Open Salaries


A few weeks ago Buffer posted openly salaries of their employees. Since such transparency is rare among Silicon valley companies, the disclosure caused quite some stir. While the buzz might help Buffer a bit in red hot job market of Silicon valley, I'm pretty sure it will have detrimental effect on the company in the long run. For starters, recruiters just love this information and since salaries at Buffer are low for Silicon valley standards they'll have an easy job to poach good employees from Buffer (it there are any good employees at all there, given recent security blunder they have committed). Further on, I'm pretty sure no Buffer employee will come forward demanding a lower salary, while few might complaint that they deserve more (and becoming disappointing if they don't get a raise). People talk so in my experience they usually know approximately salaries of their coworkers. Consequently every company should have a system of compensations in place based on observable facts that should seem fair to most people. But people, when discussing salaries, also exaggerate and rationalize so management has some leeway for subjective factors influencing salaries. Exposing exact salary numbers takes that freedom away from managers, while inviting undue comparisons, grievances, and social pressure (especially from spouses, parents, and friends).