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How did we start building our own salary & bonus model?

How did we start building our own salary & bonus model?
Photo by micheile dot com / Unsplash

Next up on our journey of becoming the best employer for talent acquisition professionals: building a salary & bonus model! 💰

During our own careers, we've noticed with the co-founders Saara and Siiri, that not any salary & bonus model is 1) good 2) motivating 3) supporting the company's strategy in the right way. That's why we want to give special care and attention for our own salary & bonus model.

We also still want to be open about everything, so here's how we built our salary & bonus model!

Note... It's not ready yet and will change significantly in the upcoming months.

We want to make sure our salaries are transparent.

What do we believe in when talking about salaries?

#1 We don’t believe we should pay someone less only because they are junior.

#2 We don’t believe we should pay someone more only because they are seniors.

#3 We don’t believe we should pay someone more because they work more hours.

#4 We don’t believe we should pay someone less because they work fewer hours.

We believe that people should be paid for the value they are bringing to the company and its strategy & goals.

The big question is: What value means to us? Does it mean revenue? Yes, but it does mean a lot of other things as well.

What is essential in the beginning of a business?

There are many things that are important for our business, but in the beginning, there are two crucial things for us.

#1 We want to build our brand to be well-known (both for potential customers & employees).

#2 We need revenue & happy customers.

If we can achieve these two things, we will most likely be in a great situation. There are, of course, other things as well, but these two things will be emphasized in the first months / the first year. That's why they should also be recognized in our salary & bonus model.

Our salary table

In most companies, salaries are negotiated and stay between the employer & employee. Some other colleagues might earn more or less for bringing the same value.

In most companies, people don't know how much their colleagues earn exactly. But that doesn't stop guessing and gossiping.

We want to be super open about this from the beginning, so we created a salary table to be shared for every candidate and also in public.

The idea is that our monthly salary is always a fair market salary for each person.

You will find three things in this table:

#1 Salary levels from 1-6 (When a person starts, we choose the level and estimate it every six months. People always know what it takes to get to the next level.)

#2 Invoicing goals. Let's face it. All service businesses have an invoicing goal for their people. Still, most of them don't talk about those out loud. We want our people to understand how a business runs & understanding numbers are one part of that.

#3 Section 3 is about other traits where people can easily see which level they are in.

Ps. This is not ready, and I would love to have feedback on this! We love to share unfinished stuff with you.

Our bonus model

As mentioned, the goal of the base salary is to be a market salary. If you succeed better & bring some additional value to TalentBee, we will pay bonuses for those things.

I used to work in sales for +10 years, so it was something I was used to and also wanted to have in our company.

It allows people to earn much more than elsewhere when doing great things!

To be honest I think there is too much stuff here right now and we need to decide which ones to keep.

Or maybe try with all and then make changes on the way. It's all about testing things at this stage.

Here are the things we want to reward people:

1) If they automate something in our business.

2) If they bring in new customer

3) If they bring in a new colleague

4) If we get a reference story from their customer

5) If we sell more to their current customer

6) If they build their brand (&TalentBee brand at the same time)

7) If they achieve their personal growth goals (yes, we set these for you every six months and help you achieve these!)

8) Company-level profit.

Becoming an owner of TalentBee

We want to allow everyone to become an owner of TalentBee. Here's our current ownership situation:

We offer the possibility to join as an owner of TalentBee every six months.

That's our current model. It will change for sure. I would love to have some feedback & ideas!