June 2, 2021
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Life at Cleo

Money talks: Career progression and salary bands at Cleo

You’ll hear a lot about transparency if you work at Cleo, it’s something we value and rely on to achieve our mission. Humble brag: we’re all really proud to be in a position to share this information with you.

Career progression

Cleo has a culture of stepping up. We want, and expect our people to grow and develop.

It’s really important as you scale to offer your people some clarity on expectations of their current role, and what career progression looks like. To make this happen at Cleo, our people team got to work on building a career progression framework. This framework needed to give employees a clear picture of what skills are needed for every role, at every level, and where they sit within that framework. This way, our people could see which skills they should develop to progress and take the next step in their career, if they want to.

Enter: Progression. A tool that enables people at Cleo to track and record their personal career progress through regular check-ins against the skills required for their role, with their managers. We’re seeking to empower our people to grow, and demonstrate clearly where they are vs current expectations and the next step too - so we can support them in making that step 🚀

Did we mention it’s open source? Check it out. You’ll find the salary bands for each role there, too.

Now that we’ve got such a solid foundation, we’re really excited to build on it through mentorship and learning and development initiatives. We’re partnering closely with the teams on this to identify priorities across skill sets. We’ll iterate on this framework as the business continues to grow and skill requirements change.

Now, let’s talk money 🤑 🤑 🤑

Salary bands and benchmarking

Why do it?
  • Transparency for candidates. We’re not about offering a low salary to someone based on their current salary or expectations. Salary bands make sure candidates have an idea of what they should be earning in a company like ours with experience like theirs.
  • Our people know how much they can expect to earn now and later, once they’ve got that well-deserved promotion.
  • We can budget and forecast more accurately and make sure we’re compensating competitively compared to our competitors. Which, it turns out, we are.
Our principles:
  1. Be competitive. We’ve got to offer great compensation if we want to continue to attract and retain the brightest talent.
  2. Be fair, consistent and transparent. As we’re growing so rapidly, it’s really important that there’s a solid compensation framework to ensure we’re being consistent. It also helps us with our diversity and inclusion strategy. We’ll continue to look at data and update our bands on a 6 monthly basis.

Our process

Data sources:
  1. Direct Compensation Data: We connected with a few businesses of a similar scale to us, and we all agreed to share our data. Sharing really is caring.
  2. Indirect Compensation Data 1 (custom report): We partnered with a major benchmarking provider who gave us a custom report, with data from 15 companies all chosen by us, that we compete regularly with for talent.
  3. Indirect Compensation Data 2 (global report): The benchmarking provider also gave us an overall UK tech benchmarking report, comparing data from hundreds of tech businesses across the UK.
  4. Internal Compensation Data: We looked at our own data as a sense check, of course.

Job Matching

Once we had all that data, we got into the detail of looking at job titles and descriptions to make sure we were matching Cleo job descriptions with like-for-like roles within the benchmark dataset.

Bandings

Finally, we took an average of the benchmarking per role level from groups 1 & 2 above where possible, and when it wasn’t, we relied on group 3 data alone. We feel the final bandings are robust, authentic and almost all people at Cleo fall within them right now. It’s kind of inevitable that the first time you do this exercise, there’ll be a small number of anomalies, but our bandings will be used to support internal reward discussions & external hiring from now on.

The result? We’re towards the top of the market

We’re especially satisfied with this because of where we chose to benchmark ourselves. We benchmarked no lower than the median quartile for every role at Cleo (from 50th to 90th percentile) upwards. We’re really pleased to be a competitive and fair employer, and we’ll continue to be transparent and consistent with our approach to salaries and levels.

Check out all our career levels and salary bands on Progression.

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