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Where can I find what kind of salaries and options I should give to the first 10 employees?

My startup is growing and as it is happening I have to employ more people. Something I could never grasp is how to define the salaries. I want to be competitive, I want my employees to have fair salaries, to be rewarded properly, but not over the top. The thing is that I am in general too generous. People tell me I am crazy but somehow I feel guilty if the company earns proportionally much more than its employees. What do you think? Where do I find average salaries I should pay to the first 10 employees?

5 Replies

Chipit Promotions
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Chipit Promotions Entrepreneur
Software Architect
Good, so many companies are greedy. Your employees *are* your company. If you feel generous, then be generous. There is enough greed in the world. Be the Yin to the Yang.
Rob Gropper
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
wealthfront had a pretty good tool for early stage companies and compensation (salaries and equity), but it looks like they retired the tool. some good info here though. https://blog.wealthfront.com/startup-employee-equity-compensation/Also, Glassdoor.com has some good data.https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/index.htm
Paul Brunson
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Paul Brunson Entrepreneur
Senior Security Program Manager, Infrastructure - GFS at Microsoft
I have the same sort of question, on first set of employees' salary and compensation, but would like to find some resources that would be useful for planning my entire companies financials. I'm pre-funded, bootstrapping at this time. Are there any online calculators or estimators that would help me plan out ALL expenses (at least the hard, fixed costs such as salary, healthcare benefits, taxes, etc.) that would help me plan how big an Angel/Seed round should be?

Rob Gropper
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Swati, i suggest you find/make friends with a recruiter or 2 or more who are experts in your markets - your geography and your industry. Have lunch with them. They should know current salary and benefit data like they know their own name. they should be able to tell you what skills are in high, low and moderate demand and appropriate ranges of compensation. You may or may not be able to afford the recruiter's fees, but they should be willing to share this info for nothing - lunch or dinner perhaps. If not, find others. you should see consistent numbers across multiple recruiters.
Rob Gropper
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Paul, same advise re determining compensation rates - talk to a recruiter or 3 or 10. there are plenty of them in the Seattle area. As for modeling employee expenses, it's pretty easy to build your own model in excel. You will need to build your own financial model anyway for your own situation so adding a tab for employee costs is trivial. You should build your own model because it will force you to become intimate with the details. You will likely spend more time trying to adapt someone else's model to your own needs than building your own from scratch. I've started 4 companies and the financial model for each is unique -more work trying to modify the previous model than to build the new one from scratch. again, local recruiters will know local salary/comp. information in their sleep. I have a simple excel model/calculator i can share that helps me extrapolate hourly cost to fully burdened cost if you message me. It simply factors in payroll taxes, insurance, B & O, etc. pretty simple.
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