Tobin Murphy-Coles: The even hotter Hot 100

This article has been supplied by Lorica Employee Benefits.

It is not lost on me that to be in the Hot 100 today is a fairly profound achievement.


If I look back at benefits provision five or 10 years ago, you couldn’t get away from recruitment, retention, strategy and the oh-so-important war for talent. Today, that almost seems charming. Wasn’t it simpler when we just needed to get good people in, keep them and keep it legal? The target was in sight, and there weren’t so many complications in the way.

We have gone through massive, disruptive change. Yes, recruitment and retention are right up there as essential strategic objectives, so much so that they are much more recognised by the board. Yet what the board is unlikely to know in too much detail is what HR directors and benefits managers have to do just to stand still, let alone achieve all they need to.

Regulation and compliance issues, some positive, some not, rear their ugly heads repeatedly, and there is no likelihood of them getting easier.

Steep learning curve

The challenges and learning curve for anyone in this role are enormous, which calls for a little examination. 

Hot 100 Club – Lorica - 2014

There are at least five plates to keep spinning: Is my recruitment and retention strategy working? Can I maintain a budget for longer-term benefits? Do employees say ‘wow’ and understand their package? Am I ticking the compliance and legal boxes and making them future-proof? And, on top of that, do I understand the business at an intrinsic level, not just its people, talent and reward requirements?

It does make me wonder: could someone who made this list 10 years ago (had it existed) have the knowledge to be included today? 

Our environment has changed so dramatically. On top of all the essentials that have to be ticked off, extremely smart communication skills are also required, whether talking with staff or the board (because more of you are doing that, if you aren’t already on the board).

Overcoming challenges

So, people in the Employee Benefits Hot 100, and many more specialists up and down the country, have proved that it is possible to combine all the challenges and ensure that a reward and benefits structure ticks all the boxes. 

It is encouraging to see how hard the people I know have worked to see that the regulators’ and government’s rules are fully compliant in their organisations and, at the end of it all, make benefits work to give employees something extremely tangible.

The moving parts will continue to move, and it’s a special type of person who has rolled up their sleeves and got on with it, not only to make it happen, but to make it happen so well that they are being celebrated. I take my hat off to you.

Tobin Murphy-Coles is commercial director at Lorica Employee Benefits