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Resources Connection, inc (RGP) Q1 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

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RGP earnings call for the period ending August 28, 2021.

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Resources Connection, inc (RGP -1.25%)
Q1 2022 Earnings Call
Oct 6, 2021, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Resources Connection Inc. Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we'll conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this call is being recorded. At this time, I'd like to remind everyone that management will be commenting on results for the first quarter ended August 2021. They will also refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures. An explanation and reconciliation of these measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures is included in the press release issued today. Today's press release can be viewed in the Investor Relations section of RGP's website and was also filed today with the SEC.

Also during this call, management may make forward-looking statements regarding plans, initiatives, and strategies, and the anticipated financial performance of the Company. Predictions and actual events or results may differ materially. Please see the Risk Factors section in the RGP's report on Form 10-K for the year ended May 28, 2021 for a discussion of risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause the Company's business, results of operations, and financial condition to differ materially from what is expressed or implied by forward-looking statements made during this call.

I'll now turn the call over to RGP's CEO.

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Kate Duchene -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, operator. Welcome to our Q1 earnings call and thank you for joining us today. I'll cover three topics, starting with a quick review of our strong first quarter performance. I'll then discuss progress against our digital agenda followed by comments relevant to macro trends and original research we just completed within our current and target client base.

On our Q4 call, we previewed stronger growth coming in Q1 and it did. Revenue was the highest achieved in over 10 years during the fiscal first quarter and at a $183.1 million exceeded our guidance and represented 25% growth year-over-year. We also grew sequentially by 8.5%. We're pleased by the strength across many markets and industry verticals, driven by sustained improvement in operational execution and delivery, and macro trends such as workforce agility and digital transformation. Revenue in every major market was up double-digits and our strategic client accounts delivered 26% growth. Disciplined account planning and client centricity are paying dividends.

Adjusted EBITDA performance is a further highlight from Q1 results. As we expected, adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 12.2%, up 530 basis points from first quarter last year. This accomplishment is a result of operating with an improved fixed cost structure and strong gross margin performance. We've worked hard to increase the profitability of the business by achieving top line growth, lowering headcount and real estate expense and driving efficiency with technology and digital tools. We'll continue to do so.

We're also focused on pricing the value and increasing bill rates appropriately. Consistent with our fiscal-year goal, this is the second quarter in a row, we've achieved 12% plus adjusted EBITDA margin. The management team set this trajectory when we began working together three years ago. While COVID sidetracked our progress as clients put new projects on hold for a time, we have more than fully recovered to exceed Q1 fiscal '19 levels and remain optimistic about to pass forward.

This optimism is fueled by two fundamental macro trends. The first centers on digital transformation, both internally and throughout our client base. The second is a tangible and meaningful shift toward organizational agility and specifically how work gets done. This trend equally impacts client strategy and talent preference. As I've shared many times, RGP's digital transformation is both internal and external. First, we are transforming how we deliver our services to clients and our gig opportunities to consultants through digital transformation initiatives. The best current example of this effort is HUGO, our soon to be launched digital engagement platform to allow clients and talent to interact through a self-service marketplace for finance and accounting talent.

Our differentiator is launching a technology platform with the trust, quality and high-touch experience of RGP and safety net of employment benefits in community, which we believe professional talent wants. As evidenced by discussion and research shared at the SIA Conference on collaboration in the gig economy. Platforms are coming to all corners of this industry. While we've seen such marketplaces like Aya Healthcare, Upwork and JobStack for nursing creative coding light industrial and hospitality gig work. We've not seen a dominant player in the professional gig arena. We intend to be the dominant player for knowledge workers engaging with enterprise business.

I'm very pleased to share that HUGO will go live the week of October 18th in the Tri-State market of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We're launching with a pilot for a designated set of clients and finance and accounting rules. The team is ready, the product is ready for MVP launch and we believe the macro environment is now conducive. Following our launch in Tri-State, we will extend the capabilities to the Dallas market and in Northern California within the next fiscal year.

We'd hope to share more about the functionality of the product during an in-person Investor Day at Nasdaq on October 13th. However, given continued restrictions at NASDAQ due to the COVID delta variant, we've decided to move the Investor Day to April 12, 2022. We look forward to engaging in person in sharing client experience with HUGO at that time.

Externally, the trend toward digital transformation in our client base continues to accelerate. We added Veracity's capabilities to our suite of services at just the right time two years ago. Clients continue to fund the projects to digitize core processes for automation and collaboration and create digital tools to drive growth, the need to expand our client base from healthcare providers to technology to big pharma. We know this concrete shifting corporate priorities is real as Veracity grew by an impressive 45% year-over-year with nice growth in revenue and pipeline coming from RGP's core client base. Please review our updated investor deck for new case studies and further color around Veracity's project work.

As an important tailwind for our business, the macro trends creating today's opportunity-rich environment come from both the demand and supply side. These trends have been confirmed by original research we recently gathered from our current and target client base. We will be releasing the human agility research this month prominently on our website as it confirms how post pandemic behaviors favorable to our business model are here to stay. On the demand side, clients are committed to operating in a different paradigm with agility at the core. This means companies are building more distributed leadership, nimble finances and new workforce strategy centered on agile talent.

We're increasingly engaged with clients who want RGP formally on the org chart as a talent provider to match critical project based skill set to business imperatives. Decisions can then be made throughout the business to achieve speed and resiliency. On the talent side, our research confirms that control, choice and diversity of experience matter more in a changed world. Where to work, when to work and on what to work are increasingly vital considerations for professionals. Talent also wants to align with organization on shared values, empathy and flexibility. Our business model beautifully meets the preferences of today's modern professional. While other firms are facing the harsh realities of the great resignation, we are increasingly an employer of choice.

In closing, I want to express my enthusiasm about a new executive appointment we announced this week. Bhadresh Patel, has been named, our new Chief Digital Officer effective immediately. As the CEO of Veracity, Bhadresh has been consulting on our digital and technology transformation efforts informally. We're now ready to formalize his role and remit. During the next year, he will stay close to Veracity sales and strategy, while developing his leadership role of our enterprise digital roadmap, priorities and alignment. We're delighted to welcome him into the C-suite and further bond Veracity and RGP as we pursue digital transformation work in all corners of the business.

I'll now turn the call over to Tim for an update on operations.

Tim Brackney -- President and Chief Operating Officer

Thank you, Kate and good afternoon, everyone. During the first quarter, we saw continued strong progress in our revenue and operating metrics despite pandemic flare ups and vacation effect, typical of the summer months. Larger deal size and longer project durations exemplified the commercial environment as clients continue to take on significant and transformational initiatives. The momentum noted at the end of Q4 relative to revenue and pipeline continue. Enterprise revenue increased by 25% over prior year quarter and 8.5% sequentially, while top of the funnel activity was strong, leading to increases in qualified opportunity and ultimately to the highest level of closed deals since 2019.

Revenue growth and pipeline strength was consistent across our core business in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, [Indecipherable]. Operational effectiveness, strengthening economy and macroeconomic trends favoring co-delivery provide a powerful combination for growth. As Kate noted, our first quarter results exceeded the high end of our revenue guidance. We have seen growth in both project staffing and professional consulting that is part of a broader market shift away from a fixed traditional workforce to a more liquid workforce that can be marshalled quickly and molded instantly in the fit for purpose solutions.

As companies start new initiatives or resume and accelerate existing model, utilization of agile total liberate is becoming a potent force. Clients are prioritizing flexibility and labor is demanding it. While elements of this dynamic started before the outset of COVID, the last 18 months have provided a significant and meaningful acceleration, leading to a palpable tightening of the traditional labor market and a higher reliance on more fluid workforce solutions. We continue to see more candidates seeking non-traditional employment and have seen declines in attrition rates and increases in hiring in our variable employee base over the last three quarters.

As opportunities rise, project durations lengthen and the ability to work unconstrained by locality becomes more prevalent. We are seeing more talent attracted to our platform. We continue to work seamlessly as one RGP providing a diverse portfolio of experience for our consultants and demonstrating the durability and employment opportunities for new entrants. While we recognize that a tight labor market could impact us more broadly in the future, we believe that as more professional successor career objectives and opt for more flexible work, our ability to offer a blue chip client roster, career control, borderless delivery and professional community will continue to be an attractive proposition for a more mobile workforce.

As an example, a new West Coast consulted one of an opportunity to lead strategic projects as the traditional role was not providing challenge in growth opportunities. He chose to come to RGP as a project lead for one of our premier healthcare client. His positive experience with us proved to be the impetus to refer his sister to RGP. He wasn't doing a reorganization and felt like her current employer have misaligned values from her own. After hearing about RGP's modeling culture, she came aboard and is now also working remotely in project management transformation at another healthcare client.

Over time, we see workforce desires and our ability to meet them leading to more employment stickiness RGP and an upward trend to our existing tenure of approximately three years, which is a strong statistic given industry trends and our flexible employment model. While we feel that general workforce shifts are already favorable to our model, we will continue to focus on operational discipline and providing an excellent consulting experience. As we've noted in previous quarters, a hybrid return to work continues with companies embracing distributed employee bases and utilizing a blend of on-site and virtual teams to drive projects. This shift is very much in line with RGP's value proposition, fasting the right composition skillset within team to deliver successful outcomes.

In fact, the blend of on-prem and off-site resources allows for better matching of supply and demand and improved operational efficiency when responding to client opportunity. The pandemic has educated the market about the virtues of remote delivery and a tight labor market with distributed workforces means that hybrid and modular resources is likely a permanent shift. We see some increased calls for on-prem engagements, but significantly less requiring a full time on-site presence, as most companies are utilizing a hybrid workforce themselves and are comfortable engaging with us in the same manner.

As an example, we are currently engaged with a technology company that is working on a number of initiatives concurrently as the rapid growth has begun to strain their infrastructure. They recognized early on that the scope of work contemplated would require a high reliance on external talent to help deliver the desired outcome. Noting the difficulty attracting traditional employees and recognizing the competition for variable resources, they made a significant commitment to [Indecipherable] RGP talent knowing they have both immediate and future gaps to fill. Our team will work on-prem and remotely as required and we'll do staff for multiple locations. We are in discussions with other clients who are interested in ensuring they have access to captive talent pool for immediate and future initiatives.

Now let me turn back to our first quarter operations. During the quarter, we saw continued strength in pipeline and top of the funnel activity. Average weekly revenue grew by approximately 4% from the first weeks of the quarter to the last. In fact, average daily revenue rate ended the quarter at the highest they've been since FY '19 and pipeline and book revenue continue to demonstrate pre-pandemic vertices. The majority of markets demonstrated growth over prior year quarter, while several markets strategic client account, healthcare, Veracity and [Indecipherable] demonstrated growth both sequentially and over prior year quarter.

Lead Generation and opportunity identification continue to be strong in the Q2 of clients grappled with the pace of change coupled with a tight labor market. The early weeks of Q2 have shown a strong continuation of positive trends in both revenue and pipeline. In fact, the early quarter revenue trends are some of the highest we've seen since 2019. Well, the holiday starting this quarter, we don't expect to be in inordinately impacted. Revenue expansion is the core objective. However, we continue to target profitable growth and increased operational leverage.

As in prior quarters, in Q1, we've continue to make strides in controlling fixed costs and focusing on efficiency, yielding an over 500 basis point improvement in enterprise EBITDA margin. We understand the importance of in-person meetings and we're not shy away from face-to-face interaction. However, the lessons learned during the last 18 months stay with us as we transition into a new normal. To that end, we will continue to sell, deliver and operate in a more hybrid fashion, look for opportunities to reduce real estate and utilize technology to extend and strengthen the experience of our clients and consultants and our quest to increase shareholder value.

I will now turn the call over to Jenn for a more detailed review of our first quarter results.

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Tim, and good afternoon everyone. During the first quarter, continued rise in demand coupled with successful go-to-market execution fueled substantial growth in revenue, reaching the highest level in any first quarter in the last 10 years. We also improved average bill rate, driving above guidance gross margin. Furthermore, we remain disciplined in SG&A spends, increasing leverage significantly and enabling us to deliver $22.4 million of adjusted EBITDA or a 12.2% adjusted EBITDA margin, which is also the highest margin in any first quarter in the last decade.

Now, let me provide more color on our operating results, starting with revenue. With quarterly revenue of $183.1 million, we well exceeded the high end of our revenue guidance of $177 million. After adjusting for business day and currency impact, Q1 revenue represents growth of 25% year-over-year and 5% and 2% over the pre-pandemic first quarter periods of fiscal '20 and '19 respectively. In addition, notwithstanding summer vacation impact, our performance in Q1 exceeded the sequential quarter by 8.5% on a same-day constant currency basis.

Revenue growth in the first quarter was across most of our core markets, key client accounts, solution areas, as well as industry. Strategic client accounts grew 26% year-over-year and 9% sequentially. In addition, macro trends accelerated by the pandemic, including increased use of contingent talent and a shift toward a more agile workforce model, continue to be a tailwind in driving top line growth. Professional Staffing revenue grew 36% year-over-year and 8% sequentially.

In North America, revenue improved 28% year-over-year and 11% sequentially on a same-day constant currency basis. Most core markets in North America experienced double-digit growth year-over-year with Tri-State and California leading the growth at 41% and 30%. In addition, Veracity grew 45% year-over-year, which continues to evidence increased demand in projects that enhance employee experience through digitization and automation of processes, a trend we believe is likely permanent.

Europe continue to perform well, achieving 10% growth compared to the first quarter of fiscal '21 on a same-day constant currency basis. Excluding revenues from markets we exited as part of the restructuring initiatives, year-over-year revenue growth was 18%. Sequentially, revenue was down 7% in Europe due to more summer vacation taken in the first fiscal quarter and relatively stable performance in Q1 of last year. Asia-Pac also experienced broad-based expansion in revenue across most markets. First quarter revenue grew 17% year-over-year and 8% sequentially on a same-day constant currency basis. Gross margin in the first quarter was essentially flat to prior year, 39% compared to 39.3% a year ago.

We effectively elevated our average bill rate and held pay-bill ratio flat from last year. There was one additional holiday in the U.S. and the impact in heavier summer vacation as COVID related restrictions eased in some parts of the world. Compared to the fourth quarter, we improved our pay-bill ratio by 70 basis points as a result of achieving higher average bill rates. The tight labor market has not yet had a significant impact on our pay rate. However, we intend to be a step ahead of any impending rise in pay rates by pricing our engagements market appropriately. e continue to see opportunities to achieve higher bill rates across several solution set, including digital transformation services.

Emerging from our restructuring initiatives and positioned with a more nimble cost structure, run rate. SG&A expenses for the quarter were $49.4 million after excluding non-cash stock compensation, contingent consideration expense and restructuring charges, representing 27% of revenue, a 570 basis point improvement compared to the same period a year ago.

Now turning to the other components of our financial statements. Effective tax rate was 29% compared to 46% in the prior year quarter. The improvement in effective tax rate resulted primarily from better operating results in the European entities, enabling us to utilize the benefit from historical NOLs. We expect the improved profitability in Europe will continue to cause future effective tax rate to be more favorable. Adjusted diluted EPS for Q1 rose significantly to $0.43 per share compared to $0.14 in Q1 of fiscal '21. We generated positive cash flow from operations in the first quarter, which is typically cash flow negative due to our annual bonus payout. Our balance sheet remained strong and we paid down an additional $10 million of outstanding debt under our credit facility in the first quarter.

As we look ahead, assuming the macro environment remain stable, we plan to invest in new ERP and talent management systems and will allow us to achieve more efficiency in our back office operations and position us to scale, as we continue to grow our topline. As a result, the capex is expected to be elevated beginning in the second half of the fiscal year. We're currently assessing the [Indecipherable] cost of such investment. We regularly evaluate our capital allocation strategy taking a balanced approach between investing in the business and returning value to our shareholders through a combination of dividends and share buyback.

At the end of Q1, $85 million remained available under our share buyback program. I'll close with our second quarter outlook. We remain optimistic and anticipate continued growth in the business. Revenue in Q2 is expected to be in a range of $1.86 million to $190 million, which at the high end of the range would be an estimated 24% increase compared to Q2 of last year. We expect gross margin to be within the range of 38% to 38.5%, reflecting the impact of Thanksgiving holidays in the U.S. We expect run rate SG&A to be in the range of $50 million to $53 million.

Now, we're happy to take questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Andrew Steinerman of J. P. Morgan. Your line is open.

Andrew Steinerman -- J. P. Morgan -- Analyst

Just one quick clarification and then a question. So Jenn, what did you just mean when you said $50 million to $53 million of run rate, SG&A. Do you mean. SG&A for the quarter. I just didn't know what SG&A run rate meant? My other question is about HUGO in the launch. How much is this going to affect SG&A and when do you feel like HUGO could be contributory to revenues and profits?

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure. Hi, Andrew. When I talk about run rate SG&A, I'm really talking about SG&A, excluding stock compensation, restructuring costs and contingent consideration. So SG&A that is part of our run rate business that's what I meant by that.

Andrew Steinerman -- J. P. Morgan -- Analyst

Got it.

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

$50 million to $53 million. Yes.

Andrew Steinerman -- J. P. Morgan -- Analyst

Okay. And then about HUGO.

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

And with respect to HUGO. Yes, with respect to HUGO. So after we launch HUGO in the next couple of weeks, We do expect level of capitalization to decrease. So, it is going to add additional SG&A to our results If you think about the rest of the year. From a -- I think that we're going to start to see return with respect to HUGO, but I think that it's still too early to really predict what that revenue is going to look like until we pilot this in the Tri-State area.

Andrew Steinerman -- J. P. Morgan -- Analyst

And just to be clear that $50 million to $53 million of run rate SG&A includes the HUGO launch right?

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

That's right, yes.

Andrew Steinerman -- J. P. Morgan -- Analyst

Okay. Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Mark Marcon of Baird. Your line is open.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Hey, good afternoon everybody. I'm wondering, first of all, nice job on the quarter, nice to see. Can you talk a little bit about Veracity, obviously was up quite strongly. Can you remind us how big veracity is?

Kate Duchene -- Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Hi Mark, Veracity is roughly about 5% of our overall enterprise -- their revenue is about 5% of our overall enterprise revenue currently.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Great. And then it sounds like across North America, you ended up seeing really strong growth, particularly strong growth in the Tri-State area of over 40%. To what extent do you think it's being driven in part by increased deal flow, deal activity, whether it's IPOs, SPACs or private equity transactions?

Tim Brackney -- President and Chief Operating Officer

Hey Mark, it's Tim. I think first of all, Tri-State, yes, we're really excited about Tri-State and a number of other markets in our core that grew this quarter. I think broadly, we're seeing some tailwind from the transaction deal flow, particularly related to M&A and some SPAC stuff and some probably more SPAC activity in the end of the fourth quarter, in the early part of the summer and then it's sort of tailed off a little bit, but that doesn't mean that transactions themselves, I mean, there's all kinds of things going on.

I tried to stay participated in that a fair amount as well, but I think a lot of it kind of comes down to sort of work that's been done over the last three or four quarters. We have a new leader in place and a new team. And they've been doing a lot of work relative to penetration generally and is back into the financial services market and to diversify outside of it. So, while I think that some of the transaction stuff contributed to it wasn't solely due to that.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Great. And then can you talk a little bit about what your expectations are with regards to pricing on a go-forward basis? You mentioned that you're going to be a little bit more proactive and obviously it's a tight labor market and we're seeing all sorts of signs of wage inflation. So, how should we think about bill rates on a go forward basis?

Tim Brackney -- President and Chief Operating Officer

Mark, I think the bill rates is real upside for our business. And I've said this, the last couple of quarters and we've made I think some incremental progress relative to our pricing discipline. But it's a real push for us. So, in the back half of this year, I expect us to be able to extend pricing. Some of it is for incumbent engagement, but It's difficult to do that. So, what we're really focusing on are new engagements and also winding back any pricing arrangements that we had put in place for COVID, but we -- I think I've said for a long time, we -- it's an opportunity for us. We need to price to market more and when you think about tight labor market. It's -- this is a right time for us to be able to push through some of those increases and we're doing that proactively.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

And how much do you think you could end up pushing through? And it would seem like almost everybody would be accepting of higher bill rates. So how much can you push through, do you think? It's kind of a tricky question, I mean, it's hard to speculate on that because this client is a little bit different and let me just state for the record that there is no client that's receptive anytime for a price increase if they don't have to take it. So, I think what you're driving out of the circumstances, I think people understand that it's a tight labor market and that we have a good product. And so they're more receptive to than they might otherwise be, but they're not. It still requires some delicate negotiations. So it's hard to give you an order of magnitude but I do think that we have an opportunity here to push the -- push our prices up a few percentage points. Okay and Jenn I was -- in terms of the revenue guidance, can you talk a little bit about that with regards to for the second quarter. If we take a look at the historical trend between Q1 to Q2, it seems like you might be being a little conservative. Just trying to get a little bit of a feel there, just in terms of what the normal sequential pattern is. I recognize you're coming off the strongest first quarter you've had in 10 years and so it might be hard to forecast off of that or maybe you're expecting some normalization, not sure exactly what the driver is.

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. I mean we're -- compared to sequentially, we're up about 6%. And we do have Thanksgiving holidays in Q2 and given that the world is opening up quite a bit right now, we did build in a little bit of conservatism in there, just not really fully grasping what the holiday impact is going to be. So that's one area and also given we talk a lot about the labor market being tight, so if it continues to get much worse which also starts to affect our growth a little bit. So those are kind of the two factors contributing to perhaps maybe and not as much of a sequential increase as we have done historically.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Great. And then you did a really nice job in terms of managing SG&A, you talked about the capex, but just wondering also you took down management compensation, so you had some contribution there. I'm wondering how much you could frame as being -- when we take a look at the expense reductions ex what you talked about in terms of some increases in SG&A for your technology initiatives, how much of the rest of the expense structure is permanent versus temporary or what should we expect beyond the next quarter?

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I mean, I think this year, if I think of SG&A as a percentage of revenue, you can probably think of it anywhere between 28% to 29% for the remainder of the year. And for the rest of the year, we do -- Q1 was very favorable because we expected travel to return -- to increase a little bit. But we didn't really see that in Q1. So for the remainder of the year, as I said, as the world opens up, we do expect travel to also go up a bit and as we grow revenue, our variable comp is going to grow. So those are some things to take into consideration when it comes to SG&A.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Okay. And then one other question, I mean, we had a pretty big ramp in terms of the number of -- from a headcount perspective going from 2,444 to 3,141 over the last 12 months. Just wondering how much of that is -- to what extent do you expect that sort of trajectory, how much of it was just a bounce-back, how did you scale it that quickly?

Kate Duchene -- Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think -- hi Mark, it's Kate. I think most of that is bounce-back and an uptick in consultant engagement and employment. We expect, as we've said before, the business to continue to grow and we've tried to give you some guidance there. So I would expect that to continue. But the bounce may even out a little bit, if you will.

Tim Brackney -- President and Chief Operating Officer

Mark I will just add to that. I mean, and I think [Indecipherable] I talked about this, and that the hiring trends for us during the quarter were the highest that we've seen in a while and we think the macro forces are going to continue to push things our way even in a tight labor market. But that is a pretty big bounce back and to keep then, we think that will normalize over the latter half of the year.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Okay. And then two final questions. One is just, you mentioned that the retention of the consultants is picking up. Can you dimensionalize that a little bit further just in terms of how long, how much longer are they sticking around. And then the second question, it's probably related. What percentage of the positions that you're now selling are being sold where they are being staffed virtually as opposed to on premise and how do you think that trend unfolds as things normalize?

Tim Brackney -- President and Chief Operating Officer

The first one is a difficult one to give you exactly. Because what I would say is like our average tenure is around three years. It ticks up and down and if you thought of three is kind of a place where you might have -- you might paying at normalized standard deviation up over, you see some flex around that through the years. What I would say is what we've seen over the last three quarters is that our overall attrition rate has declined. Usually that happens in the first year that somebody joins our company and kind of really feeling out what the model's about and if they like the culture and the things that we provide for them from an experience perspective. And we've seen that that is typically the time where you might experience higher turnover, in that particular segment, that attrition level down is significantly. So, how that will play out from a tenure perspective over time as we go through the year, we'll start to see the average tenure continue to pick up because we have that combination of increased hiring and lower attrition when we start to see tenure increase in time. And the second piece is also something I'm going to give you more of an order of magnitude to dimensionalize. I mean, I think obviously during the last 18 months. Almost everything was offsite. So it was like let's call it 90-10 kind of thing, probably closer to 55-35 in that range and I like I don't, because the pandemic was so unusual, I would say that when we come back, it won't be a question of what's offsite and was onsite, it will be how often are people on site and how often are people working remote, that's sort of high-end, it's the same thing for traditional co-work forces, we'll sort of mirror that, my sense is that that's going to be two days on-site, three days off on three days off or by first depending on the client.

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes, Mark, I just want to add a little more color. I was just at the FIA Conference, which was the collaboration in the gig economy and at that conference they shared a McKinsey report that's just been published that surveyed employment working models pre-COVID and desired working models post-COVID and what they published is that there has been 25 percentage point move away from on-site work and a 22% growth in hybrid. So I think that really reflects pretty nicely what we're seeing in our client base and as we said in our prepared remarks, we really believe this is a changed world and so we're preparing not only how we engage with consultants and talent, to prepare them for this kind of flexibility and again, we really believe that our flexible approach will allow us to attract the best talent in the future. I think the other thing to keep in mind as we move through fiscal '22 is that it's all -- it's the year [Technical Issues] And what we mean by that is really upping the care and feeding of our consultants. So they know that this more agile way of working is not only viable but it's delightful and that's really the experience we want to create in our people.

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Perfect, thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Josh Vogel of Sidoti and Company. Please go ahead.

Josh Vogel -- Sidoti and Company -- Analyst

Thanks, good afternoon, everyone. Certainly impressive results. Good to see. You covered a lot of the questions I had, but I want to kind of build off maybe some of them. Can you just clarify for me, outside of Veracity, how much of your business in the quarter was digital transformation related services?

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Hey, Josh. It's Jenn. Yeah, it's about 10% of our business beyond Veracity that is in digital and technology.

Josh Vogel -- Sidoti and Company -- Analyst

So, 10%, I'm sorry, beyond Veracity or including Veracity?

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, beyond Veracity's. So, total we're looking at about 14% to 15%.

Josh Vogel -- Sidoti and Company -- Analyst

Okay, so when we look at that 14% to 15% of the business and then the margin profile of the entire enterprise, how much -- what is the margin profile on digital transformation related services relative to the other 85%?

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Well, I mean the bill rate on the digital transformation services is generally a little bit higher than, our average bill rate -- enterprise bill rate is $126 and so if you look at just the digital transformation services, it is in the mid-50s. So bill rate in general is a little bit higher. I want to say the gross margin profile is probably slightly higher, but it's not drastically different from the other solution family.

Josh Vogel -- Sidoti and Company -- Analyst

Okay, great. And shifting gears, I know there's a bunch of questions on SG&A, I was just curious, what would you say is the break down today following the restructuring initiatives and operating efficiency that resulted, what's the breakdown today between fixed and variable cost structure of the business relative to where you were running prior to the pandemic?

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Overall, our variable cost is still roughly about 70% and fixed cost is about 30% and variable, when I say variable costs that includes cost of service as well.

Josh Vogel -- Sidoti and Company -- Analyst

Okay, great. And there is -- in earlier question, talking about your guidance and looking at Q1 to Q2, I just want to look at quarter, further. So should we expect to see a return to more seasonal patterns for example, that typical step down in the third fiscal quarter. I think it was about 9% sequential in fiscal '20 that was before the pandemic. Is that a similar trend we could expect to see or do you think there is enough pent-up demand there where we should see a less pronounced step down given the pipeline and sales cycle you see today?

Tim Brackney -- President and Chief Operating Officer

Hi, Josh. Well, I think it's a little hard to say. But what I would say is, yes, I do expect to see some seasonality because you have -- in the third quarter you have two holidays and hopefully we're all going to have a real Christmas and a real New Year this year and if that's the case then, we likely will see a little bit of step down. That said, I do think that the market is very hot right now and so we could see an effect similar to summer where we kind of blasted through, people took time off but there was that much work. I think our pipeline is strong right now, but it's kind of too early to be able to tell whether or not one is going to blunt the other. I feel -- I do feel like every quarter we talk about people returning to normalcy and I do think the holidays are a place where people are circling their calendars a little bit. So I expect to see a little bit of a dip down for everybody in our client base in that quarter, but we're still going to push hard.

Josh Vogel -- Sidoti and Company -- Analyst

Okay, Great. Appreciate those insights. And last one for me, saw the recent announcement with the Kotter alliance and I was just curious, when we look at in alliance like that, should we expect these types of partnerships going forward when you want to combine forces with someone or it's just another way of not necessarily doing any M&A activity or is M&A still on the table and then just speaking of M&A, what does that pipeline look like in the valuations you're seeing today? Thank you.

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So I'll take that. Hi, Josh. We are interested in M&A, I mean we're really pleased with the progress we've made with our most recent acquisitions. I think both Task Force in particular and Veracity have added some unique capability to help us produce the results that we're showing now in the business and we still feel there are some gaps where we could move faster if we find the right acquisition target than doing it organically. And so, think of our pipeline is focused on increasing that 10% in technology and digital and helping us elevate the kind of project work we can deliver in our client base. Another area for opportunity is in the healthcare arena and building more capacity to help payers and providers, especially around revenue integrity initiatives. We continue to think that's an opportunity. Valuations fluctuate given what area you're focused on, I mean digital and technology will be more expensive multiples for us. So we'll be looking at those businesses very carefully, the multiples go up and the risk goes up. So we're going to be careful about that. And I think the partnership -- going to the Kotter partnership, which is where you started your question, we have been bullish around change management and the need for change management associated with the kind of transformational work we're doing in our client base. Kotter has a fabulous reputation. We feel very excited that they chose us to be their partner, it's a very natural fit and we're going to continue to develop capability together and see if that then builds a runway to continue to strengthen that bond.

Josh Vogel -- Sidoti and Company -- Analyst

I appreciate all those insights and thanks for taking my questions and everyone have a good night. Thank you.

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Josh.

Operator

Thank you. At this time, I'd like to turn the call back over to Kate Duchene for closing remarks.

Kate Duchene -- Chief Executive Officer

Well, I want to thank everyone for listening in today. We really appreciate your support and we look forward to talking to you after Q2. Everyone have a great fall. Bye-bye.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 46 minutes

Call participants:

Kate Duchene -- Chief Executive Officer

Tim Brackney -- President and Chief Operating Officer

Jenn Ryu -- Chief Financial Officer

Andrew Steinerman -- J. P. Morgan -- Analyst

Mark Marcon -- Baird -- Analyst

Josh Vogel -- Sidoti and Company -- Analyst

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