POV: AV Compensation and Benefits Rise in 2008
Aug 1, 2008 12:00 PM,
By Mark K. Baehr, CTS, PRC
InfoComm Market Research has released its 2008 Compensation & Benefits Survey. This marks the seventh such report released by InfoComm since 1998, and it brings into focus current industry-wide compensation and benefits practices. It also examines leading trends that are impacting this critically important area. InfoComm surveyed professionals representing more than 25 AV industry job titles at more than 160 companies — a total of nearly 5,400 audiovisual industry professionals.
The 2008 Compensation and Benefits Survey reflects a positive outlook for the AV industry. Seventy-five percent of respondents report an increase in gross revenue from 2006 to 2007, and 80 percent expect to see 2008 numbers surpass those for 2007. Staff turnover rates since the 2006 survey have increased slightly from 6 percent to 7.7 percent, with a majority of smaller companies reporting no staff turnover and larger companies having median staff turnover rates of about 10 percent.
More promising is the trend of staff upsizing. More than 58 percent of companies report having increased the number of employees in 2007. Nearly 70 percent of reporting companies expect to hire more staff in 2008. On average, companies expect to grow their workforce by about 6 percent in 2008.
These findings represent the strength of the AV industry, despite difficult economic conditions in North America. Responses for this survey were collected in February and March of 2008 — during a time many would call an unofficial recession.
An interesting trend can be seen when reviewing the primary sales functions of the respondents over the last 10 years. Based on reporting trends since the 1998 survey, there has been a decline in the rental and staging services as the primary function of the company. In 1998, nearly 50 percent cited rental and staging services as their primary function. In the 2008 survery, only a litte more than 25 percent cite rental and staging as their primary function. This decline has been occurring at a steady pace since the original survey. This is most likely due to many rental and staging companies diversifying their business and expanding into other areas of AV such as systems integration, which 53 percent of respondents listed as their primary revenue source.
Nearly half of the respondents reported that their salespeople have sales quotas, with larger companies more likely to have quotas for their staff. Looking at the quotas as a percentage of revenue seemed the most relevant, and the typical company sets sales quotas at a little more than 13 percent of total revenue. Surprisingly, 56 percent of respondents say they plan on increasing the annual quotas for 2008, with the average quota rising by 25 percent.
This report can be used by every AV company to compare its staffing situation and benefits to ensure that competitive rates and benefits are being offered to retain and attract the best talent. Each position lists not only overall averages, but also averages based on location, company size (by revenue and employee), population, and company focus. The list of benefits offered is also broken out as an average and based upon size.
For more information or to purchase your copy of the report, visit www.infocomm.org/marketresearch.
Mary K. Baehr, CTS, PRC, is a senior market research analyst at InfoComm International, the trade association representing the professional audio-visual industry.