How Wages Work
For each business role, we have defined an overall wage range which is fair and profitable for Cantilever. The bottom end of the range represents an amount we could profitably pay for someone to be at the very junior level in that category. The top end represents what we might be able to pay for the "ideal" person in that category – even if we couldn’t afford to take on someone at that salary today.
- Each function’s salary range is then split into “Pay Tiers” (Trainee, ⭐️, ⭐️⭐️, ⭐️⭐️⭐️)
- Within each tier, there are eleven “Steps” (0 through 10).
Managers use the
We have a private spreadsheet to run the specific calculations within the tiers, but they are linear, and you can use a calculator plus the tables below to compute them, or ask a manager.
All wages are is computed for US W2 employees, and then adjusted for other locations:
- Denmark: TBD
- Rest of World: Listed pay + 12% to compensate for higher employee tax burden.
How to Compute Pay
- Figure out which function the role is in. This will be listed in the Job Description.
- Determine if the person is part-time or full-time.
- Figure out which “Pay Tier” and “Pay Step” applies to the team member. This will be the team member’s original offer, and also discussed continually privately between the team member and their manager.
- Figure out if the person is in the US, Denmark or somewhere else.
You are a full time QA engineer in the US. Your manager has assessed you at ⭐️, step 10.
- Role: QA
- Type: Full-Time
- Tier: ⭐️
- Step: 10
- Location: US
- Salary: $54,500
Computing wages for partners is more complex since it may include stock awards, individual performance bonuses, buyout payments, etc. Partner compensation decisions are case-base-case. They start with the pay tiers but may not ultimately align with them strictly.
One of our values is Radical Candor, so we have decided to codify and publish our compensation publicly. Each team member’s pay tier (not their exact pay) is also visible to everyone else in the company in the Team Directory.
USD vs. Local Currency
The wage matrix is in USD to ensure fairness between different locations. Actual payments are made to each team member in local currency based on their location. Payments should be converted to local currency at the time of payment.
Raises and Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA)
Every quarterly review between you and your manager should involve some discussion of wages. If you ever feel underpaid (or if you are some kind of saint and feel overpaid), please speak up! The pay tiers will be reviewed and adjusted regularly to keep pace with inflation within the Remote Work labor market. Whenever we raise the pay tiers, you will get a small raise automatically in order to maintain your current position within the tier structure.
International Team Members
International team members are paid as contractors. Their wages are determined by the ladder, plus an additional 12% to cover the share of payroll taxes that would have been covered for them were they based in the US, plus their lack of sick leave/healthcare reimbursements. This equalizes their effective wage with a US-based colleague in the same pay tier.
Denmark Team Members
Wages of team members in Denmark are determined by the same ladder, minus ∼14.5% that cover the benefits and the local taxes. Team Members that are residents in Denmark are paid in DKK. Denmark’s tax system is progressive, so there is no real fixed rate for the employees. Taxes are entirely dependent upon personal circumstances; some employees pay a higher tax rate, while others pay a lower rate. Compensation can therefore be adjusted based on the preferences of the employee. For example, it is very common for employees to choose a pension scheme over higher compensation.