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Dropbox Salary Negotiation Guide

Do we like negotiating with Dropbox?

Generally, recruiters at Dropbox are open to negotiating, and the company pays quite well to begin with. Since Dropbox often offers higher initial numbers vs competing offers, candidates might feel that there is no room to negotiate. However, there are still strategies you can employ to secure top of band numbers. At a minimum, start by negotiating your other offers first if Dropbox is your top choice.

Dropbox's compensation structure

  • Base Salary
  • Dropbox Equity Package (see Dropbox's RSU vesting schedule below)
  • Dropbox Signing Bonus (not included in all Dropbox offer packages and is being phased out)
  • Annual Bonus
  • Refreshers

Dropbox performance bonus targets

Dropbox's annual bonus target is usually between 10-20% depending on the level and role. Targets were updated in 2022 (e.g. IC2 going from 10 -> 12.5%). The actual amount paid out also depends on personal performance ratings and company performance. Last year 1.15x was the company multiplier.

Dropbox's approach to remote pay

Since the onset of the pandemic, Dropbox has switched to a virtual-first policy. The pay bands still differ based on geographic location.

Dropbox's relocation package

Dropbox has moved to a virtual-first policy (as seen above). Therefore, there aren't many situations where the company requires you to move, decreasing the likelihood of a relocation package. However, if you need to move to join a specific team, pushing for a $10k+ relocation package is a good rule of thumb.

Most negotiable component

At Dropbox the most negotiable component is always equity. This is particularly true since they've recently made a push to remove signing bonuses in 2022. Recruiters will sometimes match competing offers by raising equity and base instead of providing a signing bonus (looking at the 4-year value of course). However, base salary typically has a narrower pay band so equity continues to see the biggest increases.

Does Dropbox require written offers?

Dropbox doesn't usually require written offers but will ask for additional information about the competing offer like level, location, breakdown, etc. In a few unique cases (typically for very high counter offers), we've had recruiters ask to see written competing offers - this can be deflected if you prepare in advance.

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

Dropbox is not known for going above band. Even candidates with higher competing offers will rarely see exceptions made if they've maxed out the compensation band for their level. The other option in these scenarios is to push for an uplevel. Dropbox is willing to reconsider leveling after extending an initial offer. It's most effective to bring this up by mentioning interviews or offers you have for more senior positions at other companies. Sometimes Dropbox will require 1 additional interview if they agree to consider an uplevel.

Is my hiring manager relationship important at Dropbox?

It is always beneficial to have a strong relationship with your hiring manager. However, managers at Dropbox have less impact on Dropbox negotiations as the company has a centralized compensation team.

What does the hiring process look like at Dropbox?

What does the hiring process look like at Dropbox? The hiring process at Dropbox is different for every role. However, the hiring process for a software engineer typically has five stages: pre-screen, technical phone screen, onsite interview, domain interview, and offer stage.

The pre-screen contains questions regarding your experiences and skills, with a few behavioral questions sprinkled in.

The technical phone screen lasts about 30-45 minutes and judges your problem-solving skills.

The onsite interview typically contains three rounds (coding, design, and behavioral round), but it can vary depending on the seniority.

The next round of interviews is designed to test your domain knowledge.

Lastly, if you succeed and an offer is extended, this is where your Dropbox salary negotiation process will begin.

Does Dropbox pay well compared to Box?

Let's consider a Dropbox software engineer salary as a point of comparison. The difference in pay between the two companies is quite significant. Dropbox usually pays better than Box across each component. In terms of total compensation, an IC4 SWE at Dropbox with a maxed out offer can make ~$500k per year and a Box Staff Software Engineer (equivalent level) top of band is ~$410k per year.

What kind of benefits does Dropbox offer?

While base pay and equity should be the focus of your negotiation, Dropbox offers other excellent perks. They provide health benefits (including vision and dental insurance), paid time off for vacation and new parents, and provide a retirement plan (401k, FSA). For more information on benefits, you can check out this page on their website.

Dropbox Equity Vesting Schedule

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

Dropbox Levels

Dropbox Level

IC1

IC2

IC3

IC4

IC5

IC6

IC7

=

Equivalent Level at Google

L3

L4

Between L4 and L5

Between L5 and L6

L6

L7

Between L8 and L9

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 Dropbox Offer

Dropbox

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

Dropbox

offer possible.