Compensation is an important topic in any company. At a company like Buffer, where salary has been transparent since 2013, compensation is a transparent internal discussion where the entire Buffer team can share their thoughts and feedback.
Our payroll formula has changed a lot over the past few years. We took a very simple formula and made it more accurate for the labor market and most recently we have focused on refining our formula to make it a true benchmark for a world first from afar.
In this post, we will share an overview of our compensation philosophy and a simple explanation of our salary formula. Transparency is an extremely powerful tool, and we hope that sharing our compensation method can help others who are currently navigating the space.
The way we think about compensation
Our approach to compensation has evolved over the years and our wage formula comes in many different forms, but some of the fundamental pillars of our overall compensation philosophy have not changed. .
Ultimately, we see compensation and benefits as a toolkit that allows our teammates to do their best for Buffer so we can share that generosity while serving our customers. me. We want every customer interaction to be an enjoyable experience. By making sure our team members are fulfilled and engaged with their work, we can build solutions and tools that help our clients achieve success and fulfillment in their personal and work life.
These key principles guide all the decisions we make about team salaries and benefits:
transparent: We openly share our approach and all salaries to create trust, take self-responsibility and serve as a resource for the industry.
Simplicity: We aim to maintain an easy-to-understand formula that allows anyone to easily see how we are achieving individual salaries.
Fair: We guarantee that people with similar roles and responsibilities at the same level of experience will be paid fairly.
Generous: We pay in the marketplace to attract the team we need, grow as individuals and avoid exceptions and negotiating inequities.
Our salary formula
All basic salaries at Buffer are calculated from our payroll formula. Formula approach minimizes claims bias. This is a valuable tool to secure our perception of any gender pay gap as our wage formula based on objective market factors is consistently applied across the team. . Read our latest payroll analysis for more insights into equal pay at Buffer.
Our formula is Your role x your cost of living = your salary.
How we determine role compensation
We standardize each role with data from Radford, a foundation Collect salary, bonus and benefits data from companies participating in the global survey twice a year. The role standard is based on the software industry and the 50th percentile of the San Francisco market data. We choose San Francisco as part of our generous principle because it is a competitive labor market.
How we apply living expenses
After we have calibrated for location and level of experience, we multiply the cost of living factor, objectively looking at one of the four geographic areas relative to the cost of living and property price indexes. by San Francisco.
The cost of living is high
100% San Francisco market = multiplied by 1.
For example: San Francisco, CA & New York, NY
Average cost of living
90% of the San Francisco market, multiplied by 0.90
Example: Singapore & Sydney, Australia
Average cost of living
85% of the San Francisco market, multiplied by 0.85
For example: Boulder, CO & Madrid, Spain
Low cost of living
75% of the San Francisco market, multiples of 0.75
For example: Bangalore, India & Wroclaw, Poland
These cost of living coefficients are considered a global group while bridging the gaps found in traditional compensation methods.
To see this formula in action, see payroll with a transparent salary from the entire Buffer team.
The future of our salary formula
Over the past few years, we have had the goal of further simplifying our formulas and eliminating the use of cost of living as an ingredient in our formulas. In practice, this means that we will eliminate the low, mid, and mid-tier groups to pay everyone at the same San Francisco market wage.
The result of this change will be a $ 1.2 million increase in operating costs based on the team we have today (March 2021). While this change is still under review, we have intentionally set a goal to do this gradually rather than all at once. Investing in our team is important, although we have to weigh the tradeoffs and this season for Buffer we believe that scaling our team is better suited to serving. customer’s need.
Meanwhile, we are also witnessing a market change that can impact global compensation levels. With more and more companies adopting a remote working regime, access to talent is no longer dependent on local talent resources. You don’t have to live in Silicon Valley or New York City to work for companies with headquarters in those regions. You also don’t have to go to the headquarters in those cities to access top talent! While we have never just looked at the local market to gauge our wages, we recognize that the cost of living is likely to become increasingly inadequate as part of the movement towards support the global workforce.
Do you want to work in a team with a transparent salary? Check out our current job opportunities here.