Thinking IPO? Get your ducks in a row…

Don’t let that all fall apart because you don’t have a smart, defensible compensation strategy and plan.

When companies grow fast, they sometimes forget to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, or they figure that they can go back and fix that when they have more time. It’s also true that startup company founders are rarely HR gurus. Founders often have big skills gaps when it comes to HR best practices and employment law. When you’re filing for an initial public offering however, a LOT of people are going to want to take a very good look at all parts of your business. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say:

  • ‘Yes, we know that our people are compensated fairly.’
  • ‘Yes, we believe we are prepared to compete for and retain important talent.’
  • ‘Yes, we are confident that our compensation practices are defensible and don’t leave us open to litigation.’

Smart companies anticipate challenges and knock them out before they become big problems. You need to get good at this if you’re going to be subjecting yourself to the scrutiny of SEC quarterly reporting. If you’re thinking about going public, make sure you have a compensation strategy, a compensation plan, some good, modern tools, and the data to back it up.

Tim Low is VP of Marketing at PayScale. He writes on the intersection of business and technology. He was part of the management team that executed NIKU’s IPO in 2000. You can follow him on twitter @tlow.


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