2017 Articles

New Delaware Supreme Court Decision Could Recalibrate How Directors Approach Their Pay

A new court ruling could make it harder for companies to dismiss lawsuits alleging excessive director pay. In our client alert, we explain the case and provide guidance for avoiding potential litigation down the road.

House Pursues Regulation of Proxy Advisory Firms (Again)

A new bill aimed at regulating proxy advisory firms like ISS and Glass Lewis recently passed the US House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee with bipartisan support, and is expected to pass the full House shortly before the New Year. While the fate of the bill in the US Senate is less certain, the bill resurrects a long running discussion on whether proxy advisory firms should be subject to more regulation. Our client alert highlights key takeaways from the bill.

Silicon Alley vs. Silicon Valley: Comparing and Contrasting Compensation Practices

The technology market in and around New York City is maturing rapidly, but even as pay levels align more closely with Silicon Valley, compensation plan design remains distinct in important ways. We explored some of the biggest differences at our recent east coast technology sector meeting.

Glass Lewis Announces its 2018 Policies on CEO Pay Ratios, Say-on-Pay Votes and More

Glass Lewis & Co. recently released its 2018 policy updates, which include clarification on its approach to CEO pay ratio disclosures and a material change to the threshold at which additional scrutiny will be placed on Say-on-Pay results.

New FAQs from ISS Clarify Upcoming Compensation Policy Changes for 2018

New FAQs from ISS shed light on how the proxy advisory firm plans to implement changes to its CEO pay-for-performance analyses and apply its new Equity Plan Scorecard methodology for the 2018 proxy season.

ISS Policy Changes for 2018 Put More Scrutiny on CEO Pay-for-Performance and Director Pay

New ISS policy updates for 2018 add another layer of review to CEO pay-for-performance analyses, put more scrutiny on director pay and address disclosures related to gender pay equity, among many other changes. Read our alert for full details on upcoming policy changes.

Proposed Tax Bill Retains Some Provisions that Impact Exec Pay; Here’s What You Should Know

The tax overhaul bill being debated in the US Congress would make changes to the tax deductibility of performance-based compensation for named executive officers, including the CFO. Follow our client alert to stay informed on how the bill affects executive compensation as the legislation moves through Congress.

Maternity Matters: What India’s Amended Maternity Benefit Act Means for Companies

Thanks to recent amendments to its maternity benefits law, India now ranks among the top countries for longest paid maternity leave. Our client alert explains what the new law changes and how companies are beginning to comply.

Radford’s Approach to Valuing Equity Compensation

Designing effective equity programs is one of the most important roles for human resources and compensation professionals. But before companies can design an effective equity program they need to gather market data and have a common methodology for valuing that data.

The Story of How We Helped One Client Put Their CEO Pay Ratio into the Right Context

A recent engagement with one of our medical devices clients highlights the importance of putting your CEO pay ratio into the right context against the right set of peers. Read our latest case study to learn more about how your company can tell its CEO pay ratio story in 2018.

Debunking Common Compensation Myths

Following our annual webcast on technology sector trends, this article takes a deeper look at the five big compensation myths we discussed on the call. From gender pay equity to having to benchmark pay at the 75th percentile to stay competitive, we’re aiming to separate fact from fiction.

In the UK and US, Performance Share Plans Appear Due for a Makeover

A handful of companies in the UK have traded in their performance share plans in favor of restricted stock with lower maximum payout levels and longer vesting and holding periods. In some cases, these moves even include executives. Now, the question we must ask is will this movement gather enough steam in the UK to jump across the Atlantic to the US?

High-Performance Sales: Don't Start with Compensation

When launching or revamping a sales organization, leaders have a unique opportunity to consider the full set of factors that influence the creation of a high-performing sales team. Contrary to popular belief, compensation plan design should be the byproduct of these factors, not a crutch used to force behavior.

Revisiting 13th and 14th Month Bonus Rules in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia

Around the world, from Latin America to Europe to Africa to Asia, 13th and 14th month bonuses are a fairly common practice. Yet, the rules of the road vary widely from country to country, making compliance a challenge for HR teams. Our latest article examines current requirements and practices in more than 45 nations.

New SEC Guidance Will Make Calculating Your CEO Pay Ratio Easier, But Don’t Relax Yet

After months and months of waiting, the SEC finally published updated guidance on complying with its CEO pay ratio rules. Specifically, the staff provided clarification on reasonable flexibility with respect to statistical sampling, identifying contractors and making reasonable estimates in calculating elements of the median employee’s compensation. Our latest client alert covers all the details you need to know.

Nine Ways Innovative Life Sciences Companies Build and Sustain Cultures of Success

Many of the world’s most innovative and successful life sciences companies trace their achievements down to one key factor: building enduring corporate cultures. We spoke to HR leaders at five of today’s highest-flying biotech firms to learn the secrets behind their most successful culture-building programs.

Equity Choice Programs: Making Your Incentives More Meaningful to Employees

A small but growing number of firms are giving employees a choice in their equity vehicles—typically a mix of options and restricted stock. The move comes from a desire to provide greater flexibility and cater to generational differences in the workplace. We explain how an equity choice program can work.

ISS Survey Hints at Potential Changes to Options in Board Pay, Gender Pay Proposals and More

ISS’ new Global Policy Survey suggests many issues important to our clients are front and center for ISS. These include one share/one vote, use of options as a meaningful component of director compensation, how CEO pay ratios should be used by investors, gender diversity on boards and gender pay gaps among employees. We summarize the biggest issues for US companies.

It’s Time for Technology Companies to Take a More Nuanced Approach to Pay in China

As China's technology sector grows and matures, setting pay in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities isn't as simple as it used to be. We explain how companies can benchmark pay in China’s increasingly complex market to stay competitive without over- or under-paying for key talent.

Voluntary Sales Talent Turnover Finally Slowing Down

Voluntary salesforce turnover is finally showing signs of slowing across the US technology and life sciences sectors after more than five years of growth. In this article, we summarize the three forces driving the slowdown and explore what sales leaders should be aware of as they continue to try to retain high performers.

A Hot Talent Market and High Levels of Equity Participation Put Pressure on Share Pools

Technology companies are dealing with attracting employees in a red-hot job market while managing shareholder expectations to keep dilution rates under control. What’s more, mature public companies are often at a competitive disadvantage to newly public companies that have evergreen provisions. Our paper offers ways companies can conserve shares but remain competitive.

These Five Perks Are Key to Driving Company Culture

Our latest survey of perquisite practices at technology and life sciences companies went a step further than most. We didn’t just ask about prevalence and cost— we also asked which perks help drive and sustain corporate cultures.

The CEO Pay Ratio Deadline is Looming; Here’s How Companies Should Prepare

As we move past the midpoint of 2017, work is already underway at a number of our clients to begin preparing for the calculation and disclosure of CEO pay ratios next spring. Although many experts anticipated the CEO pay ratio rule would be delayed or repealed, this now looks increasingly unlikely. Here are key steps we recommend taking to ensure you stay on track for 2018 disclosures.

Larger Biopharmas Face Greater Constraints on Equity; Here’s How to Stay Competitive

In the life sciences sector, smaller, pre-commercial biopharma companies have an inherent advantage— the flexibility to grant higher levels of equity without as much concern about managing dilution rates. We identify four ways larger life sciences companies can design a competitive equity program that is still affordable.

Is Your Company About to Graduate from the JOBS Act? Here’s Your Planning Checklist

The JOBS Act recently turned five, the maximum amount of time companies can take advantage of JOBS Act protections. This means a large number of firms are about to face greater proxy advisor scrutiny, Say-on-Pay votes and the full gamut of executive compensation disclosures for the first time. Our new client alert outlines all of the major planning items you’ll need to consider as you exit the JOBS Act.

Hidden Strategy Killers: How Leaders Can Recognize, Avoid and Tackle Common Pitfalls

Almost every organization suffers from one or more hidden strategy killers. Unspoken ailments that stand in the way of innovation and execution. We explain how to identify common strategy traps, and discuss specific leadership, rewards and recognition and talent actions you can take to knock out strategy killers.

What’s In and What’s Out: The Latest Perks Offered by Technology Companies

In the May 2017 issue of WorldatWork’s Workspan magazine, Radford’s Tim Brown discusses emerging and established perquisite practices at technology and life sciences companies using new data from our recent US perquisites survey.

Developing Effective Peer Groups at European Life Sciences Companies

For European life sciences companies, developing effective comparator groups requires a balancing act between not looking too narrowly or broadly for peers. This challenge is particularly acute for European-headquartered firms trading on a US exchange. Our article outlines three critical issues to consider when faced with this task.

New Radford Data Suggests the War for Talent in China Could be Cooling Off, But Just a Little

The technology sector in China continues to attract massive levels of investment, making it one of the most opportunity-rich markets for entrepreneurs, companies and workers alike. Yet, new workforce trends data from Radford suggest the competition for talent may be slowing down. We examine why.

When It Comes to Sales Compensation, Three Key Issues Are Top of Mind for Sales Leaders

We recently met with Silicon Valley sales leaders to discuss the three biggest compensation challenges they face when trying to drive rapid, but sustainable growth. For most, it boils down to aligning plan design to stage of growth, creating strong job definitions to support effective benchmarking and quota management.

What Keeps Talent Leaders Up at Night? It Isn't Job-Killing Robots. It's the Death of Culture.

We recently connected with technology talent leaders to discuss the future of work, maintaining culture in the face of hyper-growth, and accelerating innovation through people in the face of unrelenting technological change. Everyone agreed these challenges are significant, but ones worth embracing vs. avoiding. To learn more about how these leaders plan to tackle the future, read on.

Lessons from Copenhagen: Getting Incentive Compensation Right across Global Markets

Business is booming in the Nordic life sciences market, attracting new sources of foreign talent in the process. For HR leaders, this makes managing rapid workforce change, high levels of employee turnover and incentive plan design as challenging as ever. At our recent event in Copenhagen, Denmark, we met with our clients to discuss these very issues.

Russia’s Economy Has Stabilized, Affirming a Stay-the-Course Approach to Employee Pay

When economic uncertainty and rapid inflation jolt a market, it's tempting to make quick adjustments to compensation to ease employee concerns. However, as Russia’s stabilizing economy shows, adjusting pay to match inflation rates or pegging salaries to foreign currencies often doesn’t pay in the long run.

Is Your Sales Compensation Plan Paying for Performance? Take These 3 Steps to Find Out.

How do you know if the design of your sales compensation plan is generating good pay for performance outcomes? Our new article outlines three analysis-driven steps you can take to find out.

US Companies Extend More Benefits to Their Part-Time Employees

The use of contingent and part-time workers is rapidly on the rise, forcing technology and life sciences companies to rethink their approach to total rewards for these types of employees. To explore this trend, we compared data from the Radford US Benefits Survey in 2009 and 2016 to highlight where benefits offerings for part-time employees are becoming more prevalent.

Designing Innovative Long-Term Incentives for Executives at Newly Public Companies

In this job market, executives who’ve led companies through a successful IPO are a hot commodity. Read our latest article for advice on delivering post-IPO equity awards that keep top executives engaged while delivering pay-for-performance accountability to shareholders.

Following Snap’s IPO, We Met with 40 Private Technology Companies to Discuss the Competition for Talent in Today’s Hot Market

On the heels of Snap’s impressive IPO, Radford hosted its annual meeting for private technology companies. We discussed the state of the IPO market, today’s hyper-competitive hiring environment and strategies for scaling fast. Read our recap article to learn what’s top-of-mind for HR leaders at some of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups.

To Attract Candidates With Hot Skills, Should Tech Companies Create Specialized Job Titles?

Current demand for data scientists, agile programmers and engineers with cloud computing experience highlights a familiar challenge at technology companies: how to attract top candidates with hot skills and benchmark their pay? Our clients often ask us if they should pay a premium or create new job titles to accommodate in-demand skills. The solution often lies somewhere in between.

UK Gender Pay Reporting Law Provides an Opportunity to Strengthen Rewards Programs

In an effort to close the gender pay gap, the UK government’s Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulations go into effect in April 2017. Our new client alert provides tips for compliance as well as voluntary measures all companies can take to proactively address potential inequalities in their rewards programs.

How to Approach Peer Groups below the C-Suite

Developing peer groups for non-executives and executives isn’t an apples to apples exercise. When looking at your broader employee population, market dynamics, such as industry convergence, telecommuting, and casting a wider geographic net to fill hot jobs, requires you to have a deep understanding of regional pay differences and practices.

Tech Startups Embrace Bonus Plans but Design Features Change with Revenue Growth

As pre-IPO companies generate more revenue, they are more likely to make changes to their short-term incentive plan targets, eligibility levels and performance measures. Using our database of private technology companies in the Radford Global Technology Survey, we explore the latest plan design trends as well as questions companies should ask themselves when considering whether to implement or change their bonus plan.

CEO Pay Ratio Rule in the Crosshairs of Congress, SEC; Relief Could be Slow

The future of the Dodd-Frank CEO pay ratio rule grows less certain by the day. The SEC recently opened a 45-day comment period for issuers to report on difficulties encountered while trying to comply with the rule. The agency said it was considering delaying or amending the disclosure, and meanwhile, Congress is working toward a full repeal. But the clock is ticking until the rule goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Four Steps to Tackling the CEO Pay Ratio Rule

In preparation for CEO pay ratio disclosures to begin in 2018, we outline four major steps companies can take to ensure disclosure and communication processes address every stakeholder perspective.

In Calculating Your CEO Pay Ratio, Relativity to Peers is the New Math

In preparing for the CEO pay ratio rule, comparing how your pay ratio compares to a set of industry peers is the analysis most shareholders will likely make. Using our extensive survey data, we show how ratios differ within the technology and life sciences sectors by industry as well as revenue size and workforce location.
 

Austin, Denver Take Lead in New-Hire Salary Growth for Product Development Engineers

Silicon Valley isn't the only place where the market for technical talent is red hot. In fact, base salaries for new hires are rising faster in a number of other technology hubs across the US. Our latest article examines multi-year trends in key markets and explores what these trends mean for talent-hungry technology companies.

Pay Differences in the UK Technology Sector Highlight the London Premium

When benchmarking pay to determine the competitive job market in countries that have especially powerful economic or industrial hubs, it's important to take a periodic review of regional pay premiums to see how much they are changing. Following up on our research from nearly three years ago, we revisit regional pay differences among UK technology companies and find the premium commanded in London is stronger than ever.

How to Get C-suite Buy-in on Your New Sales Plan

In the November 2016 issue of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Focus newsletter, Radford's Scott Barton discusses how to effectively communicate with and achieve support from the C-suite when making changes to your sales compensation plan.