DoorDash salary negotiation
Company Guide
September 15, 2022
Annie Murray
Lead Negotiator @ Rora; 100+ negotiations completed

DoorDash Salary Negotiation - How to Negotiate your DoorDash Offer

This guide aims to equip you with the essential pieces of information you need for your upcoming DoorDash negotiation. DoorDash is the leading online food ordering and food delivery platform in the US; it has done exceptionally well during the pandemic, which has made it an attractive place for top tech talent.

If your situation is unique or you want 1:1 support to ensure you maximize your compensation, sign up for a free consultation with our negotiation team.

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Table of Contents

DoorDash Offer Compensation Components

Before starting any negotiation, it is important to make sure you fully understand DoorDash's compensation structure. DoorDash has a fairly standard set of compensation components. A typical job offer for a Software Engineer role at DoorDash should contain the following monetary components:

This is what an example DoorDash E5 offer looks like over a 4-year period:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Base Salary $235,000 $235,000 $235,000 $235,000
Signing Bonus $20,000
DoorDash RSUs $145,000 $145,000 $145,000 $145,000
Performance Bonus N/A N/A N/A N/A
Stock Refreshers Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified
Total Compensation $400,000 $380,000 $380,000 $380,000

Refreshers are usually not specifically listed in the offer letter as they are performance-based, but more on that later.

DoorDash Base Salary

DoorDash has one of the most competitive base salaries in the industry. They pay a slight premium relative to Facebook and Google for similar roles (e.g. L4 Software Engineer). Even though DoorDash's base salary is better than that of its FAANG counterparts, we've seen them negotiate base salary up materially, as long as the right levers are in place.

DoorDash Equity - Restricted Stock Units (RSUs)

DoorDash's RSUs vest evenly throughout the four years. This means if you are granted $800K RSUs, you will receive the following:

  • Year 1: 25% ($200K)
  • Year 2: 25% ($200K)
  • Year 3: 25% ($200K)
  • Year 4: 25% ($200K)
DoorDash equity vesting schedule

DoorDash has historically had a 1-year cliff before the vesting of equity commences. This means that on the first anniversary of your role at DoorDash, you get 25% of the initial equity grant, after which all vesting happens quarterly (Feb → May → August → November). This is less convenient than Google, which vests every month but certainly better than Amazon, which is back weighted (higher % of equity vest in the 3rd and 4th year at Amazon). Note: as of June 2021, DoorDash reported that equity will begin vesting quarterly from day 1, instead of a 1-year cliff.

The actual number of DoorDash shares you receive will be determined by dividing the dollar value of your grant by the 30-day trailing average stock price in the month the grant is issued. You can get an approximation by looking at the average share price in the past 30 days.

DoorDash stock performance

DoorDash equity is also competitive when compared to FAANG companies. For example, an E5 engineer at DoorDash can expect ~$150K per year in equity, which is roughly in line with Facebook and Amazon; and slightly higher than Google. We have seen some movement from DoorDash when negotiating the equity component in their offers. However, DoorDash doesn't like to negotiate as much on this component when compared to FAANG companies.

For those who would like to know the exact details of how RSUs will be structured, I've included an anonymized quote from a DoorDash Offer Letter we negotiated recently.

DoorDash RSU offer letter
Restricted Stock Units. Subject to the approval of the Company’s Board of Directors or its Compensation Committee, you will be granted a number of restricted stock units (or “RSUs”), each RSU representing the right to receive one share of the Company’s common stock with an aggregate value of <redacted>. The actual number of RSUs will be determined using the preferred share price of a share of the Company’s common stock, as determined by the Company’s Board of Directors (the "Board"), at the time that the Board approves such grant. The RSUs will be subject to the terms and conditions applicable to RSUs granted under the Company’s 2014 Stock Plan (the “Plan”) and the applicable RSU Agreement approved by the Board with respect to your award, including vesting conditions. The RSUs will be subject to service-based vesting in installments as follows, provided you remain in continuous service on the applicable vesting date: (1) with respect the first 25% of the RSUs, on the first company vesting date occurring on or after the 12-month anniversary of the date your service commences and (2) with respect to an additional 6.25% of the RSUs on each company vesting date thereafter. Our “company vesting dates” are February 20, May 20, August 20 and November 20.

DoorDash Signing Bonus

Many DoorDash initial offers do not include a signing bonus. As we've mentioned before, it is a common recruiter trick to leave it out of the initial job offer.

For most technical roles at DoorDash, it is possible to negotiate a signing bonus even if it's not in your initial offer. You can leverage your retention bonuses at your current company and/or competing offers to introduce signing bonuses in your counter offer. However, this signing bonus is not comparable to major players such as Facebook, who will give up to $100K signing bonuses for mid-level roles. Most mid-level software engineering bonuses from DoorDash are in the $10K-$30K range, though it is of course possible to go higher with a strong negotiation.

DoorDash Performance Bonus

DoorDash does not offer cash performance bonuses. If you have other offers with a performance bonus, you should certainly include that in your total compensation when discussing comp with DoorDash. This becomes even more important at senior levels, as you can see from the comparison below.

DoorDash performance bonus comparison

DoorDash Stock Refreshers

DoorDash offers very competitive stock refreshers. There is a biannual performance evaluation using a 1-5 scale:

  • Evaluation score of 3 → Meeting expectations
  • Evaluation score of 4 → Exceeding expectations
  • Evaluation score of 5 → Exceptional performance

If your performance evaluation is at a 3 or higher you will have equity refreshed in multiples (which vests over 4 years) as well as a base salary increase:

  • Evaluation score of 1 = 0% base increase and no addition to equity
  • Evaluation score of 2 = 3% base increase and no addition to equity
  • Evaluation score of 3 = 6% base increase and (25-33% of initial grant) addition to equity
  • Evaluation score of 4 = 9-10% base increase and (25-33% of initial grant) x 1.5 addition to equity
  • Evaluation score of 5 = 13% base increase and (25-33% of initial grant) x 2 to equity

DoorDash has recently moved to 2-year refresher grants. This is less ideal because you won't be stacking as many years of refresher grants on top of either other.

Industry Compensation Data

Rora has helped negotiate a wide range of offers at DoorDash. Candidates of course need to know the latest role-specific salary information like the DoorDash data scientist salary range or the DoorDash technical program manager salary bands. However, it can also be useful to understand these salary trends at the industry level. Hence, we have complied our data for different roles setting the senior (L5) level as the benchmark.

Role (Senior – L5-equivalent level) Highest Offers in 2021
Software Engineer Salary $425K + $100K signing bonus
Product Manager Salary $370k + $75k signing bonus
Data Scientist Salary
$325k + $50k signing bonus
Technical Program Manager Salary $325k + $50k signing bonus
Product Designer Salary $315k + $40k signing bonus
Marketing Salary $260k + $40k signing bonus
User Experience Researcher Salary $255k + $40k signing bonus

Remember, the data points above are industry wide, not specific to DoorDash. There are many company specifics at play here. For example, a DoorDash product manager salary is often above industry average. And on the other hand, a DoorDash product designer salary will be lower than top paying companies in the industry.

DoorDash Negotiation Process

Before diving into the negotiation process, it's important to first understand DoorDash's leveling system. It's based on the Facebook structure which closely follows Google (the industry standard that we use as a benchmark).

DoorDash Levels

  • DoorDash E3 = Google L3 (Entry-Level Software Engineer)
  • DoorDash E4 = Google L4 (Software Engineer)
  • DoorDash E5 = Google L5 (Senior Software Engineer)
  • DoorDash E6 = Google L6 (Staff Software Engineer)
  • DoorDash E7 = Google L7 (Senior Staff Software Engineer)
  • DoorDash E8 = Google L8 (Principal Engineer)

There are a few critical mistakes to avoid if you have not yet received your offer from DoorDash:

  1. Do not share your current compensation. In many states (e.g. California), it is illegal for companies to ask this, so you are certainly within your rights to say, "I do not feel comfortable sharing that information".
  2. Do not share your compensation expectations. DoorDash recruiters will sometimes frame this as "seeing if you are a fit for the role". However, it is in your best interest to deflect this question until DoorDash has extended an offer or indicated the compensation range. One possible response is, "right now, I'm focused on the interview process and don't have a number in mind, but I'm confident we will be able to get to a number that works for both of us."

Below is the standard negotiation process for candidates who receive an offer from DoorDash:

  1. After the final round of interviews, the hiring committee responsible for your decision will meet. They will assign a score on their 1-5 scale, which can heavily influence your negotiation prospects. Following that meeting, you will often hear back from your recruiter within a few days.
  2. When you hear back, in some cases at DoorDash, we have seen that recruiters will tell you that you are being offered a position, but refuse to give you the initial offer until you share compensation expectations. Sometimes this can be deflected, and if not, you can usually take a little bit of time to think about it before coming back with a high anchor.
  3. When you receive the initial offer, make sure to document all the information and ask any clarifying questions about the offer with your recruiter. You may not be able to push for significant time extensions as DoorDash does like to explode offers. We recommend taking the time to do research beforehand so you can quickly develop an optimal counter offer. There is strength in preparation, especially in the case of exploding offers.
  4. Following the initial numbers call, set up a second call with your recruiter and share your counter offer numbers. The recruiters at DoorDash can be pushy and they often do not like to negotiate compensation. At Rora, we create a unique tree diagram specifically for your situation with the most likely objections and ideal responses to those objections. The goal of this second call is to simply get the recruiter to take your counter offer number back because the recruiter will not have the authority to approve these new numbers.
  5. Within a couple of days, you will hear back from the recruiter with their ''final offer'', as DoorDash tends to give out exploding offers, the deadline to confirm is often very quick.

Can I Lose my DoorDash Offer by Negotiating?

This is by far the number 1 question Rora’s career partners are asked. It is a very common and valid fear, especially considering today’s volatile market conditions. But based on our data, what’s the actual probability that DoorDash would decide to pull the offer?

First, let’s discuss what benefits DoorDash would get from rescinding your offer. The primary reason a hiring manager would elect to rescind an offer would be a fear of liability with their intended hire - i.e., this hire may cause a scandal, this hire will in no way be able to perform their duties, this hire will be detrimental to DoorDash, etc. Aside from that, when an offer has been extended, DoorDash has already invested a substantial amount of time and money into the candidate they’re giving an offer to, and should have a solid understanding of how this candidate will perform in the role. It would be a net loss for the company to go through all those interviews, conversations, and putting together the offer to then decide that they want to cut ties with the candidate – this is a risk they try to mitigate before giving an offer. 

Even in this economy, we have seen clients get increases in their offers from companies of all sizes by making respectful and well-reasoned requests. A company is very unlikely to pull the offer based on negotiation - in our experience across thousands of negotiations, we’ve seen this happen less than 0.5% of the time. And that includes companies that are on hiring slowdown/freezes right now.

Now, there is a fundamental difference between getting an offer rescinded and losing the offer due to headcount. A headcount loss is solely based on the state of DoorDash and the necessity of the role within the team. This isn’t common but can occasionally happen if needs at the company shift – and is more common with earlier-stage startups. It does not reflect your interview performance or skill level, and oftentimes companies will try to keep in touch with you and share other opportunities once headcount opens up. If your offer was rescinded, the company would not have any interest in keeping you warm. 

Regardless of the low likelihood of getting an offer rescinded, we know that this is a very common fear – and one that often holds candidates back from negotiating! To help mitigate the risk (and increase your confidence while negotiating) - follow these dos and don’ts to lower the probability of your offer getting rescinded:

  1. Do keep it professional - avoid getting into politics or making jokes that may be poorly received and make your hiring manager think you might be a liability to the company
  2. Do give justification and reasoning behind your ask for increased compensation – this could be based on your market value, another opportunity you have, specific expertise you bring to the table, or the strong relationship you’ve built with your hiring manager
  3. Do your first compensation ask over a phone call - in most cases we see a higher rate of success and understanding when the first ask is done over a call versus an email
  4. Do demonstrate to your hiring manager that you’re a solid candidate who would be a strong hire by creating and collaborating on an impact roadmap (outlining your 30 day, 60 day, and 90 day goals for getting started in your new role and your understanding of the priorities for this position)
  5. Do your best to understand the necessity of the role on this team - How critical is it? How long has the role been open for? This can help you determine the likelihood of the headcount being lost – and also the leverage you may have in negotiating

DoorDash Specific Negotiation Advice

There are a few important nuances to note when negotiating with DoorDash. I'll list some of these below to ensure you are ready for your upcoming negotiation.

Reticent to disclose initial offer

DoorDash has been unwilling to disclose the initial offer for several candidates we have worked with. They often try to gauge your compensation expectations and base their offer on that. This makes negotiations trickier, as it is critical you avoid accidentally anchoring low in your initial expectations call. Make sure you have a deep understanding of compensation bands for your target level and, when possible, deflect giving your compensation expectations.

Exploding offers

We have seen DoorDash give offers with very short acceptance times. In the cases where this happens, we have been able to secure extensions using our standard playbook (start with the recruiter, then go to the hiring manager; provide open-ended excuses, then progress to specific reasons). Sometimes recruiters will ask for verbal confirmation by the end of the week that you will accept the offer if they secure your requested increase. If you are happy with your counter offer, it's OK to agree to this.

Don't need offers in writing

Unlike Google, DoorDash does not usually require you to provide cross offers in writing. This can be useful because many companies avoid putting their offers in writing, which makes it hard to use them as leverage in other negotiations.

Not always willing to match cross offers

To some extent this depends on what score (1-5) you received during interviews, but we've seen a few situations where DoorDash was unwilling to match higher competing offers. There are still some options in these situation (e.g. looping in hiring manager, pushing for up-level, etc.), so definitely don't give up hope if this happens early in the negotiation.

Recruiters tend to be pushy

Although recruiters are friendly and the process is smooth most of the time, they often tend to push back on compensation negotiation. In some cases they seem more upset about these requests relative to FAANG recruiters. Continue to be polite but stand firm in your request, it is totally normal to negotiate and no hiring manager will hold that against you.

Negotiate Your OfferGet Support on Your Job Search
Annie Murray
Lead Negotiator @ Rora; 100+ negotiations completed

Annie is a Lead Negotiator at Rora where she helps professionals more confidently negotiate. Annie's been negotiating professionally for over 2 years.

Prior to this, she was a recruiter at Amazon, and she also was a recruiter at Microsoft in the University Recruiting department. In her time as a negotiator, she has helped people get millions of dollars in increases in their offers. From FAANG to small startups, and from the Bay Area to Singapore, she's helped empower hundreds of talented folks to advocate for themselves.

Over 1000 individuals have used Rora to negotiate more than $10M in pay increases at companies like Amazon, Google, Meta, hundreds of startups, as well as consulting firms such as Vanguard, Cornerstone, BCG, Bain, and McKinsey. Their work has been featured in Forbes, ABC News, The TODAY Show, and theSkimm.

1:1 Salary Negotiation Support

We've negotiated more than $5M in DoorDash offers in 2021. Our largest DoorDash increase was $285K.

Negotiation strategy

Step 1 is defining the strategy, which often starts by helping you create leverage for your negotiation (e.g. setting up conversations with FAANG recruiters).

Negotiation anchor number

Step 2 we decide on anchor numbers and target numbers with the goal of securing a top of band offer, based on our internal verified data sets.

Negotiation execution plan

Step 3 we create custom scripts for each of your calls, practice multiple 1:1 mock negotiations, and join your recruiter calls to guide you via chat.

Frequently Asked Questions

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