How to approach building your first employee benefits package

How to approach building your first employee benefits package

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Vladislav Doronin’s luxury condominium conversion at the Crown Building scored another massive sale.

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This time it was unit 21A, which went to a mystery buyer last week for $53.4 million, according to city records filed Wednesday. No loan documents were associated with the sale, suggesting an all-cash buy. The building’s condo declaration indicates it’s a full-floor apartment.

It’s the third unit in as many months to sell for at least $50 million at 730 Fifth Avenue, where Doronin’s OKO Group is converting 20 floors of former office space into a 22-unit condo and 83-key luxury hotel branded as Aman New York. In May, a full-floor unit on the 22nd floor went for $55 million, and last month, a mystery buyer linked to a Swiss money manager paid $76 million for a full-floor unit two stories down.

The redevelopment atop the Crown Building began in 2015, when OKO Group partnered with Michael Shvo to buy the office portion of the building for $475 million. Shvo left the partnership two years later, but retains a small stake. Brookfield Property Partners owns the building’s retail portion.

Doronin secured $754 million from JPMorgan to refinance the project in June. Work is expected to be completed this summer.

Sponsor units have dominated Manhattan’s luxury market lately, but few have come close to commanding the prices that Aman New York has. The priciest unit to go into contract last week was a duplex penthouse asking $21 million at JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group’s 111 West 57th Street.

I have been the first human resources leader at two successful startups. In both instances, I’ve built the human resources function and people teams from the ground up.

Doing this from scratch means you have to consider everything, from compliance to compensation. Often, processes and procedures just fell into place before I joined, so it was my job to evaluate whether they made sense.

One of the most complex and interesting topics I tackle is employee benefits packages. It’s a subject that comes up often at startups that want to ensure they have a competitive edge when it comes to hiring and retaining talent.

However, it’s also been known to get out of hand, and with startups tightening their budgets, I believe we’ll start to see benefits changing drastically in the coming months.

Founders need to ask themselves what really matters to their business, and which benefits best align with their cultural values.

Virtually every company will have its own take on what should be offered to employees, so founders inevitably struggle with what makes the cut (and what doesn’t). There’s no “one size fits all” benefits package, and nor should there be, as each company has its own objectives and goals.

Here are four aspects for founders should consider when building benefits packages:

It’s imperative that startups should not try to match what other technology companies are offering. It’ll be impossible to offer every flashy new perk that you come across, or provide extravagant packages like Google or Facebook.

For example, Netflix offers unlimited parental leave, which is incredible, but for an early startup, offering this would be daunting and difficult.

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