Startup Compensation Guide

On September 18, 2012, in Big Data, Futures, HR Technology, HRExaminer, John Sumser, Reviews, by John Sumser

Startup Compensation Guide - by John Sumser - HRExaminer

By giving the startup world real access to salary data, Wealthfront is playing both ends against the middle.

Startup Compensation Guide

While it’s not quite exploding, there’s a frenzy of activity in the startup world. As the deck chairs rearrange themselves and new players get introduced, the whole compensation question is veiled in mystery and supposition. It’s quite odd that an arena so clearly focused on financial return wouldn’t extend that reality to employees. While it suits the suits, the worker bees want equitable pay and equitable equity.

Information is the missing piece.

Wealthfront, a software based financial advisory service is releasing an embeddable tool that compares salary and equity compensation packages for non executive level employees who work in startups. It’s a nicely designed tool that goes straight to the intersection of cash and equity.

This is another case of the changes that are coming to the HRTech and Data marketplace. Even as Oracle, SAP and IBM gobble up the middle (to put a fence around Workday), new products and services are emerging from surprising sources. It’s a great idea.

And, the service is really useful.

Wealthfront makes its living managing the investments of people who hit it big in Silicon Valley. Like their brethren in the Venture Capital business, they basically have no idea who will and who won’t make it. So, they have to spread their reach as far as they possibly can.

What they know for certain is that they want to be allied with the people who might hit the lottery. Expect to see other helpful services from similar sources.

By giving the startup world real access to salary data, Wealthfront is playing both ends against the middle. Arming employees with the real data of a transparent market helps those employees get a better deal from their companies who are funded by VCs most of the time. It seems pretty likely that Wealthfront will be supply some of the cash in those very same VC funds.

Earlier this year, a real estate firm (Cushman and Wakefield) was the driving force behind the War for Talent conference. 250 Silicon Valley recruiters and 25 startup CEOs spent the day talking about ways to find, harvest and develop the right talent. The real estate firm simply asked its clients what their biggest problem was. The answer, finding good people. So, they organized the conference for clients and potential clients.

This is the sort of thinking that will ultimately turn HR into a profit center.

The things we know as an industry are extremely valuable to other parts of our ecosystems. Figuring out how to marry the two is the essence of building 21st century HR services.

It’s the same sort of thinking required to really make sense out of big data and anlytics.

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