There are some team members that are not paid in their local currency either by choice or GitLab's bank does not support their currency. The currencies that GitLab can pay in are published on the contracts page. So we can try to keep compensation level in the local currency amount People Operations will perform exchange rate reviews at six month intervals as part of the January 1 and July 1 Oanda rates that are being used as benchmarks for the compensation calculator. People Operations will confirm, by letter of adjustment any increases or decreases to compensation as a result of this review and update the exchange rate based on those dates in BambooHR. Any significant increases or decreases will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis before any changes are made. Additionally if a team member is impacted outside of this review period they should reach out to People Operations.
2018-01-01 Oanda Rates
|Rate to USD||Currency|
Different than business travel, vacation, or visiting a relative for a few weeks, relocation means that you will establish yourself in a new location outside of your current metro area. If you are ending your current residential living arrangement, spending more than six months in one location as part of an extensive period of travel and/or will have your mail delivered to an address in a different city please contact us.
As stated in the people ops section of the handbook, you should first obtain written agreement (from your manager) when planning a relocation. It is the company's discretion to offer you a contract in your new location. At the time of the location update, we will take into consideration your new metro region when making a salary offer for continued employment.
At the onset, this practice sounds harsh when moving to a lower paid region. One might argue that it seems unfair for the organization to pay someone less for the same work in the same role, regardless of where they go. However, if you look at it from another angle for a minute and compare this practice to what most companies do, it should make more sense. For example, say you work for a company with physical locations and say they haven't accepted that remote work is as productive as coming into the office yet. If you wanted to pack up and move to a location where they did not have a physical site, you would have no alternative but to resign and seek new employment in your new location. You would find quickly that companies in the area pay at local employment market rates.
Now, let's say the company did have a site in your new location and they offered the flexibility to transfer. If they did not have a similar position open, you would have to either apply for a different open position in the same company or resign and apply externally (back to the realization that other companies will pay at local market rates). If you were lucky enough that they did have a similar role in the new location, a transfer would come with a pay rate based on the local market to ensure equity across all incumbents (people in the job) by location.
Adjusting pay according to the local market in all cases is fair to everyone. We can't remain consistent if we make exceptions to the policy and allow someone to make greater than local market rate for the same work others in that region are doing (or will be hired to do). We realize we might lose a few good people over this pay policy, but being fair to all team members is not negotiable. It is a value we stand behind and take very seriously.
During the fourth quarter of each year, People Operations will conduct a compensation review to ensure all team members are paid based on market data in the compensation calculator. This is not a Cost of Living Adjustment, but instead a review of the market changes. Rent Index and Experience Factor will continue to be a part of the compensation calculator equation. The annual compensation review is not directly linked to performance reviews nor the ability to be promoted. The increase percentage may vary for each person. For instance, experience factors are reviewed as part of a compensation adjustment or promotion, which GitLab encourages to happen independently from this review. If a team member was recently adjusted, the annual adjustment might yield no additional salary during the annual compensation review. This review acts as a sweep for each team member’s compensation to be evaluated at least once per year.
As part of the new Annual Compensation Review, managers will review/approve the proposed salary increases to ensure that we are paying each team member to market. The increases will be effective January 1, 2018 and are derived from the iterated version of the compensation calculator. Please verify the compensation calculator inputs (experience factor, level, title) are accurate. Note: The experience factors come from the 2017 Experience Factor Worksheet, where all managers inputted the data in October 2017.
If you did not conduct an experience factor review with your direct report, please advise People Operations and follow the guidelines from the handbook. It is very important to you use the Experience Factor Worksheet to determine the correct final Experience Factor and to have discussions with your direct reports. It is very important that GitLabbers understand their experience factor.
While some GitLabbers may not receive an increase due to already being at the right market rate for their Experience Factors, Level, Role, and Location there are other circumstances where an increase should be avoided. If there are any reasons as to why the team member should not receive the proposed increase to be aligned with their experience and market in our calculator, please ping brittany@ domain or barbie@ domain in the manager worksheet and add your comments in the “reasoning” cell. This could be due to a current performance issue, pending termination, etc. If you would like to delay the increase, please outline a proposed plan of action and deadline.
For positions in the compensation calculator, each eligible team member will receive at least a prorated 3% increase in base salary as a Cost of Living Adjustment effective January 1, 2018. Eligible Sales team members will also receive the Cost of Living Adjustment effective January 15, 2018. Note: Director/Execs and SDRs/BDRs will be reviewed separately in Q1 2018.
The experience factor is determined by the direct manager for each team member, and reviewed by all indirect managers. This factor does not directly reflect years of work experience, but instead, demonstrated ability to drive projects and deliverables from their job description to completion within GitLab. The goal of quantifying experience factors, as it relates to compensation, is to ensure they are accurate to work toward getting to the right salary. Experience Factors should also be used in coaching and developing employees. We will be fixing the compensation tool, but we need accurate data going into the iteration to make sure the compensation tool is also accurate. In 2017, we hope to get the correct baseline for the experience factors for our employees going into 2018.
If a manager is new to the team member, and has not had time to assess the experience factor, collaboration with previous managers or colleagues to determine the person’s skills is encouraged. This can serve as a strong data point when assessing experience factors.
It is important to take all aspects of the position description into account when determining experience factor. To ensure you are quantifying the experience factors in the right way, refer to our Experience Factor Worksheet. Save a copy in the name of your team member and use the job description to help populate the responsibilities. It is a great idea to this with the participation of your team member. If the job description isn't correct, use this as an opportunity to update it. In addition, the most recent performance review can be a helpful tool when distinguishing the experience factor the team member is currently performing at. We are changing the way we do performance reviews (decoupling from comp, using 360 feedback, etc). Performance reviews should not be about judging, but helping people. We do not want performance reviews where people are holding back, so these metrics are different as experince factors are used within the compensation tool.
It is critical that all managers share the experience factors with the respective team member, including how they arrived at that factor. Team Members should understand where they stand in relation to the individual experience factors and weights that led to the final number.
|New to the position requirements||0.8|
|Learning the position requirements||0.9|
|Comfortable with the requirements||1|
|Thriving with the requirements||1.1|
|Expert in the requirements||1.2|
Explanation of Experience factors:
If you have any questions around determining experience factors, please feel free to open an issue or email People Operations.
As a natural extension of the Compensation Principles outlined above, and our commitment to transparency, sharing, efficiency, directness, and boring solutions (amongst other values), we developed a Compensation Calculator that we are rolling out for those roles in which we have the most contributors, and thus for whom the question about "what is fair compensation" comes up most frequently.
The goals of the calculator are:
As with all things at GitLab, the compensation calculator is a constant work in progress. Please send an email to
ernst@ company domain if/when you find a big difference between what the calculator suggests vs. what market data indicates. Please make sure to include all relevant links and data.
Your compensation =
SF benchmark x
(0.7 x (max (0.2, Rent Index + Hot Market Adjustment) / 1.26) + 0.30) x
Level Factor x
Experience Factor x
Contract Type Factor x
SF benchmarkis the employee salary at an experience factor of 1.0 at the 50th percentile for the role in San Francisco, which we determine using various sources of market data including Comptryx. The SF benchmark used in each position is available in the
jobs.ymlfile in this website's repo.
Rent Indexis taken from Numbeo, which expresses the ratio of cost of rent in many metro areas to the average cost of rent in New York City (i.e. Rent Index in New York = 1.00). By dividing by 1.26, we normalize the rent index to San Francisco. A minimum rent index of 0.2 has been instituted so no one is paid less than 41% of San Francisco's market. We multiply the Rent Index by 0.7 and then add 0.3, so the sum would equal 1, i.e. in San Francisco you make San Francisco's benchmark. In addition, we added the full list of rent indices used is stored in the
Hot Market Adjustmentis an adjustment to any US based metro area where the geographical area rent index is less than the hot market adjustment plus the Numbeo rent index, to recognize that "hot markets" tend to have a Rent Index that is trailing (i.e. lower than) what one would expect based on compensation rates in the area. It is currently based on the US Census Bureau's top 15 of fastest growing cities larger than 50,000 residents. We found that hot markets were better represented by high growth in part of the suburbs than by growth of the (larger) city itself. We speculate that in the short term the existing housing supply in the core of the metro area is not flexible, so growth shows up in the suburbs. We add a factor of 0.1 for every suburb mentioned in the list for a given metro area. As an example, Cedar Park, Texas and Georgetown, Texas are in the top 15 because Austin TX is growing, so we add 2 x 0.1 to Austin's Rent Index. We decided on using a constant factor instead of (for example) the actual rate of growth of the city since we are trying to capture the truly top hot markets while not overrepresenting the accuracy of the approach.
Level Factoris currently defined as junior (0.8), intermediate (1.0), senior (1.2), staff (1.4), or manager (1.4)
Experience Factorfalls between 0.8 - 1.2
Country Factoris a ratio of the comp calc to market data; it is not a bottom up assertion of cost to employer. This can be a different factor in each country; see below for further explanation. The full list of country factors is stored in the
Contract Type Factordistinguishes between employee (1) or contractor (1.17), which can be found on the
contract_types.ymlfile. A contractor may bear the costs of their own health insurance, social security taxes and so forth, leading to a 17% higher compensation for the contractor. Visit our contracts page to learn more about the different types of contracts we offer.
See the calculator in action for example for the Developer role, on the Developer job description.
To convert USD to local currency, we use the January 1 and July 1 Oanda currency conversion rates.
The compensation calculator is a tool to assist People Operations in determining a compensation package for new and existing team members. The results of the calculator are not binding. Written correspondence through a contract or letter of adjustment specify all official compensation changes. We reserve the right to change the calculator at any point in time.
In developing the compensation formula above, we looked at the compensation of our team members which had been set in the past (without the formula), and found out that there was a statistically significant correlation between compensation and the factors that are now in the formula. We purposefully chose to look for correlations with metrics that are probably causal and definitely relevant in people's lives (the rent!). This also has the advantage of letting us work with data that is readily available publicly, as opposed to trying to scour the web for market compensation rates for all roles in all locations. Perhaps surprisingly, there was a stronger correlation between compensation and rent index than with the more general cost of living index available through Numbeo (or the cost of living with rent index, for that matter); and so we moved ahead with the Rent Index. The goal of the calculator is not to compensate people for their cost of living, the goal is to offer market rate compensation, and rent is a better indicator of that than cost of living.
As we gathered feedback from the compensation calculator, we realized in some cities that are not major metro areas, the calculator would come in low. To broaden our rent index data points, we incorporated Geographical Areas into the compensation calculator.
To determine geographical areas, we looked at what the United Nations outlines globally. To determine the rent indexes for each country please see the following process per geographical area and country:
Note: The Compensation Calculator lists out metro areas or states for user interface clarity, but the process above is followed for each region, not per state.
This list will be expanded as we gain more experience with the calculator.
|Rest of World||–||1.17|
Process for Determining Country Factor:
Comptryx Benchmarkdivided by
Compensation Calculator Modelfor each position in the country. Note: If no data is available from Comptryx, we use Payscale data instead but add an additional factor of 0.15 to the multiplier. This is based on a comparison between Comptryx and Payscale data for locations where both are available.