Brit Malinauskas
Senior Director of HR & Operations

HOVER: A New Model for Equity Transparency

Summary

  • HOVER sought to increase equity transparency while proactively educating their growing workforce about compensation.
  • HOVER had a desire to move away from a manual and rigid merit review process to something more dynamic and modern.
  • The company has been able to better communicate true compensation value to both candidates and employees by dropping spreadsheets and partnering with Pave.

Key Wins

  • Launched a portal for all candidates and employees that aligned with HOVER’s compensation philosophy, communicates the investment in their workers, and outlines a vision for company growth.
  • Created a simpler, scalable, and more standardized merit cycle process, flexible enough to evolve with the company over time. 
  • Streamlined & standardized employee communication of merit cycle outcomes.

“We didn’t have to retrain our team to talk about equity in a certain way, the tool just reflected the dialogue we already wanted to have with candidates & employees.”

Brit Malinauskas, Senior Director of HR & Operations

Background

HOVER is a spatial data company that delivers a simpler and more transparent home improvement experience through its accurate and structured 3D property data. HOVER drives efficiencies with a mobile app that measures, designs, and estimates cost all in one place for industries like home improvement and property insurance; smartphone photos transform into beautifully rendered, fully-measured 3D models of any home.


A Desire for Greater Transparency

One principle HOVER strongly embraces is transparency: something they seek to increase organization-wide, but especially when it comes to equity, which can often be a complex topic to discuss with employees. This transparency, along with the desire to build a roadmap for the future of performance reviews were two strategic directives for the People team in Q1 2021. Brit Malinauskas, the Senior Director of HR & Operations who leads that team, partnered closely with their CFO to try and increase clarity for their workforce around equity (through activities such as hosting quarterly equity “deep dives'') in order to proactively & comprehensively educate their employees, rather than only address questions reactively as they arose.  

The two had already been discussing the need for a more visual way to present an interactive visualization to present offers to qualified candidates; something they considered to be the future and natural evolution of their candidate experience. Around this time Brit learned about Pave through a blog post and was immediately intrigued noting “this idea of transparency and providing something more emotional from an offer letter standpoint was an idea that we had talked about for a long time, so needless to say we were really excited about Pave.”

Simultaneously, Brit was experiencing pain points with their compensation planning process, which was taking place in spreadsheets and becoming so complex and nuanced that she was reluctant to transfer ownership to anyone else on her team. The pain had actually started earlier, but compounded over time with the company’s continued growth.

Why HOVER Partnered with Pave

HOVER partnered with Pave to help with compensation planning and better communicate equity and total rewards to their workforce. This happened right as they were raising their Series D funding round, during the second half of 2020, after which headcount continued to grow at a rapid pace with the influx of new capital. 

HOVER’s top priority with their increase in hiring was to fulfill their goal of transparency and fairness for each compensation package. The team was able to move quickly to launch Pave’s Visual Offer Letter in Q4 of 2020, shortly after the funding round. The benefits they saw included to ability to:

  • Replace a homegrown “equity calculator” used to try to explain equity to candidates.
  • Better convey their compensation philosophy, as well as explain more of the “what” and “why” of any offer.
  • Show candidates the potential future value of equity, helping to convey a vision for company growth.
  • Position themselves as more competitive, with the ability to model equity upside potential against other larger competitors.   

HOVER also adopted Pave’s Compensation Planner for their next merit cycle process, which kicked off earlier this year. The company was able to simplify and expedite this cycle due to the following benefits:

  • Moving away from complex Google Sheets requiring Vlookup formulas and manual permissions to ensure managers had correct access.
  • Remove the stress that comes with the higher potential for errors working in spreadsheets, while shortening the merit cycle process. 
  • Closing communication gaps, as employees were previously finding out about merit awards before they were formally notified, leading to confusion.
  • Better convey the value employees bring to the organization via benefits; something they wanted to help managers better highlight.


A More Equitable Model for Compensation

Brit has been thrilled with the level of support and innovation her team has received via the Pave partnership, noting that the company is constantly building and iterating, taking her team’s feedback into account at every turn. The corresponding changes in HOVER’s compensation have been dramatic: merit cycles that used to be manual and labor intensive are now simple, involving standardized processes that make for more impactful reviews. 

Looking ahead, HOVER sees Pave as a key part of their diversity & inclusion process, an ongoing effort the company has been continually refining. Pave’s suite of tools allow for greater visibility and aligns to the HOVER compensation approach that aims to provide employees with  transparent, equitable, and competitive compensation. Pave is also helping to free up the team to focus on other strategic initiatives with Brit noting “We want to spend time analyzing the data, not building the spreadsheet - we love that Pave can do this for us because we can ensure those disparities don’t exist while allocating our time elsewhere.”

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