Social media start up - Global - 40 people - For Profit.

  • M. Professional, scientific and technical activities
  • Global
  • 1-100

  • Profit

Teal Practices

#### Salary components

The process of setting one's salary at Buffer focuses on a formula with 5 components:

  • Base Component: A general base level for each type role
  • Location: Cost of living in each teammate’s city (they use Numbeo to help with this)
  • Family: An allowance for kids, parents, partners or other dependents
  • Journey: Journey correlates to expanded role, leadership, and how often the teammate is sought out for advice
  • Experience: Putting a value to the growth of skills and knowledge that teammates accrue over time

Advice Process

Each person has the ability to adjust each of these components to what feels fair for their case, using the formula as a general guideline. For example, for the location component, if you're in a C bracket but are traveling for several months through quite a few B cities, you might decide to go somewhere in between those two.

Salary sounding board

A key element of this process is the “Salary Sounding Board.” This is a rotating group of team members whose role is to assist in finding an equilibrium for salary adjustments from a position of higher perspective.

The Sounding Board helps each salary adjustment find its equilibrium through various methods, which could change depending on the situation. Some approaches could include:

  • Suggesting team members who might provide a useful perspective on a salary adjustment and who might not have been sought for advice or been heard yet
  • Cultivating transparency through open discussions and advice
  • Encouraging honesty in the advice process, even when it may be challenging (for example, if someone feels that a salary adjustment is too high)
  • Sensing adjustments (or lack of adjustments) that feel out of equilibrium

The Sounding Board pays attention to how salary adjustments are proceeding across the entire company, to help the process stay healthy and encouraging while also balancing all perspectives and the overall financial wellbeing of Buffer.


The compensation of every colleague in Buffer is public, not only to colleagues themselves, but even to the outside world. [1]

Notes and references

  1. Courtney Seiter, colleague at Buffer, May 2015 ↩︎