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How Hopper runs hyper-efficient compensation cycles that close faster with Aeqium. 

Hopper uses Aeqium’s Compensation Cycle Planning platform to:

  • Shorten cycle prep time by ~90% from 3 weeks to just a few hours 
  • Monitor cycle progress and manage communications to speed up approval times
  • Configure and adjust cycles at any time
  • Give managers a complete picture of total compensation, including equity
  • Report updates to senior leadership and collaborate on approvals

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The Company

Hopper is one of the most downloaded travel apps in North America, helping over 100 million travelers save. They partner with airlines, hotels, homes, and car rental providers across the globe to give travelers confidence that they’re booking the perfect vacation at the best price.

The Challenge

We interviewed Michelle Sieklucki, Head of People Operations, and Sarah Moreland, People Operations Associate, about their experience streamlining Hopper’s compensation cycle process to save time and make better decisions about each employee’s comp.

First, Michelle explained the start of Hopper’s compensation cycle process.

“As we grew and scaled, the spreadsheet process that worked for 100 or 200 folks quickly became unmanageable as we reached close to 1,000. The initial setup of the macros and all of the sheets that we were using took weeks of work between people ops and our finance leadership.” 

Communication and collaboration were also a challenge:

“The sheets we used weren’t connected or synced. Managers would give our team their sheets when they were ready, but that became unmanageable. 

We provided our leaders with separate sheets for their direct reports. Things got more complicated when they’d break the sheets down even further to distribute to other managers under their scope. When it came time for leadership and people ops to compile and submit the sheets, it wasn’t manageable anymore.

We tried building the macros and connected the sheets such that they updated in real-time. But obviously, Google Sheets isn't perfect. Someone would change a formula, and then all of a sudden, it's broken, and now we have to troubleshoot. It happened consistently throughout the cycle.”

What did a really bad day of managing compensation cycles look like then?

“The worst was recognizing that there was either a calculation or something at a high level that was wrong when we already had sheets distributed to our managers. Fixing any issues required a lot of extra coordination and communication. It was all very time-consuming and required a lot of extra time between us, the managers, and leadership.”

The Solution

Hopper realized that to grow efficiently, they needed a compensation management solution that was fit for purpose and would allow them to save time while delivering the same or better results. 

When did you realize that Aeqium would be the best solution for Hopper?

“We dug in quite a lot to make sure that Aeqium could do what we needed. Could we make the calculations we needed? Can we make changes quickly without waiting on anyone? Is it going to be flexible enough to accommodate our executives’ vision for the process in a way that will be manageable for our team? And we found that it could do it all, or what wasn’t available yet, the team was open to exploring.”

When reviewing Aeqium, Hopper took advantage of Aeqium’s free demo environment to ensure that they would be able to meet all of their organization’s unique requirements.

“Ultimately, getting in there and using the demo environment with our data and seeing what it would feel like and what it would do was great. After my initial first round, I came back with questions, and the team was very supportive in helping me understand how it would work for our team."

The Results

Aeqium helped Hopper streamline and modernize their compensation planning process. Michelle went on to explain the benefits Hopper has experienced since using Aeqium.

1. Flexibility & Control

“Aeqium gives us the level of flexibility we need to feel completely in control. We're not forced into a certain way of doing things just because that's how the product was built.”

2. Management & Communication

“Real-time visibility to see where people are completed or not completed and how we're tracking as a full cycle has been very beneficial. We can easily check the dashboard for progress and send reminders as needed. It is so much easier in terms of communication within the platform.”

3. Data Availability

“It’s great that we don't have to dig for the information we need. We have what we need in front of every manager, and they can take action quickly.”

4. Preparing Compensation Review Cycles

“Our compensation cycle used to take ages to prep, and there were almost always a few data discrepancies due to the timing of data pulls. With Aeqium, we copy a new cycle each time and make a few changes, refresh our employee data and are sure it’s accurate. It's a much simpler process overall and saves us hours of work for our HR and finance departments.”

5. Understanding Total Compensation

“When we were using spreadsheets, equity wasn't something managers always took into the full equation. So it was important to make sure that Aequim could give us that view into things, and it has.”

6. Support

“Any question or issue we have is answered within 24 hours, and their support is five stars every time.”

Even though Aeqium is self-serve and highly intuitive, our support team is always there for you. 😊

Test drive more manageable, more flexible compensation planning with Aeqium.

Compensation teams trust Aeqium for:

✅ Designing total compensation strategies

✅ Automating the prep work that goes into compensation planning

✅ Making data-driven decisions about employee compensation

✅ Seamlessly connecting information from across your people data ecosystem

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