Seer Salary Transparency & Compensation Strategy

January 2021 Update:

Transparency sits at the heart of our values, with salary transparency playing a crucial role in Seer’s compensation strategy.

Our People Team is dedicated to ensuring an equitable and competitive compensation strategy, no matter where you work from. As we continue to grow into a remote-first agency, our compensation strategy is evolving into a more remote-centered model as well.

There will be more information to come as we refresh our Salary Transparency Guide for 2021! In the meantime, check out the internal initiative that brought salary transparency to life at Seer:


Launching Seer Salary Transparency & Compensation Strategy

According to employee feedback from our annual engagement surveys, the team consistently reported that they felt confused and dissatisfied about their compensation. It was critical for us to bring transparency to compensation decisions at Seer, and now we’re excited to share it publicly.

Watch the video below to hear from Emily Allen, Vice President of People Operations at Seer, on how she navigated the launch of our Compensation Strategy, and how it solidified the team’s understanding of their compensation and earning potential:

After launching Seer’s salary transparency and compensation strategy, the team understanding of how these decisions are made went from 9% to 95-97%.

ACCESS THE SLIDES

 

Interview with VP of People Operations

When launching our compensation strategy, Emily had the goals to align our values with how we handle compensation decisions. She wanted to ensure the company understood:

  • How Seer handled and viewed compensation
  • How to access divisional and level salary ranges
  • How performance affected compensation decisions

Our philosophy around compensation is that annually, we evaluate and ensure we remain competitive: our ranges reflect the 40th to 90th + percentile in the market.

At Seer, compensation is reviewed on a yearly cadence around the time of team member’s work anniversary, looking at factors such as:

  • How they are staffed
  • Impact they’ve had on the company: revenue, retention, taskforces
  • Performance: growing client accounts, mentoring teammates, thought leadership

How Did We Get Here?

From HR “Best Practices” to Transparency Mindset

When I started at Seer Interactive, I was the first “HR” and recruiting person the company had. At that time, we were about 50-60 or so people in total headcount.

I had been coming in from industries that were highly regulated like government, finance, and education, I’d become pretty risk-averse in my practice — okay, I was compliance-crazed — looking back it always makes me laugh (and cringe) that one of my first orders of business was to immediately get the appropriate Labor Law posters ordered and in place, along with ensuring we had I-9s for the whole team on file (which we didn’t).

I’ll never forget Wil Reynolds’ face when I excitedly shared with him that the posters were ordered and I’d be hanging them in the kitchen [his face read: oh, HELL NO, we’re not hanging some lawyer-y looking posters in our cool common space!]

I actually think my face looked the exact same way when Wil first talked to me about making salaries transparent at Seer. Full circle!

Identifying the Need for a Company-Wide Compensation Strategy

In anonymous employee engagement surveys, one mark we consistently scored low in was compensation. As a Leadership Team, we decided to prioritize scaling the way that we manage and communicate to our team about compensation because of that feedback. When poring over comments/suggestions, it was clear that:

…The team didn’t understand how compensation decisions were made by the company.

Additionally, they didn’t understand when they were made or at what cadence they were made, and maybe even more importantly, they didn’t understand how they could impact their compensation. In general, we did not have a clear, articulate way to speak about our beliefs as it relates to how we pay our team. So, we set out to do just that: very, very transparently.

The Plan to Tackle Team Dissatisfaction with Salary Transparency

I immediately began searching for information. After all, there are HR professionals whose whole job is about defining compensation strategy.

I searched online, I spoke with consultants, and I had many lunch and coffee dates with industry peers to understand how they’d done it. The only “resource” that I was able to uncover that would assist me in this journey was hiring someone to do it for me. While it was an option, it wasn’t the best one for us. So, I poured myself a big cup of coffee, rolled up my sleeves, put my figure-it-out glasses on, and with the support of a few members of our Leadership Team, got to work.

Now What?

We launched our strategy, company-wide, in January 2017 and now we’re sharing it publicly with all of you.

By no means am I an expert here, I’m creating, failing, learning and re-creating on the daily.  However, this is really freakin’ hard. There’s no instruction kit on how to build something like this, how to best launch it, and refine it. My hope is that by publicly sharing this journey, it will serve as an inspiration.

I hope it will allow other companies to have a jumping off point; learn from my failures, and take away ideas that they may be able to implement to increase their team’s understanding of such a sensitive, uncomfortable, yet really important piece of their career and development: compensation.”

Emily-Allen-Headshot-Photo

Emily Allen, Vice President of People Operations

 

Want Salary Transparency at Your Next Gig? We’re Hiring

If you value salary transparency, learn more about working at Seer or read more posts on how Seer’s leadership and People Ops team identify ways to give back to the team:

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