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SignalFire's Startup Recruiting Guide
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Compensation Benchmarks and Templates
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This spreadsheet and template from Option Impact includes recent data on expected ranges for engineering salaries, bonuses, and equity for a variety of seniority levels.
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While it’s not perfectly up to date and doesn’t take into account COVID-19 or remote work’s impact on compensation, it should give you a foundation for headcount planning.
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The additional tabs provide templates for building your own compensation workbooks for engineering, product, sales, marketing, and customer support.
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This resource is part of early-stage venture fund SignalFire's Startup Recruiting Guide chapter on hiring planning. For more startup how-to guides, sign up here.
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To download and use these templates, go to "File" -> "Download" -> "Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)"
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Hypothetical example (not real data): Engineering compensation benchmarks
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Engineering - Pod name - Group name
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Job Code and Leveling
Target Range - BASE + Incentive
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Option Impact Job Code
Option Impact Title
Company Name Job Title
Tech/Non Tech
Exec/Lead/IC
Internal Group Level
MinimumMedianMaximum
HM Expected Comp Range (base, incentive & equity)
Aproved by Finance
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(-15% Median)
(50th- NT, T
(+15% Median)
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2130
Software Development Engineer Intern
Software Engineer InternTech ICEng - 1
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2121Software Development Engineer 1Software Enginer ITechICEng - 2$90,000.00$108,000.00$115,000.00$105,000 - $125,000 + 20k equityY
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2122Software Development Engineer 2Software Enginer IITechICEng - 3$110,000.00$120,000.00$130,000.00$120,000 - $135,000 + 35k equityY
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2123Software Development Engineer 3Sr. Software EngineerTechICEng - 4$130,000.00$145,000.00$155,000.00$130,000 - $165,000 + 50k equityY
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2124Software Development Engineer 4Staff Software EngineerTechICEng - 5$140,000.00$158,130.00$169,100.00$145,000 - $190,000 + 75k equityY
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Real Option Impact data from 2016-2018 (not used to create the example above)
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Selection Criteria
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Location:SF Bay Area
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Industry:Information Technology
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Founding Status:Non-Founders
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Group Data By:Funding Round
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Select Data For:Post Series A, Post Series B
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Export Date:11/29/2018
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Note: 'N/A' indicates a section of data which was suppressed to maintain confidentiality.
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Copyright © 2018 Advanced-HR, Inc. All rights reserved.
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JobCodeJobCode / TitleCurrency# EmployeesBase SalaryTarget Incentive PayTotal Target Pay% Total EquityTotal Equity Gross Value% Last Refresh GrantLast Refresh Grant Gross Value
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5th10th15th25th40th50th60th75th80th85th90th# Employees5th10th15th25th40th50th60th75th80th85th90th5th10th15th25th40th50th60th75th80th85th90th5th10th15th25th40th50th60th75th80th85th90th25th50th75th5th10th15th25th40th50th60th75th80th85th90th25th50th75th
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2114SW Engineering, ManagerUSD97$140,000$150,000$151,050$160,000$170,000$175,000$180,000$190,000$192,240$200,150$210,00019$9,120$10,000$10,000$15,000$15,000$16,050$17,000$18,000$18,200$19,500$25,000$140,000$150,000$155,000$163,250$171,894$180,000$185,000$192,500$198,448$205,393$210,0000.02%0.04%0.05%0.08%0.12%0.16%0.23%0.33%0.45%0.56%0.92%$112,710$263,503$550,1920.01%0.01%0.01%0.02%0.02%0.03%0.04%0.09%0.11%0.17%0.32%$48,811$89,152$174,123
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2116SW Engineering, DirectorUSD92$162,600$170,000$173,751$180,000$185,400$194,147$200,000$210,000$211,635$220,000$229,85023$6,000$13,200$18,000$18,700$19,499$20,000$21,480$30,000$33,125$47,375$51,924$162,600$170,000$174,950$180,938$195,000$200,000$205,000$220,000$225,500$231,200$247,0000.07%0.10%0.10%0.14%0.21%0.29%0.34%0.52%0.64%0.69%0.94%$106,008$197,396$496,7270.02%0.02%0.02%0.03%0.05%0.05%0.05%0.10%0.13%0.17%0.34%$21,232$51,597$191,684
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2121SW Engineer 1USD177$77,700$85,000$90,000$100,000$105,000$108,000$110,000$115,000$120,000$122,300$125,00033$4,970$5,114$5,136$6,704$9,300$10,000$10,700$11,500$11,710$11,750$12,000$77,700$85,000$91,680$100,000$105,200$110,000$110,000$120,000$124,102$125,000$126,6000.01%0.01%0.02%0.03%0.03%0.04%0.05%0.08%0.10%0.11%0.14%$18,437$40,105$99,9820.01%0.01%0.01%0.01%0.02%0.02%0.03%0.05%0.05%0.07%0.10%$13,153$22,193$58,701
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2122SW Engineer 2USD315$100,000$105,000$110,000$115,000$120,000$120,000$125,000$130,000$130,680$135,000$140,00067$4,374$5,750$5,906$10,500$11,500$11,500$12,000$12,000$12,500$12,500$13,500$100,000$105,000$110,000$120,000$122,700$125,500$130,000$132,000$135,000$137,901$140,0000.02%0.02%0.03%0.03%0.05%0.06%0.06%0.11%0.13%0.15%0.18%$35,685$59,387$130,3090.01%0.01%0.01%0.01%0.01%0.02%0.02%0.04%0.04%0.10%0.21%$12,835$19,005$47,393
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2123SW Engineer 3USD441$120,000$125,000$130,000$135,000$140,000$145,000$150,000$155,000$160,000$160,985$166,05670$5,000$9,438$10,000$11,875$13,250$13,875$14,000$14,500$14,840$15,140$16,000$120,000$125,000$130,000$136,500$143,000$150,000$150,000$160,000$160,000$163,665$168,5520.02%0.03%0.03%0.05%0.07%0.08%0.10%0.16%0.19%0.24%0.30%$48,446$100,283$227,9960.01%0.01%0.01%0.01%0.02%0.02%0.02%0.04%0.04%0.05%0.07%$22,343$42,687$102,034
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2124SW Engineer 4USD362$126,300$140,000$140,000$145,000$153,760$158,130$160,000$169,100$170,000$174,000$175,00048$8,570$10,000$10,667$14,063$15,000$15,300$15,662$16,225$16,500$16,872$18,605$126,300$140,000$140,000$150,000$155,000$160,000$165,000$170,000$172,871$175,000$180,0000.03%0.04%0.05%0.07%0.09%0.11%0.15%0.20%0.28%0.38%0.55%$68,973$123,856$251,6360.01%0.01%0.01%0.02%0.03%0.03%0.04%0.06%0.09%0.13%0.18%$25,230$41,210$99,182
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2125SW Engineer 5USD176$148,500$150,000$158,200$165,000$170,000$175,000$180,000$185,000$190,000$190,000$196,09219$6,250$10,000$10,000$15,000$16,000$17,500$18,300$21,000$25,000$36,720$47,125$148,500$150,000$160,000$165,000$170,000$175,000$180,000$190,000$190,000$196,814$200,0000.04%0.05%0.07%0.09%0.13%0.16%0.20%0.28%0.39%0.53%0.69%$81,271$138,744$297,8420.01%0.01%0.01%0.02%0.03%0.04%0.04%0.05%0.06%0.08%0.13%$30,196$42,699$103,025
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2126SW Engineer 6USD79$150,000$165,000$170,000$175,000$185,000$190,000$200,000$206,000$210,000$220,000$229,84015$17,500$18,118$18,932$20,000$20,240$25,000$38,800$52,438$52,448$52,942$54,499$150,000$165,000$170,000$175,000$185,000$195,000$203,828$220,000$229,840$230,000$250,0000.05%0.07%0.09%0.14%0.23%0.33%0.38%0.54%0.63%0.90%1.01%$123,628$290,238$608,4850.01%0.02%0.03%0.04%0.05%0.06%0.07%0.09%0.09%0.14%0.15%$37,623$113,073$302,781
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2130SW InternUSD10$33,600$33,840$35,160$51,120$58,656$67,600$79,520$84,250$84,800$87,800$92,2000$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$33,600$33,840$35,160$51,120$58,656$67,600$79,520$84,250$84,800$87,800$92,2000.05%0.05%0.05%0.05%0.06%0.07%0.09%0.10%0.10%0.10%0.10%$31,508$44,662$57,8160.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%$0$0$0
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2131SW TechnicianUSD2N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
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2132SW Technician, SeniorUSD0N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
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Example of Option Impact Job Level Definitions (This example was not used to create benchmarks above)
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This template is part of SignalFire’s Startup Recruiting Guide chapter on hiring planning. To get the next chapter, sign up here.
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If you’d like to learn more about our fund and talent program, you can contact the author, our Director of Talent Operations Crystal Guerrero, here: crystal@signalfire.com
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About Option Impact's compensation data services
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Option Impact provides the highest quality, private company compensation data available.
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With over 3000 participating companies, Option Impact is the largest pre-IPO survey specific to venture-backed startups.
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Participation enables you to access cash & equity data across all levels and roles for $0. Getting started is easy:



1. Sign up for an account here.

2. Complete your company input.

3. Choose your access timeline:

a. Standard QA Review – $0; access within 21 days.

b. Access Data Now – $500; immediate access following input.



Key Benefits:

· 3000+ participants, the largest pre-IPO survey specific to venture-backed companies

· Base salary, bonus, and % total equity on executives, staff and BOD data

· Automated custom benchmark analysis for all employees and more



Please email compensation@shareworks.com or call 415.362.2200 if you have any questions or if you’d like additional information.
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