Head of Total Rewards

San Francisco | California | United States

Upwork ($UPWK) is the leading tech solution for companies looking to hire the best talent, maintain flexibility, and get more done. We’re passionate about our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. Every year, more than $2 billion of work is done through Upwork by skilled professionals who want the freedom of working anytime, anywhere. Top companies connecting with extraordinary talent around the globe? Upwork is how.


We're looking for an experienced and proven leader to join as our Head of Total Rewards. Reporting to our Chief People Officer, you will drive Upwork’s success by bringing your compensation and benefits expertise to our leadership team and help us scale. You will utilize and combine your prior public company experience, quantitative rigor, business mindset, and communication skills to understand Upwork’s  business priorities, oversee and evolve our internal HR processes and platforms, design optimal total rewards programs, and align with our performance management practices. You will be a trusted advisor to our C-suite, Leadership and Compensation Committee as well as manage the equity budget annually for the Board. The person in this role also maintains responsibility for all matters requiring the engagement of our Compensation Committee, including quarterly meetings, running all broad-based compensation programs for the Company, overseeing our benefits and immigration programs

Your Responsibilities:

  • Drive Upwork’s Compensation and Total Rewards philosophy and practices; ensure alignment with our rapid business growth and People team priorities
  • Serve as key owner of our work for our Compensation Committee and Board of Directors - You will use you prior experience at rapidly growing public companies to help inform our work and strategic direction
  • Drive analytical rigor and deep analysis on effectiveness and competitiveness of existing programs; establish and drive key metrics including usage, engagement, and cost analyses
  • Innovate and react quickly as business and market realities change, staying up to date on best practices and trends; ensure compliance with applicable legislation - work to ensure our approach fits for both our Corporate and Hybrid workforce.
  • Lead change management and communications of Total Rewards philosophy and practices with managers, team members, and across the People Team
  • Lead the team through regular benchmarking cycles to analyze and assess market data, industry trends, and best practices to create market competitive reward packages
  • Lead our People Operations team to enable programs and projects scale in the most impactful and sustainable way.
  • Lead all aspects of our HRIS systems and processes that may include evaluation and implementation of other systems and tools, optimization of HR workflows
  • Build strong partnerships with the HRBP, Talent, Payroll, Legal, Stock, Finance and Accounting teams as well as our 3rd party vendors
  • Strategize with the Talent Acquisition team to develop competitive offers rooted in market data and aligned with our compensation philosophy for new hires and existing employees

What it takes to catch our eye:

  • 10+ years experience in Compensation and Benefits, including Equity design, planning,administration and Executive Compensation. 
  • Extensive exposure to building and successfully executing Compensation, Total Rewards strategies for hyper-growth technology companies
  • Track record of effectively partnering with a Board/Compensation Committee as well as internal senior stakeholders
  • Deep analytical skills with the ability to translate data and trends into key insights and recommendations; financial prowess and ability to build and manage budgets, models, etc. Proven ability to track, prioritize and drive to success multiple concurrent projects with a strong operational background
  • Hands-on leader. You’re resourceful, forward-thinking, drawn to building from ambiguous and unsolved problems and have an "own the outcome" mindset. 
  • Influence and partnering with a diverse group of stakeholders, able to partner with deeply technical as well as operational, business-minded leaders on key Compensation and Benefits topics. You excel at openness and flexibility with internal clients, balanced with maintaining consistency in Total Rewards philosophies and practices
  • You devote time to and are passionate about educating, mentoring and teaching partners the values and business impact behind total rewards and comprehensive HR processes
#LI-BH1  

Come change how the world works.

At Upwork, you’ll shape talent solutions for how the world works today. We’re a remote-first organization supported by offices in Santa Clara and Chicago, working together to create exciting remote work opportunities for a global community of professionals. 

Our vibrant culture is built on shared values and our mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. We build amazing teams, put our community first, and have a bias toward action. We encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work and grow together through development opportunities, mentorship, and employee resource groups. Oh yeah, we’ve also got amazing benefits.

Check out our Life at Upwork page to learn more about the employee experience.

Upwork is proudly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we never discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. 

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