In the tech industry, compensation is a tricky beast. Although startups have it in their best interest to run “lean” — onboarding employees with below-market salaries and padding offers with equity to keep overhead costs low — it can backfire when the company doesn’t alter that attitude as it evolves.
Today, Comparably has launched to help both businesses and employees recognize fair market value for both technical and non-technical roles in the industry.
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Jason Nazar, co-founder and CEO of Comparably, told TNW that he recognized the nuances of company salary and culture when he began his previous venture, DocStoc. In the competitive world of Silicon Valley, it’s important for companies to provide their employees honesty about the compensation and benefits they’re receiving in relationship to other startups that are out there.
“It’s one thing to offer equity, but it’s another to treat someone like an owner of the business,” Nazar said. “When you are open and transparent about what market is for people’s roles, and what you do well and don’t do well, it builds accountability and ownership.”
This concept works two ways: it offers employees the leverage to understand when they aren’t being paid fairly, and helps employers curb the ‘grass is greener’ mentality that materializes when companies flaunt their perks.
Free to sign up for employees, Comparably first asks a user what their role and yearly salary are, to add data to the platform. Then, users can breakdown market compensation for their roles, the size of the company, the total investment money raised by the company and the gender of the employee. Using a combination of self-reporting, company and recruiter insights, and publicly available records, Comparably then shows the user where they fall in the bell curve of salaries for their title as well as comparable titles.
It’s also a possibly enlightening experience to uncover when and how women are paid less than men.
“We’re going to be in the position to have relevant, real-time data under the gender pay gap,” he added.
Comparably also offers a more qualified examination of company culture: users will be able to see what kind of benefits and experiences are better or worse compared to similar roles in the industry. This could be important — all the free lunch in the world won’t be able to fix ingrained culture problems like lack of diversity or brutal review periods.
Comparably will also be publishing reports about compensation and culture, related to specific roles in the industry as well as how certain kinds of companies stack up. Businesses will also be able to use the platform to monitor employee salary bands and culture assessments once the enterprise product version becomes available.
For Nazar and his three co-founders — which have been involved in six different startups and sold five — the goal is to make every company worth loyalty.
“We’ve seen a lot of different sized companies,” he said. “If we can help provide and unprecedented level of transparency on compensation and culture, we can do a lot to empower employees and help companies evolve.”