How HR is Managing Rising Inflation in Startups & Scaleups

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How HR is Managing Rising Inflation in Startups & Scaleups

Welcome to another exciting episode of All About HR! This is the series for HR Professionals and business leaders who want to future-proof their organization and learn about the latest trends & insights from industry experts, CHROs, and thought leaders.

What can HR teams in startups and scaleups do to address inflation? In this episode of All About HR season 2, we sit down with Virgile Raingeard — CEO @ Figures — to discuss how HR in startups and scaleups can build an inflation-proof compensation strategy.

Virgile is an experienced C&B leader whose company is dedicated to helping startups and scaleups build fair and equitable compensation philosophy.

In this video, we’ll discuss:

  • 3 types of actions companies are taking to address inflation
  • How to develop a compensation policy in a nutshell
  • The number one ‘don’t’ when it comes to managing inflation

Watch the full episode to discover all the do’s and don’ts for HR in start-ups and scale-ups in times of rising inflation!

Transcript:

Free resource ahead! Continue reading below ↓

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Virgile Raingeard: So I think this is the first role from HR if it’s not done already, the company policy when it comes to compensation. And in fact, what we discussed about previously around inflation, it’s just a subset of what our core beliefs are when it comes to compensation. If fighting inflation by increasing employee salaries is something we deeply believe in, this question can be answered within the compensation policy.

Neelie Verlinden: Hi, everyone, and welcome to a new episode of all about HR. My name is Neelie, I’m your host. And for today’s episode, I got to sit down with Virgile Raingeard. Virgile is the CEO at Figures and our conversation is about a very topical subject, namely inflation and how scale-ups and start-ups are reacting to that. So more on that in just a second. But before we get started, if you haven’t done so yet, we really appreciate it if you could subscribe to the channel, hit that notification bell, and like this video.

[Intro music] Welcome to another episode of All About HR. 

Neelie Verlinden: Now Virgile, welcome. How are you?

Virgile Raingeard: I’m pretty good, I’m pretty good Neelie.

Neelie Verlinden: Nice! Before we really kick off, maybe you can tell our audience a little bit more about yourself. And of course about Figures.

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Virgile Raingeard: Of course. So before I talk about Figures, I think it’s better if I start talking about myself, because before being CEO and co-founder of Figures, I was actually an HR person myself. I’ve been doing 11 years of Human Resources in organizations of all sizes, and the last two years of my HR life, right, I was a VP of People Operations in a post Series A start-up, kind of a small start-up, and I spent two years over there, right. And during those two years, there’s one thing that kept frustrating me; the lack of reliable compensation market data, right. So I had no idea what the pay was, what other my competitors or start-ups around me were paying their data analysts, their software engineers or salespeople and I kept being stuck into endless arguments with my hiring manager about how much we should pay each role, with candidates that thought that the offer was not fair, or whatever so no, we didn’t have any really proper data to solve this issue, right. So I started Figures by myself nearly two years ago now. In fact, yesterday was the two-year anniversary of Figures weirdly enough.

Neelie Verlinden: Congratulations!

Virgile Raingeard: Thank you. And then I was joined by Bastien to make it into a product, right. So right now, as of today, at Figures we are a compensation benchmarking platform to help companies design their compensation policy on the basis of real, reliable market data. And we have over 820 customers all over Europe as of today.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah Virgile, I really love, what I really love about this is the fact that Figures was, was basically born out of something that you yourself were lacking when you were working in Human Resources, right?

Virgile Raingeard: Yes exactly. So I basically tried to create the product that I would have loved to use when I was an HR director myself. So I’m hoping that I’m making other HR directors happy now.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, well I’m sure you are. All right. Now, Virgile, the main reason that I actually reached out to you was because you recently did a survey among, I believe it was 200 companies, start-ups and scale-ups, about how they are reacting to inflation. So what were some of the main findings of your survey?

Virgile Raingeard: So I think the reason why, one of the main findings is tied to the reason why we did the survey in the first place. After a few months, where the number one question we kept being asked was ‘How should I pay my remote workers?’ right. So the number one question I’ve gotten the last few months was ‘How should I react to inflation?’ And I think most people have no idea how to react about inflation. Most people are kinda lost, right? And we discussed about this a little bit, but in a sense of no one has seen inflation, almost nearly no one has seen inflation at that scale, right. Inflation is such a big topic tied to compensation, no one in HR. I think some HR people have seen it when they were dealing like with South American countries that have known hyperinflation the past few years, but most HR people have never had to face that. So this is why we did the survey in the first place, and the first learning from the survey is that most people are still in a wait-and-see approach and that in fact are waiting for to see how the market will react that way we can see how others react because they themselves are not sure what they should do. So that’s the first finding is most people are still uncertain as to what they should do to tackle inflation, is it their role isn’t it their role and so on. The second one, which is tied to this one, is that this kind of wait-and-see approach is different per country never like 70% of US companies we surveyed already have, have already taken action or are planning to take action, they are set on something to do. When you look at the UK, I believe it was around 50% or so, when you look at every country, like basically HR directors and companies from every country outside the UK and the US, mostly men, mostly mainland Europe, right, it drops down to 30%. 70% of HR directors and companies in Europe are still unsure of what to do about inflation. So really learning number one is, this is not set in stone, most companies have not decided what they should do yet.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah I think it’s interesting what you’re saying about the US, I can imagine that has something to do with the fact that the Federal Reserve has also been upping the interest rate in the US quite some time before that the ECB started doing the same thing in Europe. So perhaps that’s why companies have actually acted sooner in the US than they have here in Europe, but still very interesting. 

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Virgile Raingeard: Yeah, I think that’s one point. I think the overall point as well, considering we interviewed start-ups and scale-ups, and I think most of the market and most HR leaders in the US I think on average are more mature than, I’d say UK as a second tier, and then the rest of Europe as a third tier, right? So I think there’s a level of maturity of companies, markets, and HR persons in within leadership positions that also plays a role, but I agree that there’s probably two factors, there’s maybe others.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah and so Virgile, what I’m now curious about is so from among the companies that are taking action, what kind of action have you seen these companies take? Can you give us some examples?

Virgile Raingeard: To summarize, I think there’s three broad categories of people within the group that has decided like to take action or has decided to do something and is now clear on what they want to do. I think there’s one group, the first one, which is the group of ‘I want to help my company, I want to help my employees with this issue of inflation with this issue of their spending power, their spending income being impacted, we feel like we have to do something.’ Or maybe you know, they’re reacting also to those same employees asking them to do something, right. But those companies, the first group of companies are those who are saying ‘we are going to do something’ and those companies their first action taken was increasing salaries right, increasing wages, often on a general increase basis like we’re increasing everyone by X percent, everyone present in the company, nothing in terms of seniority, performance level, it’s like basically everyone who is in the company. Option two, some of them have opted for like a one shot temporary bonus to fight inflation. So like ‘we’re gonna help you with your with your spending income, but we’ll do it on a one shot temporary bonus.’ There’s two reasons for that, mostly. One, some of them like some of those company leaders have been thinking you know, inflation is temporary we don’t want to impact base salary is impacting base salaries like a permanent move, we’d rather do something momentary, right? Something that doesn’t last long in time also, because in some countries, namely we’ve seen like Austria, France, Germany, there’s potentially more than that, right, that have tax benefits, specific tax benefits, for companies to provide one shot bonuses tied to cost of living and spending power. So, of course, some companies have been potentially playing both angles, but are saying ‘no, we want to do something monetary, but no salary increase we’d rather go for a one shot bonus,’ right. So I think that was the first group of companies and they want to give their employees cash to fight this inflation. There is a second group, which is more ‘okay, we might not want to do something with cash, either because we don’t have the budget, either because we’re not sure we should do it.’ But they’re trying to have a look at the overall benefits package and some of monetary indirect monetary benefits, right, such as reimbursing more for the home allowance, for utilities reimbursement, for travels, for everything that companies like employees have to pay for by themselves that the company is trying to subsidize in a tax efficient way by saying we won’t impact directly cash, but we’ll find smart ways and efficient ways to increase your spending income by taking care of some of the usual costs you may have as employees. I think the third group is an interesting one. The third group is the group of ‘you know what, we don’t think we should be taking any inflation specific action at all.’ First reason. Because it’s been proven that in fact, if all every company keeps increasing the salaries, trying to match inflation, then increases inflation as well. And then we go into a spiral of this afterwards, right. So some of them, I’ve had a few HR leaders mentioning that they feel like it’s their responsibility not to do that. But then the interesting point that is, you know what, our policy has always been, our compensation policy, has always been we look at market data, we want to pay as a certain position of the market data, at the median or the 70th percentile. We’ll keep doing that. We won’t overreact because of inflation. We look at market data at the end of the year, we see which roles have moved or haven’t moved potentially, and we’ll adjust our salary ranges accordingly. And we’ll adjust our budget increase accordingly. We won’t do anything specific to fight inflation. Business as usual. So this last group is one that I ehm, I didn’t expect, you know. I thought most companies were planning to do something specific, but to me, once again, it makes sense and it goes back to one important thing that’s about compensation, right? There is no, I don’t think there’s in this case it’s another topic in which there’s no ultimate truth. There is no ultimate way to do something fair. It’s not like the fair thing to do for employers is to do a one shot bonus. No, I think it’s up to each company and to each company leader to find what rings true for them, what is tied to their believe. Do they feel like it’s their mission to help directly with more cash their employees or not? Do they feel like they have to stick to their current process, because that’s the fair thing to do? Up to them. I don’t think there’s an ultimate fair answer, right?

Neelie Verlinden: No, I don’t think so either. Virgile, now, let’s zoom in a little bit more on the role of HR when it comes to, yeah, this whole rising inflation situation. And then in particular, of course, in start-ups and in scale-ups. You have talked to a lot of companies, you’ve seen many different things, what can every HR department do? And then, for instance, it can proactively communicate about the realities in the company or you know, they can provide financial education. What are your thoughts on this?

Virgile Raingeard: I’ll start with the last one, because I think it’s an interesting one, financial education, right. I think it, it hasn’t seen, it hasn’t been seen historically as a perk, like as a company’s potential responsibility, or offering to support their employees with financial education. But I see it more and more. I see it quite a lot in the US. I see it quite a bit in the UK now. But in the rest of Europe, I haven’t seen it too much, companies proactively being like, we want to help our employees being more educated around financial responsibilities, around loans, around how they can improve their financial situation, now and tomorrow down the road. I think it’s a super interesting perk, especially in the world of start-ups and scale-ups for which there’s a lot of, there’s quite a relatively young, like people being employed and most of the time start getting some salaries, I have no idea what to do with it, right. So I think, I think it’s a super interesting perk that I see more and more companies adopting. But that’s one thing, that’s a very tactical thing that everyone can implement. But I love the next point that you’ve mentioned. I think there’s two main things that most companies can do about the point you mentioned, which is communication, openly communicate, right. But I think as a prerequisite for open communication, there’s another point which is defining your compensation policy, right. Defining your core belief around compensation, around salary, but not only salary, around benefits or on equity, and so on. So it’s not I think the HR role to do so, it’s HR’s role to help coordinate it, along with a company leader in order to set what they think is a policy aligned with the company culture. So I think this is the first role from HR, to define, if it’s not done already, the company policy when it comes to compensation. And in fact, what we discussed about previously around inflation is just a subset of this policy. It’s a subset of what our core belief is when it comes to compensation. Is inflation is fighting inflation by increasing our employees salaries something we deeply believe in? This question can be answered within the compensation policy. So I think the first step is, what is our company’s compensation policy? Have we defined it yet? And then potentially, afterwards, you can open the, I think the communication chapter. But this first part I think is what every company could do, and can do very early on.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah. So Virgile, I think now a very logical question that that follows is, and this is interesting, because we recently actually published an article as well about what HR can do, when it comes to inflation, several, several things. But what we also said in that article, is that it starts with having a compensation policy in place. And so we also said that, if you do not have one in place yet, please start developing a compensation policy. Now, you have a background in HR yourself, you’ve also been in startups and scaleups yourself, so I’m sure that you know better than I do that this is something that in many start and scale-ups is not yet in place. Now for the people in the audience that might be in these types of companies, how can they get started, you know, how do you start developing this compensation policy? 

Virgile Raingeard: Look, it can be scary. And I think it’s scary for most people, especially when you’re not, you don’t feel like a compensation and benefits expert. When you’re just like the only HR person in the company you have a ton of things to manage. You’re like, why should I go and tackle this compensation policy? So I think inflation is one of the topics that pushes you to think about your core beliefs as a company, but there’ll be many more down the line, right? There’ll be many more, and let me name one of them before I actually answer your question, which is my big topic, it’s transparency in payroll actually, transparency in pay is coming, right? It’s coming from a regulation perspective, more and more countries, states, the European Union is considering a law that will force employers to publish information about salary ranges on job ads, right. And this is coming from regulation, this is coming from I think, like kind of the in the start-up and scale-up ecosystem, more and more companies being transparent. It’s coming from employees themselves. It’s not the black box it used to be and it will less and less be a black box. More and more employees are talking about compensation. They see articles about companies being transparent. They’re asking their employer, but why aren’t we transparent? What’s our policy, what’s our salary ranges, and so on. So one key point as well, if you’re not doing it for inflation, you will have to do it tomorrow. Companies will have to start defending their compensation policy before it’s too late, before they have to be transparent. If not, it’s going to be a huge mess. Going back to your question now. It’s one more reason why it’s important. When you look at compensation policy, and of course you don’t take too much time to ever look at it. But the first thing to remember is, it’s not only about salary, right? Most people, when they think salary policies they think about salary ranges, and they type ‘how to define salary ranges.’ No, salary is one of the elements. It’s the salary, like base pay, there’s variable pay, there’s benefits, there’s equity. That’s an easy way to have a look at it, right? You should start from the bottom up in some way. Equity is an interesting one, the equity like giving shares or stock options of your company, it’s one of the most, like one of the most, one of the topics that’s most tied with the founders’ belief. What is the founders’ belief, that should they give equity to everyone whose in the company, regardless of their level, seniority, role and so on? Should they believe that’s something that’s only for the few, like only the top company executives? Do they believe that maybe it’s something that’s earned that they don’t give it to start with, but they give it after someone has put in their performance? Same thing, that I don’t think there’s one fair answer, but it’s one thing that like company leaders have to think about. And once they’ve answered those questions, they have to document them, this is a company policy. They have say, a benefits section, this is our core belief around equity. We think everyone should have equity. We want to provide the equity with on par, with market practice, maybe a bit above. Maybe it’s we have some specific core belief that we want to make equity liquid as much as we can during fundraising and so on. That’s equity. When it goes to benefits, I think the key thing about benefits that’s super important is that often benefits is seen as a tactical, very budget oriented thing, right? So what we have some projects that we will repeat, like gym reimbursement or we repeat, like buying books for the office, or training, or stuff like that, when I think benefits should be starting with what makes sense for your culture, right? If you want to create a culture, if you say you are a company, then you want to create a culture of always learning about something right, a learning based company, you feel like you want to provide in terms of the experience for the employee, a company, a place where they keep learning. Why don’t we start with benefits around learning? Like a budget that any employee can use as they want, access to conferences, coaching and mentoring on demand, and things like that, they are becoming more and more common. Or, if you say that you’re a company that wants to play, put an emphasis on like, work life balance, probably start with benefits around, I don’t know, parental leave, eh, four day workweek, more leave days, there’s plenty of opportunities to, to define culturally aligned benefits. And I think companies should start by thinking of what makes sense as per our culture for benefits to implement. I keep moving up, stop me eh Neelie, I keep talking. If you don’t stop me, I keep talking. I keep going to the end of the compensation policy. 

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, no, but I think this makes, this makes a lot of sense, Virgile. And I think what is really beautiful about having the opportunity to think about this compensation and benefits policy right from the start in a relatively small company is that you can also ask the people in the company what is important to them, right, you can actually ask them for their thoughts on that.

Virgile Raingeard: 100%. If you see culture, like company culture, I love the analogy of company culture of like a tree or a plant that keeps growing, right. One of those branches are, can be company benefits. And if you believe, like I believe, and I think most people should believe, that your early employees are part of creating the cultures and not just following your guidelines, they are creating the culture. They should be involved into how this plant evolves, into how the culture evolves, so they should be involved into what benefits they think the company should implement, because it makes sense for them, it makes sense for culture and so on. 100% agreed on that.

Neelie Verlinden: And as we’re talking about evolving, that’s a really nice bridge, actually, because something that we’ve been seeing more and more in the benefit space as well is that companies are looking into ways to tailor those benefits to particular stages of an employee’s life. So, what are your thoughts on that?

Virgile Raingeard: Like, I can’t agree more. Why this is one of my big things, my key belief around benefits is that the future is flexible benefits. The future is, so the future is a combination of the company defining key benefits that are tied to their culture, right. Saying those things that make sense for us. And then for the rest, being like you know what, here’s the budget. As you say, maybe you’re a parent, you want to allocate some of that budget towards parental care and something like that. Maybe your childcare, or maybe you are more, you more care about a gym, or you care about mental well being. Flexibility, I think is the key for benefits moving forward. So I think really, it’s going to be like that, like company wide benefits that are really tied to the culture. And for the rest, which has less cultural impact, flexibility. So clearly, I fully see that as the way to go moving forward. I think it’s a bit tricky from an HR perspective, like how you build that per country and so on. But I think there’s more and more companies in that space I’m sure there’ll be, that’s going to be the way a company will manage benefits in a few years.

Neelie Verlinden: Virigle, going back to the inflation I think one more time, because are there perhaps some things that you found from your survey or that you, you’ve just heard from companies that you’re in conversation with? Like what are some of the, the don’ts, you know, actions to be avoided, and you know, some sort of panic reaction.

Virgile Raingeard: I think the biggest advice is tied to what we were discussing earlier on, it’s not communicating, right. So it’s super interesting. So I’ve seen some companies not doing anything but communicating, communicating, sorry, well about their compensation policy, what is inflation, what impact they have? What is the financial status of the company, why they’re not doing anything, you know, involving employees, being transparent. And you know, as always with transparency, it is creating accountability, it is creating trust between I think the company and their employees. And being like, you know what, employees understood, maybe some of them are disappointed, but they understood, they love the transparency, and so on. I found one of the HR persons saying ‘we gave out like a 5% global salary increase to everyone. We sent out a letter saying that to help them with inflation they’re giving a 5% salary increase.’ They didn’t do any other form of communication and people were like, ‘why are we getting only 5% because the global inflation rate is at 7 or 7.5% at the moment, we are disappointed, why aren’t we matching the inflation?’ And the HR person I was, I was talking to was like, clearly pissed off, at the overall reaction. But because I think they didn’t take the time to sit down. They were like, ‘you know what, we’re taking action, we are part of the good employers’ and so on. So again, it’s back to communication and communicating about compensation, sitting down and just explaining why they took that action, why they decided to take action, why 5% and not necessarily matching inflation. Why, showing some of the results, it’s not every company that is doing that. So the people should feel quite happy about this being happening within their company. You know, they didn’t do that, they took a great idea, it was a great initiative, it failed entirely. So the number one thing is about the don’ts, the number one don’t is not communicating, like really. Regardless of what decision you need to take, I think you need to sit down and explain why you’re taking the decision to employees.

Neelie Verlinden: Now slightly changing tack here, Virgile. Because I really wanted to ask you as well about what kind of innovative reward strategies that you are seeing in the scale-up or in the start-up space, especially when there is not necessarily always a lot of cash available. So what are you seeing, things that you’re excited about?

Virgile Raingeard: To start with eh, I think there is three things I can discuss about, right. Some very easy to implement, some a bit harder. The first thing, which is an interesting one that I’ve seen that might sound a bit stupid is around referral premiums, right. The fact that when you refer someone to your company, you get a premium for referring someone to the company and those, those premiums can get very, very large, right. We have a few of our clients, one of our clients gives 10k, I think it’s 10k for Tech, so like developers being hired, which is to me, which is something I honestly don’t understand. My point of view, because I think it sends the wrong message that you’re giving away 10k to someone that earns a 5k, 6k by salary saying here is two months worth of salary for finding someone. So like I think it sends a message of ‘spend your days on LinkedIn, trying to harass or reach out to your former classmates or whoever you know,’ just to get them into the company. Basically, you turn them into sourcers and recruiters instead of doing their job, right. But that’s a separate conversation. But some companies, even if they have way smaller referral premiums, have done something. They said ‘you know what, we’re going to double the amount; if you choose to donate it to charity or an association or if you choose to use it for your personal development. So in fact, instead of giving you a 2k referral premium, we will give you 4k if you decide to spend those 4k to around personal training for you, personal development, or we give you, we will match those 2k we gave, we’ll pay 4k to the charity of your choosing.’ So I think that is a super way to turn a referral premium, which can be a premium once again, that can send a bad message from time to time, into something super positive to our self development or towards giving out to charities, while the company is showing an effort and sending a good message as well. I think that’s a very small technical thing that makes a lot of sense. And as the last point on that, very tax efficient because in most countries donations to charities can be deducted from taxes, company taxes. And, same thing, when you give out 2k to someone, most often you have to pay like 1k in taxes. So versus when you pay 4k to personal development or training for someone, you don’t have to pay any tax plus it may benefit you because the person is more engaged, is getting better and so on. So I think there’s a clear win-win on both sides with that kind of thing.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, absolutely. And was, was there a third one that you were going to mention? 

Virgile Raingeard: Yes, I think there’s like one, one key innovation that I’ve seen from a company. It’s like they’re giving the choice for employees to get their bonuses either in cash, like I’m getting your, you have a, you’re getting 5k this year in bonus, you can get it in cash, or turn it, convert it into leave days. So they did eh, based on your base salary those 5k might be worth seven leave days that you might choose to use this year. Others they can turn it into equity of the company. So basically, they went to everyone, they give them this choice, right. And I think it goes back to our discussion around eh, flexibility in benefits. I think the same can be done at the compensation level. I think it’s a bit tricky to manage, right. But same thing, the message is pretty amazing. You need cash right now because you’re in that kind of situation, maybe you take it, maybe you’re more interested into more time off, more time off with your friends, family, whatever, you get it into leave days. And maybe you want to take a bet on the future of the company and you turn it into equity. Flexibility in compensation I think is super powerful. And eh. 

Neelie Verlinden: Oh wow. This is, I’m really actually excited to hear that because we had a conversation on the podcast last year with somebody that was, that had been in the reward space for super long. And I asked this question like, you know, do you, can you imagine that sometime in the future, we’re gonna go to a situation in which people can choose whether they want actually more cash in their compensation or something else. And he thought it might have been still a bit far off. But it’s really actually super cool to hear that some companies are actually doing this. And yes, this makes complete sense. Now Virgile, we’re getting to one of my favourite parts of the episode. And that is the part where I ask my guests to share with us what they believe is the biggest cliché about HR. So I’m very curious to hear what you’re going to say. 

Virgile Raingeard: But most people think that HR are there to serve the purpose of the company, right, to only be served the purpose, like serve the company’s desire, which in some kind of way is the truth because the company employs them. And at times, it’s more of the HR’s role to serve the best interest of the companies. But most people, most HR people I know, in fact, nearly all of the HR people I know, are doing this role because they want to help, actually have an impact on people’s life, right. They don’t do it because they’re super happy in terminating a ton of employees because the company asks them to. The number one thing they care about is making people’s lives better. So I think it’s the biggest cliché, like they’re just looking after the company’s best interest when most people when they choose to go into HR, they’re not choosing to go in that direction because they want to serve the company’s best interest, but because they want to make people’s life better. So and I think that’s, that’s the number one cliché I kind of hate, personally.

Neelie Verlinden: Thank you for sharing that. Now, and then there’s one other question that I always ask Virgile, and that is if my guest wants to share an epic win and an epic fail with us.

Virgile Raingeard: Epic win. I’m pretty proud of the way we at, at Figures we’ve managed to develop a few videos internally. There’s a video we’ve released, it’s called Life at Figures that people might access on our website and so on that we did with like 800 euros budget, and it’s gotten a lot a lot of views. It has helped our employer branding, it has generated a lot of applications, it helps us a lot with our employer branding with just, it was 800 euros budget. We spent one hour and a half brainstorming into a room, people might have a look at it. It’s like a The Office inspired kind of video. And to be honest, when we got it, we laughed quite a lot looking at it, but we were unsure if we were publishing it because we were like, this is ridiculous, right? And we were like you know what, who cares, we published it and got a very, very good reaction. A lot of people, the amount of people that talk to me about this video, even today is kinda huge. I think for us, I think I’m pretty proud of it. And in fact, we have a tradition of doing what stupid videos and ridiculous ones on a regular basis. And there’s one coming up about my recent trip to Amsterdam, very soon, probably next week as time of recording,

Neelie Verlinden: So people can watch this on the YouTube channel of Figures?

Virgile Raingeard: Yes, exactly. 

Neelie Verlinden: Okay, fantastic. And so do you also have an epic fail in mind?

Virgile Raingeard: Yes, so a pretty interesting one. From eh, and I thought about this from a compensation related one, right. And it’s actually tied to your last question about innovation within compensation. One of the innovations that has been out for a few years, I haven’t seen it gain that much traction, is a peer rewarding system, right? The fact that peers can recognize their peers and so on, potentially with a monetary way. It’s something that was tried out at Google a while ago. And so as Google did it, many companies tried to do it. It’s a way like to give a small amount, a small budget to each person and on a monthly basis, I can attribute 100 euros to one or multiple people that have helped them or have outperformed their role within the last month as a way to say you know what, distributed ownership between employees. And one of the companies I was at, Criteo, at the time they implemented it. And then they stopped it, because they found out that people have managed to do small loops like a, person A was giving to B, B to C, C to D and D to A. So they were gaming the system to have a loop to ensure that they would all get the bonus themselves. So that ended up being an epic fail from a compensation perspective, right. But it’s starting from a good, I mean, from a good place, right? That’s pretty innovative.

Neelie Verlinden: No, absolutely. Yeah, I heard about something like this. But it was more in terms of you could actually buy people in the company a coffee. So you know, it was monetary, but not really because people could only buy a coffee, literally, but I hadn’t heard about this one yet. But yeah, I’m sure it started from a really good intention. But you know… Okay, well, thank you very much. And also, thank you very much for this conversation! I really enjoyed it.

Virgile Raingeard: I super enjoyed it as well. I hope it will be useful and actionable for people listening.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah. So one last question. If people want to get in touch with you, where can they best do so?

Virgile Raingeard: Probably on LinkedIn, probably on LinkedIn. For sure.

Neelie Verlinden: So yeah, Virgile Raingeard, we will of course, put the name of Virgile in the notes. Thank you everybody, for tuning in for today’s episode as well. I really hope that you enjoyed the episode as much as I did. If you haven’t done so yet, please, we really appreciate it if you subscribe to the channel, hit that notification bell, and like this video. Thank you so much and I’ll see you very soon again for another episode of all about HR!

Virgile Raingeard: Bye

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