How it works
We have a set system for compensation as part of being transparent.
You can use our compensation calculator below to see what your compensation might look like when you're joining PostHog, and to see how it might develop over time:
Location (based on market rates)
- Benchmark (San Francisco) $236,000
- Location factor 1
- Level modifier 1
- Step modifier 0.95 - 1.04
We think the fastest possible shipping comes from a leaner and stronger team. We pay generously, so you'll work with the best people in the world.
- If we are missing your country, it simply means we've not hired there before so we'd need to put together some data in advance of hiring you.
- If you're considering applying to PostHog and the salary is the only blocker, then something is wrong with our model (as we aim to pay generously) for your circumstances in most cases. Please tell us as part of the hiring process and we will review things.
More experience does not correlate with increased importance. Seniority is not a title - we don't believe in having a huge hierarchy of roles, as everyone needs to feel like the owner of the company that they are.
We pay more experienced team members a greater amount since it is reasonable to expect this correlates with an increase in skill - being able to ship faster through less time having to work things out for the first time is valuable. Experienced hires can help upskill the less experienced hires on the team too. Team members who have less experience can see a steady increase in pay over time as they increase their experience and skill.
We believe at first increased skill comes from more time spent in the role. Over time, this judgement becomes more subjective and is instead based on the speed with which you can ship or help the team to ship, the quality of your prioritization and decision-making, as well as your technical approach.
Within each level, we believe there's a place to have incremental steps to allow for more flexibility. We define these as follows:
- Learning: Starting to match expectations.
- Established: Matching expectations.
- Thriving: Exceeding expectations.
- Expert: Exceeding expectations consistently.
With exception of team members at the very beginning of their career, we hire into the Established step by default. This will give everyone the opportunity to be set up for success and leave enough room for salary increases, without the need to move up in seniority.
In line with our compensation philosophy, the benchmark for each role we are hiring for is based on the market rate in San Francisco.
We use Option Impact as our main source for our salary benchmark. However, we sometimes gather additional data sets, which includes Payscale, salary.com, reported salary on Glassdoor and LinkedIn, and other available sources. We try to have a data set that is as big as possible to reduce the margin for error and add a 1.2x multiplier to the median salary.
As the market often changes quickly, we aim to update our benchmark for each role every 6 months.
Most of our location factors are based on GitLab's location factors, and are based on market rates, not cost of living. GitLab uses a combination of data from Economic Research Institute (ERI), Numbeo, Comptryx, Radford, Robert Half, and Dice to calculate what a fair market rate is for each location. Read more on how GitLab calculates this location factor.
In order to simplify location factors, we have added a floor at 0.6 globally, and 0.65 specifically for the US. This means nobody will have a location factor lower than 0.6. We are aware that this might lead to comparatively low number for certain areas in comparison to others, but this approach allows us to move fast now and adjust the location data later on, if needed.
If your location isn't listed, we will create one for you based on Numbeo's data for the relative Cost Of Living with San Francisco.
For hiring into executive roles, we use a separate database of compensation benchmarks rather than this calculator. The terms of access to this (paid) database means that we're not able to share it publicly.
The benchmark data is all we use for executives. As a rule, executives are paid above average but not top of market.
The reason for less sophistication here is that we have very few executives, and only one for each role by definition. It's irrational to create a system so that, within a given benchmark, people are paid equally when there is just one person to consider!
Unless there is a very good reason, you'll be paid in your local currency. This means that you know exactly how much you'll get every month. The rates are from OpenRates and were taken on 1st January 2022. If your local currency is not listed, we will set the rate as effective from the date we extended your offer.
We will review changes to these rates in the first review cycle after the 1st of January. If the exchange rates have moved, we'll move the location factors up and down (including possibly the floor) to compensate. That way your pay won't fluctuate up or down and you can feel confident in your pay.
We review pay proactively and currently run pay reviews (benchmarks, steps and levels) for the whole team each quarter. We will likely reduce this frequency as the team grows to a size where this isn't practical to sustain. You do not need to do anything - our goal is to keep your compensation at an appropriate level without you having to ask. We also keep compensation reviews separate from performance reviews.
As we do these much more frequently than regular companies, team members should definitely not expect these to result in a change to their Step or Level each time - often they will stay the same. Additionally, team members will find that their Step will change more frequently than their Level. Finally, we may change pay without editing Step or Level if we feel the market rates for the underlying benchmark have gone up.
How the review process works
To make sure everyone has an equal chance at getting a pay rise, we do not factor in how frequently someone requests one. When increasing pay we only look at our calculator and performance. This helps us to be as inclusive as possible, as underrepresented groups are statistically less likely to request a pay rise.
We want to increase pay as frequently as we can in a proactive way, rather than putting the onus on the team member to negotiate every time.
We use an internal compensation calculator spreadsheet to track salaries, underlying benchmarks and increase dates. We use our Compensation Calculator as the basis of any compensation reviews.
Any increases will be communicated by James and Tim, as they are the only people responsible for communicating pay rises, as compensation is not a manager's responsibility at PostHog. Kendal will follow up with an email confirmation and make the pay increases in time for the next payroll. Your current level and step can be found in your profile on CharlieHR, and will be updated following each adjustment.
You will only hear from them if there has been a change in your pay, not if it is staying the same. We do not review everyone's pay on the same day, and we do not share when we decided not to increase your pay - deliberately. This is to reduce pressure around the process.
Statiscally, more frequent reviews means that it is more likely than not that your pay won't change in a given review. We don't want people to feel disappointed that their pay isn't increasing every quarter, as this isn't realistic.
If you're planning on relocating, your salary will be adjusted (up or down) to your new location. This will be done at the next compensation review. If this represents an increase in pay, we need to approve this change in advance - we cannot guarantee it is always possible, as our budgets may or may not allow it.
If you are nomading, we will set your location factor for the place that you are spending the most time in over the next 3 months. Our frequent compensation reviews mean that we can make adjustments reasonably frequently, but again any increase needs approval in advance.
It’s important to us that all PostHog employees can feel invested in the company’s success. Every one of us plays a critical role in the business and deserves a share in the companies success as we grow. When employees perform well, they contribute to the business doing well, and therefore should share a part of the increased financial value of the business.
As part of your compensation, you will receive share options in the company. Broadly, the amount of options will depend on the Level as per the Experience Factor. We may change this policy from time to time depending on our rate of hiring - e.g. if we had a gap in hiring for an extended period, we would adjust this.
Whilst the terms of options for any company could vary if we were ever acquired, we have set them up with the following key terms which we believe are industry-leading in their friendliness to employees:
- Standard 4-year vesting with a 1-year cliff
- 10 years to exercise your options in the event that you leave PostHog
- Double trigger acceleration, which means if you are let go or forced to leave due to the company being acquired, you receive all of your options at that time
- Vesting starts from your start date (not after a "probation period" or similar)
- For UK-based team members, our options are part of the EMI share options scheme, which is tax-advantaged
It can take time to approve options, as it requires a board meeting and company valuation. We can clarify the likely time frame at the time we're hiring you. Vesting will always start from when you joined PostHog, not from when you receive your option agreement. While we can commit to a particular percentage, we cannot commit to a particular strike price when offering share options, as the valuations are done by a third party and can vary depending on where we are in our funding cycle.
Check out our share options FAQs to learn more.
Trading cash compensation for equity
As the value of PostHog equity has risen significantly in a short period of time, we want to give everyone the option to trade any future pay rises for more share options. We also want to give everyone more flexibility in their overall compensation.
- You can trade up to 100% of any pay rise you receive for share options at a 1:1 ratio of cash to equity
- Share options are granted in line with our regular terms listed above, except vesting starts immediately with no 1-year cliff
- While the share options may not be granted for a while (as we allocate them in batches), vesting will be backdated to the date your pay rise was agreed
- As with regular share options, we cannot promise any particular strike price for these
You will get 4x your annual pay rise equivalent in equity total, which then vests over 4 years. For example, if you were offered a $10k pay rise, you can instead get $40k in share options in total, which will vest by $10k per year over 4 years.
In order to offer this scheme we need to make it as simple to administer, so it only applies to pay rises, not existing salaries. We may occasionally need to temporarily suspend this if we are in the middle of a funding round.
We are fully committed to ensuring that you are set up for success, but also understand that it may take some time to determine whether or not there is a long term fit between you and PostHog.
During the first 3 months of your employment, you can choose to end your contract with 1 week's notice. If we chose to end your contract, PostHog will give you 4 weeks' notice. In both scenarios, we expect you to hand over your work to the team, but you won't have to work the rest of your notice period.
Your manager is responsible for monitoring and specifically reviewing your performance throughout this initial period. If under-performance is a concern, or if there is any hesitation regarding the future at PostHog, this should be discussed immediately with you and your manager.
At PostHog, average performance gets a generous severance.
If PostHog decides to end your contract after the first 3 months of employment have been completed, we will give you 4 months' pay. It is likely we will ask you to stop working immediately.
If the decision to leave is yours, then we just require 1 month of notice.
We have structured notice in this way as we believe it is in neither PostHog's nor your interest to lock you into a role that is no longer right for you due to financial considerations. This extended notice period only applies in the case of under-performance or a change in business needs - if your contract is terminated due to gross misconduct then you may be dismissed without notice. If this policy conflicts with the requirements of your local jurisdiction, then those local laws will take priority.
We currently operate our employment contracts in the two geographic regions where we have business entities:
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
This means, if you live in one of those countries, you will be directly employed by PostHog as an employee in one of our entities.
If you live outside the US or the UK, we use Deel as our international payroll provider.
In most cases, you would be an independent contractor and you will invoice us monthly via Deel. Deel offers pretty much all countries and currencies. As a contractor, you will be responsible for your own taxes.
In case contracting isn't an option, Deel also offers an Employer of Record service, so you would be employed by Deel on our behalf. However, you must have the independent right to work in the country of residence.
In the UK and for international contractors, we run payroll monthly, on or before the last working day of the month.
In the US, we run payroll twice a month, on the 15th and on the last day of the month.