Interview with Peter Sanders; Global Head of Reward and Operations at Aspen Group

Peter Sanders, Global Head of Reward and Operations, Aspen Group, Reward in HR Article

With many Heads of Reward waving goodbye to the comp season with a wry smile whilst clicking through holiday websites for some well-earned annual leave, we thought it might be interesting for you to hear from a seasoned Reward professional.

As the Global Head of Reward and Operations for Aspen Group, Peter Sanders has enjoyed a very successful career in Compensation and Benefits, spanning over 20 years. This is what he has to say about his early career, challenges facing the industry today and his biggest career achievements to date.

Tell us about your early career; how did you find yourself in Compensation and Benefits?
I wanted to move in to HR but had no prior experience, therefore I utilised what skills I had which were good numeracy skills and an analytical thought process which naturally suited me to C&B.

What is it about your current role that excites you?
Autonomy in a constantly changing environment as I appreciate the challenge and so far have never suffered an ulcer - so long may it continue.

What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Reward professionals right now?
A stronger economy is obviously a good thing for us all but it is does bring challenges with raised employee expectations coming out of the longest downturn in the economy on record, in to a climate of increased legislation mixed with a draconian tax regime. This not only presents challenges but also opportunities that will allow the best Reward functions to add value and positive bottom line impact.

You have had a very successful career to date, what do you see as your biggest accomplishment?
Still enjoying what I do and appreciate the opportunity it affords me as I see many people who trudge through their professional life just happy to survive by doing what is needed to get by. I cannot comprehend that mentality when there are opportunities to make a difference and gain satisfaction from what you do.

It is well known that Reward is cyclical and very demanding during peak periods such as Comp round. With many putting in extra hours and working weekends, how do you maintain a work / life balance?
I try to put as much effort in to my personal life as I can and appreciate how lucky I am to have very special people in my life that put a smile on my face. I also enjoy cooking and wine so it is not too hard to relax after a couple of glasses and a good meal.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career?
Finely honed skepticism is an asset.

What advice do you have for someone looking to further or embark on a career in Reward?
The successful people that I have observed consistently seem to deliver simple solutions to complex problems; people buy in to something they understand.

If you would like to share your thoughts on the challenges Peter has faced, or any you may have faced yourself, please contact Jon Kitterhing on the below details.