Those words can cause a sinking feeling in any would-be job applicant’s stomach. The clear subtext? You may find yourself going through the application process only to find that the job pays less than you are prepared to accept. Or that the company wants to get away with paying you as little as possible by giving you no information about what you can reasonably expect.
Even in situations where salary is not presented in such an opaque way, it can still be unclear how an employer eventually lands on the figure they decide to offer. The onus is placed on the employee to negotiate the best possible deal - a situation that obviously benefits those who are good at negotiating (and consistently leads to women and minorities being paid less).
Once employees start working at an organisation they may be unsure of their path to progress or what is expected of them to get a raise. It may feel like it's all in the hands of some mercurial salary gods who can’t be pleased no matter what you do.
All of this also applies to share options. As companies start out, they can be awarded in a haphazard and inconsistent manner which ends up disadvantageous to either new starts or old hands.
To combat this, we’ve built a salary and shares calculator which is clear, based on set criteria and publicly available so that any candidate, team member or just random person on the internet can have a play around and see what they might earn.
There is a base salary for every role which is then impacted by an employee's location, level of seniority, and experience. All of these factors are tied to a multiplier that is consistent across the board.
The idea is that it doesn’t matter how you negotiate: your offer is based on your skills and responsibilities. It’s clear what you have to do to get a raise and no one is paid less (or more) than the calculator works out, meaning that everyone is treated equally.
Of course, we’re by no means saying that we’ve somehow fixed all the problems of salary allocation. This is something that will be constantly tweaked and revised over time as it is stress tested by the real world.
But it’s a start. Our mission at Desana is to change the way the world works. And that has to start within our own company by making sure that those who work for us are fairly remunerated for what they do.