Optimizing HR, Running a Startup with Your Spouse, and Boosting Employee Benefits
HR professionals are constantly facing challenges. From the lack of data to benchmark employee rewards and compensation to an insufficient understanding of the bigger picture, the industry gap is glaring and calls for a cutting-edge solution to fill the void.
On today’s episode of Startups On Demand, I am joined by Amit Rapaport, CEO, and Co-Founder of Compete, a company that creates a clear solution and effortless experience to empower HR execs and CFOs with immediate insights into complete compensation package data.
Today, we share our thoughts on the layers of HR pains, industry gaps, what makes an HR a good business partner, and the “win-win” relationship between an employer and an employee.
Omri: It’s nice meeting you Amit. Why don’t we start with you telling us something about yourself and how Compete started?
Amit: I’m Amit Rapaport, the CEO, and Co-Founder of Compete; married; mother of 3 crazy boys. My husband is my Co-Founder and CTO. Compete came from my personal pain as an HR. I worked in many companies as an HR, mainly in the cyber domain. I felt the pain that I didn’t know how much I would pay for my candidates or to my existing employees – if I’m overspending the company’s budget, or if I’m underpaying them and putting myself at risk. Simply put, I didn't have the solution that I needed. So I decided to create the venture that I want, and that’s exactly what I did together with my husband.
Omri: How did you and your husband come up with the idea for Compete?
Amit: Being from the HR industry, I was the one who came up with the idea. But we always talked about how we wanted to create something together. We’re the biggest fan of the startup vibes. I just left my comfort zone, left Sentinel, and planned exactly how I wanted to do it. I told him about the idea, and fast forward to 2020, he joined the venture, started the company, and completely bootstrapped.
Omri: What does your day as a CEO look like? What tools do you use to make your day productive?
Amit: I wake up very early, and I go to bed very late. I think the main thing that I’m responsible for is the vision of Compete. It’s about knowing where I want to go. Setting the vision and direction is key. We achieve this by working with brilliant people to challenge us, and to make everyone better. That’s what I always think about to drive the business further. It’s all about the execution. That’s what keeps me busy and what keeps me up at night. When it comes to planning, I’m very old-fashioned. I write everything in my cheat sheet because it’s easier for me to track everything. Clearly, we have the tools and platforms to create the alignment. But at the end of the day, what works for me is reviewing my calendar, writing notes, and reviewing my plans.
Omri: As someone who has worked in the HR industry, what are the gaps and issues that you’ve noticed in the compensation and benefits model, and how does Compete bridge those gaps?
Amit: There are 2 layers of that. The daily pain is the first layer, which is how much would I pay. That’s the daily question that HR professionals face. In my experience, what I learned is that you need to understand the bigger picture. Nowadays, people need the bigger picture of the rewards which include maternity leave, and paternity leave. For example, in the US, we cover over 80 benefits on top of the salary, commission, and equity. The second layer is that HRs should be true business partners. It means that you help with important business decisions regarding growth, internal mobility, or any policy that guides and defines the culture of the company – something in-depth and meaningful. At the end of the day, 70% of the company’s budget is spent on its people. By knowing your talents and people, and making smart, data-driven decisions, you can not only manage but also predict what’s missing.
Omri: Do you think companies are getting treacherous in managing employee benefits, and are not necessarily in favor of the employee, but of the company?
Amit: I think at the end of the day, it must be a win-win. Companies and employees need to understand that it should be a win-win. Because employees can work wherever they want, and employers can hire whoever they want. I think good employers make sure that offers and total rewards should come from a meaningful place.