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Our Salary Grid is Now Public

In the past few months, since introducing our transparency policy, we have been sharing a lot about how our business works. We have had great feedback regarding our transparency and this has pushed us to go further. Here is what we’ve done so far. Monthly Insights with our revenue, new customers, support, here is the last one from February,  and our Development roadmap. It’s time now to share our Salary Grid.

What is a Salary Grid?

When we were doing our first recruitment, there were a few things that we wanted to avoid. Not being transparent within the team with everyone’s salary. All of the founding partners at WP Rocket have had bad experiences in the past with companies where there was no transparency regarding staff salaries. It created a work environment where rumors circulated and there was a lack of understanding which was terrible for work conditions. Providing a better salary to someone just because his/her negotiation skills are better than another employee’s is not a good way to do things. We believe that a salary has to be adjusted based on different criteria:

  • Where you live in the world
  • If you have kids
  • Your experience

After talking and checking what other companies do (special thanks to MailPoet and Buffer), we’ve figured out that a salary grid with a base salary and some additional factors is the best way to approach this. This Salary Grid has been available to the whole team since the beginning and we want now to share it publicly.

The Salary Formula

Monthly Salary = Base Salary + Experience bonus + Family bonus + Location Bonus + Sales Growth To that we add two things: an annual bonus of €750 to enjoy holidays and a revenue share plan or a top-up of the base salary (4%). Base Salary:

  • Lead Developper €2,000
  • Developer Front & Back €1,800
  • Artistic Director €2,000
  • Designer €1,800
  • Lead Happiness Rocketeer €2,000
  • Happiness Rocketeer €1,600
  • Full Stack Marketer €2,000
  • Partner €2,500

Experience: The level of experience exercised within current position.

  • Junior 0%
  • Intermediate +10%
  • Advanced +20%

Family:

  • €100 bonus if you have kids

Equity/Salary choice:

  • You get a choice of equity or more salary. If you choose salary you get a 4% top-up of the base salary.

Location: Each place has a different cost.

  • Western Europe €400
  • Eastern Europe €100
  • North America €600
  • South America €100
  • Asia/France €0

Our company is located in France, so only French people are “real” employees. People for other countries are contractors, so they have extra cost. That’s why there is no bonus for French employees (they don’t have extra cost). If you live in a big city you get some bonus:

  • San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York €1500
  • London, Paris, Berlin €500

Sales growth: For each €10K we make above €50K we add 4% to base salary.

Our Current Salaries

You can have a look at all our salaries here on the Google spreadsheet.

This is just a MVP (minimum viable product)

This grid is our first release and we will iterate as necessary, as we grow. We would love to have your feedback and ideas about it.

About

WP Rocket cofounder, I love Startups, Coffee, Italian Food and Python (not necessary in that order).

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39 comments

Comment

Nice to see this trend of transparency.

It’s very interesting!

Congrats on this additional step!

WP Rocket Support Team

@Kim, Thank you very much for the BIG inspiration 🙂

I looked at your spreadsheet, nobody is above 2000 euros? Except one. In addition they live in France and they do not have the 400 euros for Western Europe? Where do these 100 euros for children? This is discriminatory? I am not convinced by your salary grid.

WP Rocket Support Team

Hello Ulrich,
As explained just in the post :
“Our company is located in France, so only French people are “real” employees. People for other countries are contractors, so they have extra cost. That’s why there is no bonus for French employees (they don’t have extra cost).”

Having children is an extra cost for people, that’s our way to cover this extra.

I’m an advocate of salary transparency despite I haven’t commited to it yet.
You say people located in France have no bonus because they don’t have extra cost. I just don’t get it. France is in Western Europe, right? So they have to get the 400 EUR bonus, haven’t they?
For children, I must say I agree with Ulrich (which is my partner to be transparent ;)): this discriminatory. You have bonus based on job matters, not personal ones. Location is, for example, a job requirement. You have to be in a city where there is an office. For children, this is not a job requirement. Your argument is “Having children is an extra cost for people, that’s our way to cover this extra.” So is a dog. Do you cover it?
Also, transparency is all about equal treatment. What if I cannot have a child? What if I’m gay and I’m refused adoption by the judge?

I don’t buy this point.

I’m really happy you commited to transparency though. It’s really cool to see more and more companies doing so. Keep up the good work

WP Rocket Support Team

@Pierre-Olivier

Thank you for your feedback 🙂

For the France no-bonus it’s a little more complicated, let me explain :

People outside France are contractors. They have extra costs regarding this situation (professional taxes), and no-social cover.
In France they are employees (CDI), so they have full social cover and no extra taxes.

So the math in France : +400 (because West Europe) – 400 (because no extra cost) = 0

Regarding children, we do that to because we believe that you need more money when you have children or no. But as I said on the post, this is our first release and we want to improve it.

Personally your salary grid is very interesting for junior developer ,after sending 3-4 letters they always propose to pay me ~1500€ because I don’t have some professional experiences .
Actually it’s really hard to find a job with advantages like family or location bonus so i don’t understand the complain of the other french guys.
Okay France is in the Western Europe but guys please, you have to think before speaking sometimes,if you want to work abroad you have to pay some taxes …

PS: Maybe you will receive an application soon, who knows ? 😉

Ok for the 400 EUR thing, that was unclear in the post. Understood now.

Paying based on City makes more sense than paying based on Location. That’s a pretty bad assumption. If I lived in Rio I would like a bonus like the guys that lives in SF (as an example, Rio is ultra expensive). It doesn’t make any sense for me to earn less just because I live in South America. Just my opinion on that subject : )

WP Rocket Support Team

@Rapahel
Thank you for the feedback 🙂
That’s why there is an other bonus if you live in big cities. I’ve added some cities as exemples. Of course there are more big cities and not only the ones which are in the list 🙂

How many hours are you expected to work per week?

@Ulrich: We care about the work we do not the hours we do 🙂

Hi,

Do you plan to launch Affiliate?

I’d like to write a review or put links on my Chinese blog, there are many WordPress users. 🙂

Unlike most places, including my own government, it’s great that a company like yours is being so transparent which so many complain about. The fact that you have done this, and people are finding things to still complain about explains why most companies don’t want to bother with being transparent.

Love the transparency! Good reference point.

Wow… very interesting. Salute for your openness.

Thanks for making this info public and being transparent.

I’d love to have a few questions answered. I get the deduction of 400 euro if people live in France, however could you expand on how you actually arrived at the 400 figure? How did you arrive at 50k as the cut off point for giving increases? How do you determine experience? From the founding partners I’ve only met Julio and I would classify him as an advanced developer rather than a junior. Slightly unrelated, but how do you deal with the different public holidays in each country?

Many questions I know, but I think worth discussing 🙂 Good job guys!

WP Rocket Support Team

Hey Jean,

For the holidays we’ve a loose vacation policy. So no “rules” 🙂

Regarding the experience, it’s the experience you have for the same job: Junior (never done this excact job), intermediate (a few experience in this job).

Regarding partners there is no experience bonus (that’s why we are all junior).

For the 50k it was quite arbitral, and therefore a goal we want to achieve in a short term.

Finally for the 400 euro in France we did a quick average math.

Wow, guys! I love this transparent way of sharing things with community. I got a lot of interesting points out of this post. Keep it up, guys! 🙂

WP Rocket Support Team

@Pseric: We don’t have any affiliate programm. We explain in details on this post: https://blog.wp-rocket.me/wp-rocket-and-affiliation/

WP Rocket Support Team

@Ulrich @Pierre-Olivier

Giving an extra bonus to people which have children is the rule in France in the public. This is called “Supplément familial de traitement” (http://emploi-public.publidia.fr/remuneration-fonctionnaires/supplement-familial-traitement-sft#.VQRqCBCG96s).
So nothing discriminatory 🙂

@Jonathan: I got it, thanks! 🙂

Jean I really love how you people have taken another step towards transparency but I don’t agree with two points. First one is about having zero compensation for people living in Asia. I am from Pakistan, when I work a remote employee, you have no idea how much extra cost I have to bear. Let me explain.

If you’ll send me $3500 via wire, our local bank might charge $30 over it and then it will convert the USD to PKR (Pakistani Rupees) let’s assume the price of 1 USD = 100 PKR that day. The bank will charge 2-7PKR on one dollar in name of currency conversion (sadly I have found no way around it). So, normally I will end up with about $300 charges in the name of wire charges and currency conversions. Then there is the cost of co-working space which is about $200 in my case. Then there are taxes which I need to pay, in name of income taxes. I will easily end up getting $2500-$3000 instead of $3500 which was my base salary.

Just sharing, and just saying, it is really not right to pay $0 to people in Asian countries where dollars isn’t the official currency.

We care about the work we do not the hours we do

@Jonathan – You must have a figure that you work to. If you do not have a figure of the number of hours work expected then when do you know when you need to hire an additional person to help out.
http://www.topuniversities.com/blog/differences-average-working-hours-around-world

How do you make sure people do not burn out if you do not have a minimum number of holidays?

I suppose I am critical because the average number of working hours and number of days holiday are different in every country.

Following up on my earlier questions (thanks for the replies) and Ulrich’s point above, I think there must be some company wide policy about what are the hours to work as a baseline. Same goes for holidays. I’m a bit skeptical about the loose vacation policy employed by many companies. Same for the loose working hours policy. Does it actually make sure that employees feel comfortable taking all the holidays they need or will they end up not taking any holidays because they feel bad about it? It’s easier to know from the outset that you have 25 days of holidays that are completely yours to take whenever you want. The same goes for working hours. We all know how easy it is for developers to overwork, so as much as I’d love to believe this open policy I find it hard to believe that it is actually beneficial for employees.

To take an example, what if an employee wants to take 3-4 weeks off, say to visit another continent? Would that be totally fine by the management team? Would it make the employee feel guilty about taking such a long chunk of vacation time?

From our experience at MailPoet, open vacation policy doesn’t work.

We enforce a minimum of 25 days. We consider it to be the minimum required to lead a sane work / life balance.

WP Rocket Support Team

@Ahmad

Hey, I understand 🙂
That’s why this salary grid is our first release and has to be updated as we grow with new people joining the team.

@Ulrich @Jean

By having a loose vacation policy, we encourage people taking holidays and days off as necessary as possible.
For exemple, when it’s your holiday, you have to take a day off.

Our public transparency policy is the same in-house. So yes if an employee (we don’t like this term) wants to take 3-4 weeks off, it would be totally fine for us.

However, with a loose vacation policy, employees can feel guilty of taking vacation. So we will as @Kim experience advises enforce a minimum days.

Anyway this conversation is very interesting, and we’re going to talk with the team to make sure they will take some necessary vacation 🙂

Is there some sort of salary bonus for the number of bolded words in a blog post? Sure seems that way 🙂

@Jean Good luck 🙂 I really am getting into this transparency thing after you 😉

Suggest if you wind up sticking to bonuses for children then you really should also add a bonus for people with disabilities and health conditions, which cost more too. Interesting setup!

Nice to see the transparency Jean, I’m surprised your company actually pays a lot! The only surprise thing I found is $0 in Asia, why so?

That is some crazy transparency. Really neat idea. A company I worked at in the past the biggest thing that mattered was how much you were liked. Ended up wit ha bunch of people making a lot of money that were not very good at their jobs. I feel like this gives people motivation, they know exactly what they have to do to get to the next level!

Chris

Nice. Great to see the transparency.

Whoo, it is a very interesting initiative, that worth to spread. I have one question if you are pleased to answer, the numbers you give, are they a net amount or a brut amount ?

WP Rocket Support Team

@rebdev Great idea!

@Aurélien, this is of course net amount 🙂

Hi,

Awesome stuff. The updated sheet has bonus of .65 and is multiplied times a number. What is this exactly and how did you determine this? And how did you end up implementing minimum vacation days and average working hours?

Excellent… Can I Join you?

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