  

Interview Questions

“Behavioral questions, consulting use case.”

“Cultural: What is your definition of a good leader? How to you define success at the client? Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or guide others to a compromise. What do you do in a scenario where you have more than you can handle. 


Technical: What are some of the tools and/or techniques you use during data modeling? Are you familiar with any Financial institutions data frameworks - if so, describe? What are the 3 types of model and how are they used?

Generic: Networking and internal work is part of what we do at Kenway. How would you approach that?”

“The case study asks the candidate to do a review of a project portfolio and develop a process for prioritization.”

“We currently have one case study that was developed in-house. We intend to diversify our case studies in the years to come, given the existing case study is slanted toward project management, which represents a fraction of our go-to-market offerings.

The case study is scenario-based client example, in which a sample problem is shared with the interviewee, the interviewee is asked to develop an approach for the problem, then the interviewee is expected to present his/her approach to the interviewer as if he/she were a Kenway consultant, and the interviewer were the client. The interviewee is given time during the interview to build an electronic presentation, which is then presented. This interview comprises one step in a series of 3-5 interviews depending on the candidate and position.”

Kenway Consulting

200 N. LaSalle Street
#1850
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (888) 953-6929

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
CEO: Matt Kueker
COO: Amy Wilkins
2024 Employees (All Locations): 75

Major Office Locations

Chicago, IL (HQ)
Charlotte, NC
Madrid, Spain

Major Departments & Practices

Core Capabilities: Technology Solution Delivery, Enterprise Program Leadership, Information Insight

Industries: B2B / Distribution, Financial Services, Healthcare, Telecommunications, 

Practices: Salesforce, Modern Data, Contact Center Solutions, Agile