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28. October 2021
Reward and Relocation: Leading Total Compensation at Personio
It's a tale as old as time: a Personio recruiter gets a job description, scoures LinkedIn for appropriate candidates, and sends a message. The experience was no different for Amiel, working as a contractor in London with a large UK consumer electronics retailer. Intrigued by the message, he decided to follow up. Next thing he knew, he was in a first-round phone interview with a Talent Acquisition Manager.
"Once I learned more about Personio and the role, I was committed to giving the interview process my all," he said. Though intense, the experience was a positive one. “By the time I’d finished, I had gone through seven rounds of interviews with various peers and most of the executive team. But even though it was nerve wracking, I came away with a much better understanding of the culture and goals of the company.”
Gaining that cultural understanding was key. “I’m very open minded and I explore different areas of self-expression: my colorful and irregular fashion sense, my glasses, my tattoos – it all helps me stay grounded. It’s intrinsically important to me that wherever I work, I’m able to continue that self-expression. So I very quickly stopped answering with what I thought the interviewer wanted to hear and just decided to be real with who I am and how I think.”
When he received the hire offer in April of 2021, he couldn’t turn it down. “I liked the excitement of being with a company that is growing fast, and the chance to work in a different country and develop new skills. But it was really the opportunity to build my own team – a team that could make a mark on the company – that was too much to pass up.”
Amiel was also surprised and delighted by Personio’s values and operating principles. “It’s a really cliche answer, but the company values resonated with me, both on a professional and personal level.”
Though he was excited to get started, COVID caused a few snags in his relocation plans. Border closures between Germany and the UK meant he had to wait an additional eight weeks to make the move. But, with the support of Personio’s People Operations team, Amiel was able to start working remotely from London. “Big shoutout to Ann-Sophie and People Ops for helping me out with the delay!”
Other than that, the relocation process was simple and smooth. “I left many things in London. New start, new experiences, new things.” But he didn’t leave it all behind. His bicycle and the all-important glasses collection – now up to 10 pairs – came with.
Hired as Head of Reward and Analytics, Amiel is in charge of the rewards philosophy at Personio, along with Ross (Chief People Officer), the Leadership team, and the compensation committee. Their focus right now is on the ‘reward framework,’ composed of four main elements: benefits, compensation, environment, and growth.
Compensation, which is typically the most heavily-weighed element of the framework, is comprised of both direct and indirect aspects. Direct compensation includes salary, equity (shares), and incentives (typically for teams like Sales or Customer Growth). Indirect compensation includes benefits, company events, equipment, food, vacation, office space, and more.
“A good, strong compensation framework is one that is equitable and fair. It’s a very subjective topic, but my role and my team’s role is to make sure that it’s fair and that each Personio is engaged with their comp.”
“What we’re trying to do with this philosophy is ensure that we are transparent, ensure everyone understands why we make the decisions we make, and help each Personio take ownership and responsibility for their own growth.” This is one way Amiel is living out #Transparency, one of those values he so appreciated during his interview process. But the value that has really stood out to him in his role is #CustomerEmpathy. “My customers are internal – every Personio is my customer. It is the joy of my role to find a harmonious balance between what is right for the employees and what is right for the company.”
Not only this, but he’s keeping Personio’s long-term employer goals in mind. “We also want our rewards to differentiate us in the market, so we can be that much closer to becoming the top tech employer in Europe. I don’t believe we should let the market dictate our pay. It’s a great data point, but we don’t want to be limited to only what the market deems appropriate.” It’s no easy task. “In order for us to meet our goal of attracting and retaining top talent, we need to get compensation right.”
Designing and implementing a strategy for attracting and retaining talent can have a company-wide impact. That may be one reason each day is different for the Reward and People Analytics team. “No two days are the same. No two weeks are the same. As you can imagine, strategies with this kind of impact – and any conversation that deals with money, really – can be emotionally charged. Reward is not an objective topic, so these conversations are always subjective. The challenge is balancing that subjectivity with quality data points, which helps to ensure the decisions we make are what’s best for the company, and, equally, what’s best for the employees.”
”My role is heavily data-driven. One piece of information is never enough. My role requires consistency: consistency in definitions, consistency in principles, consistency in communication.” And for Amiel, it fits. “I love Reward – it suits my aspergers syndrome.”
What is he most excited about heading into the future? “For the first time, we’ve linked pay increases to performance based on a budget designed to make us market leaders. This is a remarkable step forward and I can’t wait to see how we evolve our methodology in the future.”
The Head of Reward has a lot of exciting challenges ahead. “There are three North Star key performance indicators that are heavily linked to my role, and I genuinely want to see us achieve them. It would mean top results not only for this company, but for our employees.” Beyond his own role, Amiel knows that Personio’s potential is essentially immeasurable. “We have forecasts and analyses, but there’s really no way to know how successful this company can be. It’s the one detail that’s missing for me – I can’t wait to know the end result!”
Interested in working with Amiel and helping build a best-in-class reward strategy at Personio? We’re hiring Reward Business Partners in London, Dublin, Madrid, and Munich. Head to the careers page and apply today!