How to compensate your international team

May 23, 2023
min read


Table of contents


Do you have or looking to build an international team?

If so, do you know what you can do as an employer to make them happy?

When it comes to remote compensation there is no right or wrong decision - it varies company to company based on your compensation philosophy.

However there is an easy or difficult way to roll out your decision. Hint: it’s using Figures.

Strategies to setting your remote compensation

Going international/remote is all fun and games until it's time to evaluate your compensation strategy. Unless you want game over in employee retention, you better ensure that your policy is fair!

"When it comes time to remote compensation, there is no right or wrong decision - it varies company to company based on your compensation philosophy. You have to make the right decision for you!" - Virgile Raingeard, CEO at Figures

There are 3 main remote compensation options:

Option 1: Equal pay approach

TL;DR everyone paid the same salary regardless of location. Works well with US base/US revenue.

  • For your employees, is it fair to be paid the same thing everywhere? Especially in regards to spending power?
  • What happens if you scale up or expand to different countries? Will you pay the same salary in Berlin as San Francisco?

Option 2: Localised pay

Pay adjusted per location (city/country/continent). There are two options:

  • Define a salary grid in main location, then define a location factor. Location factor can be based on: cost of living and/or cost of labour.
  • Define local salary ranges using local data. Source local role by local benchmark data. Lucky for you, Figures has something to make your life easier, meet the Global Salary Converter Tool.

Option 3: Cost-based approach

Spend same amount of money on each employee regardless of where they are based.

  • Heavily focused on the recruitment costs & not so much on the employee or their cost of living
  • Not very popular

An example of how to structure your compensation package?

Meet Whereby, a video communications platform based in Norway and teams spread out across the globe. Figures spoke with them to learn about how Whereby’s compensation philosophy works – and how their framework is engineered for fairness and transparency. Read the full article here.

“As a fully distributed company you have a responsibility to look at compensation much earlier than a traditional single-geography company,” explains Jessica Zwaan, COO at Whereby
“Because there are massive differences between markets, you can quickly get into a position where there are significant pay gaps. These things are painful to correct later on as you have to outlay cash, you may have to reduce salaries or suppress them. The compensation you don’t look at is just a fire burning slowly out of sight.

Learn how to compensation your international team

Our CEO Virgile Raingeard spoke at the “Beyond Borders Summit 2022”, hosted by Localyze.

Using the latest data and trends, watch the replay to get insights on:

Looking for more resources, tools and content?

That's why we created Figures, you don't need to be a compensation expert, we are. With our an all-in-one compensation platform updated in real-time, expert HR and People insights, we want to make your job more efficient and power more fair decisions.

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