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Director of Executive Compensation at Iron Mountain Sydney Hilzenrath Visits HCM Class

Our HCM class hosted Sydney Hilzenrath, Director of Executive Compensation at Iron Mountain. Prior to this role, Sydney served as an executive compensation expert in multiple consulting firms.

After starting her career as a financial analyst, Sydney moved into consulting. She received - as she put it – a “fast education,” and discovered that she really enjoyed the work.

Sydney discussed the link between Total Rewards and other parts of Integrated Talent Management. She shared the importance of considering both “the art and science” of compensation: if you are ONLY looking at data, she said, you are only looking at part of the picture. Leadership must know themselves as a company really well, including how to grow their business, how to differentiate themselves, and the type of talent they want to attract and retain. And, oh yes – what can they afford?

Once a company develops its business strategy, determines where it competes for talent and at what level of competitiveness and cost, it is critical to choose simplicity to drive employee understanding of the value of total rewards. Sydney facilely took our class through the multiple components of Total Rewards – base salary, short-term incentive, long-term incentives (cash and noncash) and benefits, briefly highlighting the purpose and relative emphasis of each in various industries and for different organizational roles and employee levels. Sydney also described a COVID era acceleration of employees attaching value to seemingly non-monetary items such as virtual working.

When asked for career advice, Sydney encouraged students to focus on their clients (internal or external) as a key to HCM success. Thank you, Sydney!

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of any other person or entity.