Andrea Piacentini, Head of Reward UK & Europe, at Standard Life sees HR as ‘the business.’
What do you think is the key to being a successful in your role?
I think any HR specialist needs to be close to their client group, and not adopt a ‘central functions’ mind-set. That also means not talking about ‘supporting the business,’ but seeing yourself as ‘the business.’
What are some of the unique reward challenges you currently face?
In the insurance industry, the various regulators are very interested in how we design and reward employees, especially in sales roles. Some of the guidelines are deliberately intended not to be too prescribed to allow interpretation. The problem with that is that companies do not know where they stand – a specific and unambiguous rule can, in some ways, be preferable.
What advice would you give to others looking to get in to similar roles?
Reward can offer an exciting career. Sometimes though, you need to make lateral moves to get into the function. I would even recommend stepping back if you are experienced in HR but not reward. Such a move would be an investment in the long term.
How do you think your previous experience will help you in your role?
I have worked for several companies and build on those experiences each time I change role. The key for any new role is to experience new things – if your old role was a rehash of everything you did before it would be boring
What is your favourite part of the job?
I love completing analysis and painting a picture or a story with numbers – reward allows you to do that.