Secrets of success: Alex Currie, group HR director, GoCompare

Alex Currie, group HR director at GoCompare, says the secret to attracting talent in a tech focussed industry is getting the company’s reward principles right to start with.

Alex Currie Group HR Director GoCompare

What are the reward challenges in technology focussed industries?

Some of the skill sets in tech – such as engineering and product teams – will always be in high demand, so you find that you need to take a different approach when it comes to reward. And some companies struggle because they are not working to clear reward principles.

We had to take reward back to a granular level, to understand whether or not our own principles were fit for purpose. We went back to the level of asking: what are we going to pay, what is our tolerance in order to attract the best talent?

Have you introduced new benefits/rewards in order to attract talent in this area?

We have been very lucky in that we started out with a very good reward package, in terms of both hard and soft benefits.

We do a lot of culture and wellbeing types of activities. Following a review of our benefits package in January, we introduced a couple of new initiatives focused around life/work balance. 

We have also had a big push around diversity and inclusion, so we want to be sure we attract a wide range of people and a variety of individuals.

Our offering also depends on the demographics we are working with internally. A demographic that we noted needed more support when it came to reward was working parents so we did a lot of work around exploring how to support these employees.

We changed our maternity and shared parental leave policies to nine months’ full pay, and we put in additional leave for secondary care givers such as dads or same sex couples – we doubled their leave.

What has been the biggest reward challenge for you in recent years?

When we carried out an IPO  (stock market launch) we developed some new values and behaviors that we wanted our people to work towards.

One of the areas that we wanted to work hard on is embedding values and behaviors within our reward framework. We also wanted to ensure that everyone was aligned to generating growth in profit and for the first time linked company profit to individuals’ reward via the performance management process.

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