Structuring Compensation for Remote Employees

Insights from Bob Mahan, Chief Human Resources Officer @ Cloudera

The fourth leg of our event series is this coming August. As an introduction to our Spotlight on Human Capital event, here’s a teaser of one of the concepts related to human capital to be discussed by top HR leaders in the SaaS space.

Keeping HR Alive in Uncertain Times

The pandemic ushered in a need for businesses to quickly pivot and adapt to the new normal. One of the key measures taken to keep operations going is by implementing remote work policies, where employees can continue with their jobs at the safety of their own homes. As employees comply and adjust, it also gets more challenging for human resources to fulfill its core functions, particularly payroll and employee compensation.

In his interview with Troy Rusten, Bob Mahan, chief human resources manager at tech giant Cloudera, shares how compensation policies in remote work may be influenced by a lot of factors, including the state of economy where an employee currently resides.

Q: Can you give us a quick background on your career journey? Like how you started out and how it led you to HR, and ultimately ended up in your position here at Cloudera?

BM: I’ve got a very interesting background. I just got out of the military and was looking for a job and I had a friend who was a recruiter. So I asked him, hey, can you help me find something? He invited me into their office and before I left, they convinced me that I need to be a recruiter. And so I started on the recruiting side of the table—I did that for several years.

I met current Cloudera CEO Robert Robb in 2005 at the company JBoss. We sold the company to Red Hat and I was given roles on sales operations. I also did service delivery, and managed professional services and training operations. Robert started Hortonworks in 2011 and told me that it was going to go public and he’d love it if I could join him again, but I needed to go back to my HRO roots. So that’s what I did and the company went public in 2014, then in 2019 we merged with our single biggest competitor in the market, Cloudera. Now I’m still here as its HRO.

Q: Over the last year, I’ve seen a massive surge in remote work and most companies have seen most, if not their entire workforce going remote and a lot of employees. How do you structure compensation when the cost of living is lower in a lot of cases as employees are moving elsewhere?

BM: You have a lot of employees, especially over the last year, that have raised their hand and said, hey, I’d love to move out to California where the cost of living is so high now that we’re all working remotely. And so it really made us think about what the tax implications are. I can’t pay a person in Boise, Idaho with the same amount that I’m paying them in Silicon Valley. So, you know, we’ve done a lot of research over the last year about what that looks like and how you can go about that. Hopefully, that can add some insight into how we’ve thought about how we pay our remote employees, and how to structure that.

Hear more from Bob and the rest of the senior HR executives we’ve enlisted for our Spotlight on Human Capital event happening on August 5. Save your spot today.

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