When Yummly decided it was done with compensation surveys that had to be manually entered into spreadsheets, and salary information that was impossible to share with managers and recruiters in a way that empowered on-policy decisions, it went searching for a new way of doing things. By reinventing its compensation program with OpenComp, Yummly unlocked pay initiatives previously out of reach.
What’s for dinner? Yummly, an AI-driven recipe app, wants to make answering that question a breeze as “the smartest and most helpful food platform in existence.” But when Head of People, Stephanie Tate, joined Yummly in January 2022, she didn’t expect that mission of simplicity would eventually carry through to the compensation program she inherited.
Instead, experience warned her to gear up for the tedious manual compensation processes that are all too common at companies — whether big or small.
“Typically, companies receive compensation reports from stale surveys twice a year, look at the job codes, and then manually enter them into a spreadsheet,” she says. “You cobble together something that doesn’t really fit your industry, your pay ranges, or your location — in a tool that’s highly prone to manual error.”
Then, says Tate, you gut check all of your hard work by asking your peers how your results compare to theirs. After months of effort, you’re left with a plan that’s more abstract art than carefully measured science… a dangerous way to manage a company’s largest source of spend.
“Compensation planning has always been a painful and manual process. You know the whole time that you may be wrong. Everything is just a thumb-in-the-wind best guess. And you wonder, ‘Am I in 1990?’”
Although she had long accepted the slog of compensation design as “just the way it goes,” Tate decided she’d had enough frustration, mistakes, and 16-hour days. In a search for a better, faster, and more reliable way to do compensation, she dove into the world of compensation technology to find a partner that could help Yummly streamline its processes and efficiently deliver pay data to the managers and recruiters who put those processes to work.
Tate and her team committed themselves to doing their due diligence to find the perfect partner, and created a checklist to evaluate every compensation technology they were considering head-to-head. Time and time again, OpenComp came out on top because of the breadth and depth of features and capabilities and the ability to easily empower anyone to make on-policy decisions about pay.
Even though OpenComp ease of use was another reason she chose OpenComp, Tate felt secure knowing she’d have end-to-end support.
“Customer service is everything to me,” she says. “Add the fact that the tool is so easy to use and there’s just no comparison.”
With OpenComp selected, Tate and People Operations Manager Evan LaBranche set out to build pay ranges with OpenComp’s Design Studio.
“As I was setting things up in OpenComp, I got a little giddy. I knew right away things were about to change.”
The OpenComp Difference
Yummly worked within OpenComp’s Compensation Intelligence Platform and with its Compensation Advocacy team to reinvent Yummly’s compensation processes.
First step, Tate and LaBranche connected their HRIS system to OpenComp to import and prepare their data for benchmarking.
OpenComp’s intelligent auto-matching benchmarks raw employee data with over 95% accuracy, and in minutes, Tate gained a precise view of how Yummly’s compensation compares to peers. That would never have been possible with surveys and spreadsheets.
With weeks of work already saved, Tate was ready to use OpenComp’s predictive analytics and multi-scenario modeling to learn the implications of various pay ranges and geographic pay strategies. “I can do those things so fast,” she says. “I can quickly look at whether I want to go local or with premium cities.”
And when it was time to build and implement pay ranges, Tate and LaBranche could do in a few clicks what once took weeks or months — all with far more confidence.
“By making scenario modeling and pay ranges instantaneous, you saved one person months of work,” says Tate. “I’ll never worry again about whether something is right or whether a job code matches.”
The result: a streamlined and affordable pay strategy for Yummly’s distributed workforce. “This entire process makes our cost to hire lower and our annual increases shift,” says Tate.
And now that information isn’t siloed in various spreadsheets, Yummly is able to position recruiters and hiring managers to make informed pay decisions instead of guesses based on stale data.
This new consistency and compensation clarity also benefits finance as well, by giving them hyper-accurate pay ranges to use in headcount planning.
“Finance is over the moon in terms of tracking burn and headcount planning. If she needs to hire four engineers and I’ve used OpenComp to forecast the range for each, then she doesn’t have to do a lot on her side. I can just give her that data.”
Now that it has dynamic and fast tools, and previously unreachable levels of insight, Yummly can effectively rollout its compensation initiatives to recruiters, managers, and people teams that were previously near-impossible.
“Without OpenComp, we probably wouldn’t do total rewards,” says Tate. “If we somehow managed to get it done, it would be at the end of the year and it would be difficult and frustrating.”
And up next for Yummly: merit cycles.
Tate and team had just completed their first merit cycle before searching for compensation technology, and the pain of how manual and time consuming running the cycle was fresh on their minds. So they were ecstatic to hear about the recent release of OpenComp Comp Cycles.
In addition to customers improving retention rates by 12%, Comp Cycles reduces HR and people manager workloads by 50% and 25%, respectively, by streamlining workflows and improving collaboration.
“Because we don’t have to manage compensation in spreadsheets anymore, it’s easier to share information with stakeholders,” says Tate. “That’s very beneficial, especially on the base salary piece. I can say you have 5% across the board for merit adjustments and I’ve already made some suggestions for you. And if they say no, we can look at the data and have a discussion. “
Accelerating the long-term vision
While OpenComp has expanded the time and resources of its small HR team today, it will also allow the compensation program to mature in the future.
“When it comes to system improvement, I’m thrilled about anything that’s going to help us scale and that I don’t have to eventually abandon,” says Tate. She looks forward to equipping recruiters and people leaders with the tools they need to activate compensation programs that are on budget, don’t create pay inequities, or lead to huge sunk costs like attrition and lack of productivity.
“As we grow the team, it will be easier for anyone to come in and understand where we are and why we're doing what we’re doing. I can see how much easier it’s going to be. The managers can see how much easier this is going to be. And it’s going to be faster for our employees as well.”
People Operations Manager, Yummly