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Twilio Salary Negotiation Guide

Do we like negotiating with Twilio?

Negotiations are often possible at Twilio, but they are not an easy company to negotiate with.

Twilio's compensation structure

  • Base Salary
  • Twilio Equity Package (see Twilio's RSU vesting schedule below)
  • Twilio Sign-on Bonus (not included in all Twilio offers)
  • Stock Refreshers

Twilio signing bonuses are pretty rare and are small compared to peers in the industry.

Twilio performance bonus targets

Twilio doesn't offer cash bonuses, but they do have a stock refresher policy.

Twilio stock refreshers are given as a percentage of the initial equity grant. Recruiters usually quote 25% during negotiations, but the variance from year-to-year and by performance is large. We've seen cases where people only get 5-10% and others where they receive 50% or even 80%. You should use 20%-25% when comparing with other offers. These refresher grants also vest over 4 years.

Twilio's approach to remote pay

First off, Twilio is pretty flexible about where employees want to work (especially within technical orgs). For instance, if employees feel they work better from home, they can continue to do so. If they want to go into the office once a week, that is also possible. Or they can go into the office everyday if they choose.

Remote pay is adjusted based on location (i.e. market rates/cost of living). In 2021, Twilio had five tiers for the US, and every tier gets paid differently. A tier 2 city, for example, has top of band adjustments of 90% equity and 90% base.

Twilio's relocation package

There are some roles and situations where Twilio might require you to move to accept the offer. If that is case, you should push for a $15K+ relocation package and 1-2 months of corporate housing.

Most negotiable component

The most negotiable component is equity, which is pretty standard for tech companies. The second most negotiable component is base pay, whereas normally it would be signing bonus. However, Twilio has quite narrow bands for signing bonuses.

Does Twilio require written offers?

In our experience, Twilio does not usually require proof of written offers (unlike Google). You of course should expect some questions about the competing offer details (e.g., location, offer breakdown, level, etc.).

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

Twilio is very rarely willing to go above band and every time we've had these conversations, recruiters needed exec approval (not just comp team). Most Twilio recruiters will be unwilling to consider above band requests unless you set up your leverage perfectly. Additionally, they will often ask for a commitment that you will sign the offer if it gets approved (though this can be avoided).

Is my hiring manager relationship important at Twilio?

Yes. A strong hiring manager relationship can tip the scales in a Twilio negotiation.

What does the hiring process look like at Twilio?

The typical hiring process at Twilio has five stages: online assessment, recruiter call, hiring manager interview, onsite interview, and the offer stage. If you want to have more clarity on the process, it is always a good idea to ask questions during the recruiter call.

Does Twilio pay well compared to Amazon?

Let's compare a Twilio software engineer's salary to an Amazon software engineer's. IC-4 at Twilio roughly translates to SDE III (L6) at Amazon. Top of band Twilio comp for this level in 2021 would be around $400k/year, but at Amazon in 2021, $525k/year was possible. The base at Twilio can go up to $200k/year, but Amazon in 2021 had a base salary cap of $185k/year in the Bay Area/NYC. The equity and signing bonus at both companies are not directly comparable because Amazon has a unique equity structure (though Amazon's are much larger, hence the higher TC).

What kind of benefits does Twilio offer?

Twilio has a solid benefits package, however, the focus of your negotiation should be on your base and equity (benefits are rarely negotiable). Twilio is one of many tech companies with "unlimited paid time off" which has its pros and cons. Their other benefits are pretty standard - health insurance, retirement plans (401k: 50% match on the first 6% of base salary).

Twilio Equity Vesting Schedule

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

Twilio Levels

Twilio Level

IC1

IC2

IC3

IC4

IC5

IC6

Distinguished Engineer

=

Equivalent Level at Google

L3

Between L3 and L4

Between L4 and L5

Between L5 and L6

Between L6 and L7

Between L7 and L8

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 Twilio Offer

Twilio

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

Twilio

offer possible.