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Airtable Salary Negotiation Guide

Do we like negotiating with Airtable?

Airtable is not very flexible during negotiations. The increase you can expect from negotiating your Airtable salary is low compared to companies like Facebook and Amazon. However, you should absolutely still negotiate or you will leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table - just be prepared for an uphill battle.

One nice component of Airtable negotiations is that recruiters rarely apply time pressure, which gives you flexibility to finish other processes and optimize your negotiation.

Airtable's compensation structure

  • Base Salary
  • Airtable Equity Package (see Airtable's RSU vesting schedule below)
  • Airtable Signing Bonus (not included in all Airtable offer packages)

It's worth noting that Airtable equity is given in the form of RSUs not options, despite being a private company. This isn't common, but we do see similar policies at Databricks, TikTok, Waymo, and some other private companies.

The benefit is you don't pay to purchase the shares (i.e. the strike price of the options), but the downside is you are taxed on this income immediately. Airtable RSUs are granted based on the last valuation round, which at the time of writing was ~$11B series F. This resulted in a preferred share price of $187.28. Airtable RSUs vest monthly with a 1-year cliff.

Airtable performance bonus targets

As of March 2022, Airtable didn't offer performance bonuses. The company has discussed adding them as they scale, but nothing is finalized yet.

Airtable equity refreshers exist, but you shouldn't count on them. They are performance based like at most companies, however the company doesn't have set targets for each performance level and recruiters will not disclose the historical percentage of employees who received stock refreshers. When given, these new grants vest with the same structure as the initial grant.

Airtable's approach to remote pay

Surprisingly, Airtable is not a very remote friendly company. They do have a few remote positions, but it is not standard for most engineering positions. Your Airtable salary will differ based on geographic location.

Airtable's relocation package

It is likely you will have to move if not located in one of the Airtable hubs (SF, NYC, Austin). If you are being required to move to join a specific team, you should push for a $10k+ relocation package for junior or mid-level positions. Senior levels will have custom relocation packages.

Most negotiable component

The most negotiable component of the offer is the Airtable sign on bonus. These signing bonuses are still smaller than companies like Facebook, but this is their most flexible component. They don't really budge on base salary or equity. That is not to say these component are impossible to negotiate, but you will face a lot of pushback.

Does Airtable require written offers?

Airtable doesn't usually require written competing offers - they typically take the offer on face value. That said, we have seen recruiters ask for the full list of companies you are interviewing with and levelling details.

In a few unique cases, they might ask for written offers, but this can be deflected if you prepare in advance.

Will Airtable go above band if I have a strong competing offer?

If you have set up the negotiation well, it is possible to go above band on signing bonus. It's much trickier on base and equity for the reasons mentioned above. It is also important to keep in mind that Airtable already pays very well to being with, which actually makes negotiations trickier.

Is my hiring manager relationship important at Airtable?

Airtable has a centralized compensation team, but it is still important to have a good relationship with your hiring manager and recruiter. Your hiring manager may be able to sway the eng leadership / finance team in your favour if you have requested above band compensation.

What does the hiring process look like at Airtable?

The hiring process at Airtable is different for every role. However, the hiring process for a software engineer typically has three stages: phone screen, onsite interview, and offer stage.

Sometimes they will give you the option for phone screen or take home. Most candidates prefer the phone screen, but if you choose the take home they might provide you with a gift card.

Does Airtable pay well compared to Databricks?

Let’s consider an Airtable software engineer salary in 2021. The total Airtable compensation package tends to be a little lower than Databricks, but these are two of the highest paying companies in the industry. For instance, if we take the role of intermediate software engineer, the total top of band compensation at Airtable L4 is around $430k, but at Databricks it is around $460k. Both of these companies skew heavily towards equity (sometimes 60-70% of the offer).

What kind of benefits does Airtable offer?

While Airtable's signing bonus should be the focus of your negotiation, it is worth evaluating Airtable's other benefits. On the positive side, they have unlimited PTO (minimum 21 days), home office reimbursements, and $1000 per year on professional development. Unfortunately, like many startups, they don't have a 401K match. You can read more about Airtable benefits on their website.

Airtable Equity Vesting Schedule

Year 1
25%
Year 2
25%
Year 3
25%
Year 4
25%
Year 5
25%
Year 5
%

Airtable Levels

Airtable Level

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

=

Equivalent Level at Google

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

Why use us?

Our Clients Love Rora

Coming from a non-FAANG background, I was shocked to find out how much I could be earning. Before I signed up with Rora, I made the mistake of telling Amazon my current compensation. Thankfully, Rora knew exactly how to fix it and ended up getting me an offer that was 2.3X what I previously made and more than $600K higher than Amazon’s initial offer!

Through several weeks of interviews, Ganesh was always available to make sure I knew what to say for each conversation. I interviewed with start ups, Google, Facebook and Amazon and was really impressed that Rora knew the comp ranges and were able to give me tailored advice for each – even the start ups.

There ended up being two particularly complex moments in my negotiation. One of the start-ups I had a personal relationship with and I wasn’t sure how it would affect the negotiation. I like that there was a focus on my individual circumstances and that they were leveraged to get me a higher offer. The other situation is that Amazon made a mistake on my written offer and initially wouldn’t rectify it. Ganesh was able to guide me through a challenging conversation to get it resolved.

Steve Commisso
L7 Principal Software Engineer, Amazon

Thanks to Wilson and the team at Rora I got a ~$250K increase on my remote Facebook offer! I was initially worried I wouldn’t have much leverage because Facebook reached out to me, and I wasn’t interviewing anywhere else. Rora introduced me to an Amazon L7 recruiter and helped me get that process started. I didn’t even end up needing to finish the Amazon interviews, since we were able to use some early compensation conversations to justify our numbers to Facebook.

At one point I was also considering pushing for an E7 role, and they wrote up a great script for me to broach the subject with my recruiter. She ended up giving me the option to do an additional interview to be considered for the higher-level position.

The whole process was very smooth, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use the service for any future negotiations. I found the regular calls with Wilson where we walked through strategy and discussed the scripts to be extremely helpful. Not only did it help with this negotiation, but I also learned a lot of useful negotiation tactics that I’ve already started to use in other situations.

Chris Jones
E6 Software Engineer, Facebook

As an engineering leader with decades of experience and having now gone through the negotiation with the team at Rora, the only thing I can say is — get the help. Whether you realize you need it, or even if you think you don’t. Just because you have done well in engineering doesn't mean that you understand the tactics and limits of the recruiting process.

Rora helped me get a $200K increase on my original Facebook offer without any competing offers.  It was clear that Rora was deeply familiar with Facebook's negotiation playbook. I’d honestly give the experience an 11/10.

In addition, Rora guided me on how to get the position switched to a revised remote role which was a huge deal at a personal level. They showed me how to redirect FB’s questions so that I could explore the possibility of not relocating, without ever having to say no to my original offer.

E7 Hardware Engineer
Facebook

This is my first FAANG role and I'm so happy I worked with Rora (thanks again Annie!) for the negotiation. My goal was to increase my Google offer, but I was in a tricky situation where I only had 1 other interview (no offer yet) at a small startup. With their guidance, I managed to get a $240K increase on my Google offer, despite Google's policy of requiring cross offers in writing to justify an increase.

The mock negotiations were a big part of why I was able to get this increase. Going into the negotiation, I assumed the key factor was what to say but I quickly learned that how you say it is equally if not more important. This was clear when over the course of the call"no" turned into "I'll see what I can do" and eventually"I think we can make this work". A big part of this was also having someone with me on the calls to provide real time guidance. This took a lot of the stress out of the situation. I can't recommend this team highly enough!

Andrei Gorbushkin
L5 Technical Program Manager, Google

After receiving several job offers, I needed to make a decision within a few days. I wanted to make sure I was getting the best offer possible, so I decided to use Rora. I was very pleased with their service. My coach, Sameer, was well prepared and had information about what compensation increases were likely possible. He provided detailed scripts covering a range of scenarios, and he did practice negotiations with me that helped me feel confident when I had the actual conversations.  

With his help I was able to increase one offer by $45k per year plus get a $50k signing bonus and then use that to increase my offer from Square, which was my first choice. All throughout he was very responsive as I was dealing with some tight deadlines and looking to wrap things up quickly. Rora's fee was only a tiny fraction of the increase they helped me negotiate, and even though they would have made more money if I had taken the highest offer, Sameer always put my goals first and never pressured me to do so. I highly recommend Rora!

L6 Software Engineer
Square

My friend introduced me to Rora and I’m so glad they did. I initially did some calculations to see if working with them would be worth it - my final increase ended up being ~3x higher than what I had estimated to be possible!

Their data is much more accurate than anything I found online. Without Sameer's guidance, I would have never known (and would have probably been too nervous) to ask for >$800K for anAmazon L7 offer. Of course, it's not just not enough to throw out a big number, you also need to be able to justify it. Sameer guided me through negotiating an up-level at another company, which I didn’t even know was possible at my level. With their scripts, I was able to leverage my competing offer to get exec approval for my Amazon offer. They also knew all the tricks Amazon would play (e.g., assuming 15% stock appreciation) and exactly how to counter them.

My total 4-year compensation increased by $570K. I don't think I've ever had a higher ROI – I’m very thankful that this service exists!

L7 Principal Software Engineer
Amazon

Maximize your Airtable Offer

Airtable

has a unique set of negotiation policies. If you don’t have experience negotiating with them, you risk losing out on large amounts of money because of very small mistakes.

There are many of these rules you need to know to get the highest

Airtable

offer possible.