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Brex Salary Negotiation Guide

Do we like negotiating with Brex?

Generally, recruiters at Brex are open to negotiating, and we see better outcomes from a Brex salary negotiation compared to negotiations with companies like Google. However, they are not quite as good to negotiate with as Facebook. The difference between a standard Brex offer and their top of band offer is smaller. So, a Brex offer negotiation has less room for increases. With that being said, if you play your cards right, it is possible to secure top of band numbers, which will still result in a meaningful comp increase.

Brex's compensation structure

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

Brex is still a private company so it might be surprising to learn that it offers RSUs instead of stock options. This switch happened after the last funding round and is fairly common for later stage startups (e.g. Instacart has a similar setup). All else equal, RSUs are better than an equivalent # of stock options because you don't need to pay to exercise (i.e. purchase) the shares. The downside is that you are taxed on RSUs as income when you receive them vs. when you exercise them.

Brex performance bonus targets

Brex doesn't offer performance bonuses. They believe that "the administrative cost of performance measurement exceeds the benefit of incremental employee productivity". Your Brex compensation package will therefore not include any mention of expected target bonus values. Hence, when negotiating and comparing to other cross offers, you should take the performance bonus into account (e.g. Google might have a lower base salary but an almost-guaranteed 20% bonus for L6 engineers, which can result in higher take home pay).

Brex's approach to remote pay

Since the onset of the pandemic, Brex has switched to a remote-first policy, and you can read more about it here. Brex's pay bands still differ based on geographic location. However, when comparing in office workers vs remote workers, they do not discount salaries.

Brex's relocation package

Brex is now a remote-first company (as mentioned above). This means there aren't many situations where the company requires you to move, and this decreases the chance for a relocation package. If you are being required to move to join a specific team, you should always push for a $10k+ relocation package.

Most negotiable component

Brex has a unique structure where they let you pick the split between your equity and base pay (with some limitations). This means you should focus on negotiating your total Brex compensation and decide the split later. Brex is known for time pressure and exploding offers so it's important you have your strategy set up in advance.

Does Brex require written offers?

Brex doesn't usually require written competing offers when negotiating but will ask for additional information regarding the offer like location, breakdown, etc.

In a few unique cases, we’ve had recruiters ask for written offers, but this can be deflected if you prepare in advance. Their policy on this is much less strict vs. Google, for example.

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

Brex claims to believe in staying competitive on comp and they say if you bring them an offer 5% higher than their current target compensation, they will match the offer. However, in our experience, we have not found this to be true. They sometimes do not match offers and certainly do not go above band. Therefore, it is vital to prepare for negotiation to get the highest possible Brex salary.

Is my hiring manager relationship important at Brex?

It is always beneficial to have a strong relationship with your hiring manager. However, recruiters and managers at Brex now have less control over offers because the company recently added in a compensation team that helps to standardize offers. In some cases, the comp team might "need approval for special circumstance offers" and will speak directly to the founders.

What does the hiring process look like at Brex?

The hiring process at Brex is different for every role. However, the hiring process for a software engineer typically has four stages: phone screen with recruiter, a coding round, onsite interview, and offer stage.

Does Brex pay well compared to Stripe?

Let’s consider a Brex software engineer salary. The base pay, equity and sign on bonus at Stripe tend to be a little higher than Brex. For instance, consider the role of senior software engineer. The total compensation for that role at Brex is around 425k, but at Stripe it is around 500k. However, since Brex allows you to decide the percentage of equity and base pay, it is possible to get higher cash compensation, which is something that a lot of people prefer.

What kind of benefits does Brex offer?

While Brex's base pay and equity should be the focus of your negotiation, Brex also offers other excellent perks. They of course provide health benefits (including vision and dental insurance), paid time off for vacation and new parents, and also provide a retirement plan.

Brex Equity Vesting Schedule

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

Brex Levels

Brex Level

New Grad

Software Engineer

Senior SWE

Staff SWE

Principal SWE

=

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 Brex Offer

Brex

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

Brex

offer possible.