How We Think About Pay & Rewards at Glassdoor

Imagine a world where everyone can find a job and company they love, where everyone is treated and paid fairly, and a world where companies are held accountable to strive to become better employers. We believe with radical transparency, we can take steps towards making this world a reality.

One of the best examples of the power of transparency is with regard to salary. Today, very few of us share what we get paid. It’s taboo. But imagine a world where everyone shared their salary. While it sounds uncomfortable at first, you can quickly see that it would be better for everyone. It would empower every job seeker and employer to ensure that employees are paid fairly. Pay equity is something we are incredibly passionate about at Glassdoor.

To make this change in the world, we need to start at home. We are taking our first step by publicly sharing Glassdoor’s Total Rewards Philosophy. This is an important resource for anyone considering working at Glassdoor. Our next step will be to publicly share the pay bands for roles across Glassdoor in November. We do all of this in the pursuit of ensuring everyone who comes to work at Glassdoor will know with certainty that they are paid equitably. Our goal is to drive change everywhere, both by (1) leveraging the powerful salary transparency provided by our platform and (2) leading by example.

To learn more about Glassdoor’s Rewards Philosophy, see below.

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Total Rewards Philosophy 

At Glassdoor, our number one company value is transparency. We believe transparency empowers people with the right information to make the right decisions. Whether you are a job candidate considering working at Glassdoor, or an employee trying to learn more about your compensation package and how it can grow with your career, this document will provide answers to your questions about the compensation and rewards (Total Rewards) programs at Glassdoor. 

An Overview

Glassdoor is committed to providing a competitive and transparent compensation and rewards program to hire, retain and motivate amazing people who love working here. We apply four guiding principles for how we develop our Total Rewards. These goals (in order of priority) are:

  1. Equitable, ethical, and transparent approach
  2. Competitive and responsive to the market
  3. Globally consistent and locally sensitive
  4. Scaleable and operationally efficient

We maintain a performance-based total rewards approach that offers many types of total rewards  including base pay, variable pay, 401k or pension match, a long-term incentive plan for eligible employees and an array of benefits and perks. 

In support of pay equity, Glassdoor conducts regular compensation audits to remove any potential bias from our pay practices. If and when we find a pay gap by gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or other potential divide, we will correct it. 

Types of Total Rewards  We Offer

Our total annual cash compensation, which includes base and variable pay, takes into account industry, location and various other factors to  target a competitive range for non-tech jobs and an even more competitive range for harder-to-fill, technical roles. In other words, for non-tech roles, Glassdoor pays higher than most other similar companies, and for tech roles Glassdoor pays higher than a significant majority of other similar tech companies.  Each employee is placed in a role that is consistent with their responsibilities, skills, and experience in accordance with our leveling guides. 

1. Base Pay

We regularly evaluate our pay based on the market. We use leading and widely recognized third-party compensation data providers, combined with Glassdoor salary data and insights we learn from our recruiting experience. In addition to staying informed on the latest market trends, we pay for performance and use a merit-based approach to increase base pay as employees get more experience and increase their value to the company. 

We review and generally update salary ranges on an annual basis. We proactively recommend base pay market adjustments when the salary range midpoint for a specific role changes by 10% or more, based on our research, benchmarking and budget.  

How we determine base pay:

  • We research: We use 3rd party compensation data providers and reference Glassdoor salary data to determine competitive base pay by role. 
  • We compare: We compare our salaries to salaries at other technology companies in each of the locations where we have employees. We also calibrate against pay for similar roles within Glassdoor, in addition to  taking into account current market pay trends we learn from our recruiting process. 
  • We develop pay ranges: For non-technical roles, we target paying competitively based on  various factors, including industry, location, benchmarking salary data and more. We target even more competitively for hard-to-fill technical roles. Once we identify the midpoint, we establish a minimum and maximum for each role to create a full pay range for each specific role.
    • Minimum = midpoint – 20%
    • Maximum = midpoint + 20%

An employee’s salary relative to the midpoint of their pay range is known as their compa-ratio (aka comparison ratio). Thus, everyone’s compa ratio should be between 0.8 and 1.2. 

  • We customize: We then evaluate performance, potential, and experience to determine where employees should fall in that range. In general, when someone is new to a role, pay is at the lower end of the range. Gaining more experience and/or performing well, their pay will progress up the range. Even though not everyone is promoted every year, merit increases are the company’s way of acknowledging growth and impact within a current level. 
  • Throughout it all, we strive to operate ethically and equitably. We make pay and bonus decisions without regard to race/ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, age, marital status or any other possible factor.

How we establish pay ranges for each position:

  • We use location-specific data based on employee residence and office location (for employees who work in a Glassdoor office location). Generally, states that are deemed “Tier 1” are home to the larger metropolitan areas and will reflect the highest salary ranges (e.g. San Francisco Bay Area in CA, NYC in NY, Seattle in WA). The salary ranges for Tier 2 states have pay ranges approximately 15% less than Tier 1. Tier 3 will include states with smaller U.S. cities (including our Ohio office) and have salary ranges approximately 20% less than Tier 1 salary ranges.
  • If a Glassdoor employee relocates or moves their prime residence, Glassdoor strives to preserve the employee’s compa ratio while taking into account location-specific pay data. Compa ratio is a metric that compares the salary an employee is paid to the midpoint of the salary range for their position or similar positions at other companies. For example, if an employee has a compa ratio of 0.8 in a Tier 2 city but moves to a Tier 1 city, their base pay is likely to increase but their compa ratio will remain the same.

How base pay can change throughout employee tenure:

  • Outside of promotion, Glassdoor offers merit increases. Merit increases are typically granted one time per year during our Spring review cycle to recognize an employee’s performance and organizational contribution. 
  • Merit increases are based on the individual’s performance against objectives, their contribution to organizational success, their position within the pay range and the merit increase budget. 
  • Merit increases may be suspended or cancelled due to external economic factors. Merit increases are not guaranteed. 

2. Variable Pay

We offer employees the opportunity to earn additional income through variable incentive pay, which depends on an employee’s performance. The structure of the variable pay we offer differs for sales/customer success employees and non-sales employees.

For Sales and Customer Success employees…

Glassdoor offers a Sales Incentive Plan. Targets are set based on roles ranging from 20% to 50% of overall cash compensation, tied directly to individual and/or team results and payable on a quarterly basis.  

For Non-Sales Employees…

Glassdoor offers a bonus plan. With the bonus program, target payouts are expressed as a percentage of base pay earned during the period and are set by level. The more senior you are, the higher the target percentage. 

  • Manager / Individual Contributor 10%
  • Senior Manager / Lead Individual Contributor: 15%
  • Director: 20%
  • Senior Director: 25%
  • Vice President: 30%
  • Senior Vice President: 35%
  • CEO: 60%

The bonus pool is funded based on company performance. If the company does well, we may “overfund” the pool. If the company doesn’t meet goals, the pool may be funded at a lower amount. Individual bonuses are allocated based on individual performance, experience, contributions to the company and value to the company.  The bonus program is discretionary. 

Keep in mind the bonus targets are just that — targets. Actual amounts paid may be above or below target based on employee performance and potential and company performance during the six-month review period. 

The Glassdoor Bonus plan is paid out twice per year: Fall and Spring

Assuming the bonus pool is fully funded, an employee who receives a “successful” performance rating for the period will likely get close to their target bonus ( 80%-120% of target), “exceptional” performance would be paid above target ( 120%-150% of target) and “inconsistent” performance paid below target ( 0%-70% of target). Generally, “change is needed” performance would not receive a bonus for the 6-month review period.

3. Long Term Incentive Plan (LTIP)*

LTIP is a reward system designed to support employees’ long-term retention. LTIP value is based on growth of key company metrics, including revenue and operating profit (EBITDA) over a 3-year period.  The better the company performs, the higher the value of each LTIP unit.  Employees will be awarded the  cash value of their LTIP units after a 3-year cliff vesting period. All tech roles (excluding fixed term roles, i.e., interns and temp roles) are eligible for the plan as well as manager-level equivalent and above non-tech roles. Eligibility is based on role and location. Grants are determined based on performance, potential and experience. LTIPs are typically granted during the Spring review cycle and each new grant has a 3-year cliff vesting period, which means an employee would not receive the cash value of the grant until three years after it is granted. 

The value per LTIP unit will be determined based on key company performance metrics such as our overall revenue and EBITDA (operating profit).  

  • Future LTIP grants will be given during the Spring review cycle, will have a 36-month cliff vesting period and will be forecasted to be worth an amount determined by our three year projections at that time.

Role and location determine eligibility the following way: 

  • Location: Employees are grouped by location – tier 1 (SF etc.), tier 2 (Chicago, etc), and tier 3 (OH, etc) and country specific outside of the US. 
  • Group: Employees are also grouped into 4 different categories of Professional, Sales, Technical, and Technical IT.
  • Management level: Each role has a management level attached to it, even if it is an individual contributor role. 

Together, these three factors create LTIP targets. The expected value of LTIPs are set to compensate employees based on third-party compensation data provider benchmarks. The amount of LTIPs granted are discretionary based on an employee’s performance, experience and long-term potential to Glassdoor. 

LTIPs are not offered as a part of off-cycle internal transfers/promotions. Instead, all off-cycle promotions and transfers will be reviewed during the spring and fall review cycle for incremental or new LTIP eligibility. 

4. Other Compensation + Rewards Information

Retirement Contribution

For US employees, Glassdoor offers a 401k match: Glassdoor will contribute $0.50 for each dollar you contribute up to $6,000, with immediate vesting. Vesting refers to the portion of your account balance you are entitled to under the Plan’s vesting schedule. You are always fully and immediately vested in any elective contributions you make to the plan and you will also be fully and immediately 100% vested on any 401(k) match that Glassdoor makes.   

For Dublin employees, Glassdoor offers a pension match – Glassdoor will contribute 1% of your salary for each 1% you contribute up to 5%. 

Glassdoor provides London based employees a contribution of 5% of base salary. 

5. Benefits

Benefits are a valuable part of the rewards we offer to employees. We pay 100% of the cost of employee healthcare coverage and 80% of the cost of dependent care coverage in the U.S. for our core plans, 90% of dependent care coverage for non-U.S.  core plans, and offer other perks and benefits to support our employees at work and in life. The range of benefits includes competitive medical, dental, life insurance, generous time-off programs, health & wellness programs and/or subsidies, commuter programs and more. In addition, we provide snacks and beverages, employee resource groups, paid time off to volunteer and more.

We strive to provide benefits programs using a consistent methodology across all offices and regions but within the context of local norms. We also strive to remove all unintended bias or discriminatory practices within our benefits programs through non-discrimination testing. 

Updated as of October 2020

About the author: Shandra Johnson
I love to research and I'm very organized. I've worked in retail which is enjoyed. I wish I could find a job that allowed me to have more time with my son.

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