Improvements to Engineering Specializations

Benchmarks 2022-06-16

What changes can I expect from these benchmarks?

This version resolves an issue with level progression in the benchmark version released on 2022-06-09. If you did not update to the 2022-06-09 benchmarks you were not impacted by this bug. There are no other changes to benchmarks or specializations in this release.

Carta will now provide salary + equity benchmarks for the following engineering specializations:

  • AI and Machine Learning
  • Hardware
  • Mobile
  • Web Engineering

In addition, benchmarks data has been refreshed for the following existing engineering specializations:

  • DevOps and Site Reliability
  • Quality Assurance
  • UX/Frontend

Note that for all of our specializations the sample size is smaller than job area benchmarks which could result in data volatility as we continue to update the data and grow our overall sample size.

What were the largest areas of movement from these benchmarks?

For existing specializations, salaries increased an average of approximately 3% compared to the previous version of the benchmarks. The largest increases are generally concentrated at more senior levels and in higher valuation peer groups. We also observed some decreases in the salary benchmarks, mostly at levels 1 and 2 at valuations below $50 million. While some of these changes are driven by market dynamics, some of the change is driven by the limited sample size for these roles. Equity benchmarks also reflect a mix of increases and decreases compared to the last benchmark version which are also being driven by a combination of market dynamics and sample size.

How do I update my plan to use the new benchmarks version?

You can update your compensation plan to use the latest benchmark versions either by:

  1. Visiting the Plan page and clicking on the "Update available" link in the Active Plan window.
  2. Navigating to the Bands page and clicking on the "Update" bubble in the top left.

You will have the opportunity to preview the new plan with the updated benchmarks version and assess their impact on your scorecard before accepting the new plan.

How can I assign an employee to a specialization?

You can assign an employee to an engineering specialization by: 

  1. Visiting the Employee Scorecard page for a particular employee and selecting “Edit” next to the employee’s role and then selecting “Job area and level” on the Update details page.

  1. Select the “Specialization” dropdown to assign an employee to one of the listed specializations.

Note: specialization benchmarks are currently limited to AI and Machine Learning. DevOps + Site Reliability, Hardware, Mobile, Quality Assurance, UX/Frontend, and Web Engineering for the engineering job area.

How do I see benchmarks for engineering specializations?

You can view benchmarks for engineering specializations by:

  1. Visiting the Bands page and selecting “Engineering” under Area. Once the engineering job area is selected, you can change the engineering specializations by selecting the Specialization dropdown.


How do engineering specializations affect the Employee Scorecard?

The compa-ratio is a quick way to compare an employee's compensation to your plan's target rate for a given job area, level, and location. The compa-ratios for an employee assigned to the AI and Machine Learning, Hardware, Mobile, and Web Engineering specializations will now be calculated using the target compensation for the specializations.

What’s next?

Additional functionality around data transparency that will provide users insight into the underlying data used to generate benchmarks in Carta Total Compensation.

New Employee Scorecard & Engineering Specializations

What’s new?

New Employee Scorecard

We’ve restructured the Employee Scorecard to increase legibility and improve comprehension of your employee’s role information and compensation details. 

The updated Employee Scorecard is broken down into logical groupings of information to help you quickly identify important information.

  1. Employee Overview
  2. Annual Compensation Breakdown
  3. Equity Breakdown

Engineering Specializations Benchmarks 2022-06-09

What changes can I expect from these benchmarks?

Carta will now provide salary + equity benchmarks for the following engineering specializations:

  • AI and Machine Learning
  • Hardware
  • Mobile
  • Web Engineering

In addition, benchmarks data has been refreshed for the following existing engineering specializations:

  • DevOps and Site Reliability
  • Quality Assurance
  • UX/Frontend

Note that for all of our specializations the sample size is smaller than job area benchmarks which could result in data volatility as we continue to update the data and grow our overall sample size.

What were the largest areas of movement from these benchmarks?

For existing specializations, salaries increased an average of approximately 3% compared to the previous version of the benchmarks. The largest increases are generally concentrated at more senior levels and in higher valuation peer groups. We also observed some decreases in the salary benchmarks, mostly at levels 1 and 2 at valuations below $50 million. While some of these changes are driven by market dynamics, some of the change is driven by the limited sample size for these roles. Equity benchmarks also reflect a mix of increases and decreases compared to the last benchmark version which are also being driven by a combination of market dynamics and sample size.

How do I update my plan to use the new benchmarks version?

You can update your compensation plan to use the latest benchmark versions either by:

  1. Visiting the Plan page and clicking on the "Update available" link in the Active Plan window.
  2. Navigating to the Bands page and clicking on the "Update" bubble in the top left.

You will have the opportunity to preview the new plan with the updated benchmarks version and assess their impact on your scorecard before accepting the new plan.

How can I assign an employee to a specialization?

You can assign an employee to an engineering specialization by: 

  1. Visiting the Employee Scorecard page for a particular employee and selecting “Edit” next to the employee’s role and then selecting “Job area and level” on the Update details page.

  1. Select the “Specialization” dropdown to assign an employee to one of the listed specializations.

Note: specialization benchmarks are currently limited to AI and Machine Learning. DevOps + Site Reliability, Hardware, Mobile, Quality Assurance, UX/Frontend, and Web Engineering for the engineering job area.

How do I see benchmarks for engineering specializations?

You can view benchmarks for engineering specializations by:

  1. Visiting the Bands page and selecting “Engineering” under Area. Once the engineering job area is selected, you can change the engineering specializations by selecting the Specialization dropdown.


How do engineering specializations affect the Employee Scorecard?

The compa-ratio is a quick way to compare an employee's compensation to your plan's target rate for a given job area, level, and location. The compa-ratios for an employee assigned to the AI and Machine Learning, Hardware, Mobile, and Web Engineering specializations will now be calculated using the target compensation for the specializations.

What’s next?

Additional functionality around data transparency that will provide users insight into the underlying data used to generate benchmarks in Carta Total Compensation.

Total Comp Geo Factor Refresh

What's new?

Benchmarks version 2022-05-26

What changes can I expect from these benchmarks?

Geographic adjustments have been updated to reflect current cost-of-labor data across the US. There have been no changes to the underlying benchmarks that were released on April 13, 2022, details of which can be found here.

Given the current sample size of Carta Total Compensation we are now able to rely on data from Total Compensation customers, representing the broad tech industry, to determine cost-of-labor differentials in 33 cities (previously 17 cities). For all other US metropolitan areas we continue to rely on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which is based on a wider set of industries and type of employee.

What were the largest areas of movement from these benchmarks?

For most of the largest markets in Carta Total Compensation we’ve observed an increase in pay relative to the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the changes to key markets include the following (SF Bay Area = 100%):

Metro Area
Previous Adjustment
New Adjustment
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
89%
100%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
97%
100%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
85%
94%
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH
87%
94%
Austin-Round Rock, TX
82%
91%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL*
68%
90%

* Data source for Miami has changed from BLS to Carta Total Compensation due to our increased sample size.

Outside of our largest markets we observe a mix of increases and decreases relative to Bay Area compensation levels, but on average there has been a slight increase.

How do I update my plan to use the new benchmarks version?

You can update your compensation plan to use the latest benchmark versions either by:

  1. Visiting the Plan page and clicking on the "Update available" link in the Active Plan window.
  2. Navigating to the Bands page and clicking on the "Update" bubble in the top left.

You will have the opportunity to preview the new plan with the updated benchmarks version and assess their impact on your scorecard before accepting the new plan.

Improvements to MSA borders

Carta Total Compensation currently defaults employees who are not in a supported Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) to a geographic adjustment factor equal to your plan’s threshold value. With this update, Carta Total Compensation will now use the adjustment factor for the nearest supported MSA.

What’s next?

Additional functionality that will allow users to apply a level-based approach to geographic adjustments.

Save time on administrative tasks with HRIS integrations

What’s new?

Carta now supports integrations with 150+ HRIS and payroll providers. Customers that integrate their HRIS with Carta will have access to Pending Stakeholder Terminations, Pending Updates to Stakeholders, and Carta Total Compensation (with an active subscription). 

What are the benefits of integrating my HR system with Carta?

Your organization can unlock a new level of automation that helps you become more efficient and make better-informed decisions about your equity program with Carta’s HRIS integration. More specifically, HR integrations will help your organization in the following three ways:

1. Quickly update employee records

Reduce double entry, win time back, and gain a single source of truth for critical employee information like terminations and employee addresses.

2. Keep employee data synced across systems

With HRIS and equity data synced, you can trust that your information is always ready to take action on. If there is ever a discrepancy, Carta will flag it and make it easy for you to reconcile.

3. Calculate and understand tax impact

Employees’ tax impact has never been easier to understand with salary, location, and equity information complete in one place. Carta can help inform employee tax liability for taxable equity events.

What are the steps to integrate my HR system with Carta?

There are two steps that need to be taken to properly integrate your HR system:

1. Connect your HRIS

There are a few variations for connecting each HRIS system depending on the system’s API configuration. However, this should take no more than two minutes to complete for any provider. Here are specifics for each provider Carta integrates with:

  • Rippling
  • Bamboo
  • Namely
  • Finch - Carta uses a product called Finch to integrate with 100+ HRIS and payroll providers, including Gusto, Trinet,  and Justworks. 

Note: Only those with Company Editor, Company Administrator, or Legal Administrator permissions can perform the HRIS integration on Carta. Most HR systems also require the individual authenticating the integration to have the highest permission level too.

2. Match employee records from your HR/payroll system to stakeholder records on Carta

Carta will match the list of employees in your HRIS to the stakeholder ledger in Carta by looking at First Name, Last Name, and Email, then ask you to review them for accuracy. Please see here for how to perform the Employee ID matching process

Note: This is a necessary step for you to take to be able to take advantage of integrations.

How do I take advantage of the integrations once I have completed the initial integration?

There are two specific modules that will allow your organization to make use of your HR system integration with Carta: Pending Terminations and Pending Updates to Stakeholders. 

Please see below for how to use these modules to help you manage data coming from your HR system on Carta: 

Engineering specializations

What's new?

Carta will now provide salary + equity benchmarks for the following engineering specializations:

  • DevOps + Site Reliability
  • Quality Assurance
  • UX/Frontend

How can I assign an employee to a specialization?

You can assign an employee to an engineering specialization by: 

  1. Visiting the Employee Scorecard page for a particular employee and selecting “Edit” next to the employee’s role and then selecting “Job area and level” on the Update details page.

  2. Select the “Specialization” dropdown to assign an employee to one of the listed specializations.

Note: specialization benchmarks are currently limited to DevOps + Site Reliability, Quality Assurance, and UX/Frontend for the engineering job area.

How do I see benchmarks for engineering specializations?

You can view benchmarks for engineering specializations by:

  1. Visiting the Bands page and selecting “Engineering” under Area. Once the engineering job area is selected, you can change the engineering specializations by selecting the Specialization dropdown.


How do engineering specializations affect the Employee Scorecard?

The compa-ratio is a quick way to compare an employee's compensation to your plan's target rate for a given job area, level, and location. The compa-ratios for an employee assigned to the DevOps + Site Reliability, Quality Assurance, or UX/Frontend engineering specializations will now be calculated using the target compensation for the specializations.

Improvements to the Employee Compensation Timeline

We’ve improved the employee compensation timeline to make it easier to discern between the various types of equity awards an employee has been issued. 

Benchmarks version 2022-04-13

What changes can I expect from these benchmarks?

We’ve added more than 10,000 new salary data points to our database since the last benchmark update in January. This has allowed us to significantly improve the quality of our model as we compare results to the underlying statistics. Given the increase in the sample we are able to be more granular in our modeling as we look at different job areas and types of employees (ICs and Managers vs. Executives).

While changes to the benchmarks are largely a reflection of modeling improvements, the changes will also reflect salary movements in the market since January.

This benchmark version also includes engineering specializations for DevOps + Site Reliability, Quality Assurance, and UX/Frontend.

What were the largest areas of movement from these benchmarks?

With this benchmark update we observed larger than expected movement across several job areas, driven largely due to increased sample and refinements to our modeling, and less by overall market dynamics. Many of the decreases we observed were in valuation peer groups of $50M and below. The increases we observed were mainly in valuations higher than $50M. In both cases our benchmarks moved closer to the underlying statistics in our database.

Looking by job area, we saw the largest average increases (ranging from 6.5% - 10%) and decreases (all less than 1.5%) in the following job areas:

Increases:

  • Project Management
  • Customer Success
  • Data
  • Sales

Decreases:

  • Administrative
  • Design
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing

How do I update my plan to use the new benchmarks version?

You can update your compensation plan to use the latest benchmark versions either by:

  1. Visiting the Plan page and clicking on the "Update available" link in the Active Plan window.
  2. Navigating to the Bands page and clicking on the "Update" bubble in the top left.

You will have the opportunity to preview the new plan with the updated benchmarks version and assess their impact on your scorecard before accepting the new plan.

What’s next?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released 2021 data for US-based geo adjustments. Carta will release a May benchmark update that will include improvements to the geo adjustments within the Total Compensation product.

Retain talent with Total Rewards

All Carta Total Comp customers now have access to Total Rewards. 

What’s new?

  • Customize and share equity, salary, and benefits information with employees directly through their Carta account. 
  • Enable employees to calculate and visualize their equity value based on various exit or liquidity scenarios. 
  • Share your compensation philosophy and design custom benefits packages for each employee segment. 

How do I get started?

Setting up Total Rewards is simple. Click here for step by step instructions, or check our Total Rewards User Guide for more tips for how to ensure an easy roll out to your team. 

New Total Comp roles: Area Lead and Recruiter

We've updated the Total Comp permissions system with two new role types:

  • Area lead: Users with this role can edit employees and view bands for their assigned area(s) and level(s)
  • Recruiter: Users with this role can view bands for their assigned area(s) and level(s)

To add a teammate as an area lead or recruiter, go to the Settings > Permissions and roles page click on "Add User" and follow the instructions in the modal.

You will be asked to provide the teammate's email address, assign a role, select which areas that you want the teammate to have access to, and then select the highest level within those selected areas that they can view/edit. You can also change the role and permissions for an existing user by clicking on the action button (three dots) in the user table and selecting Edit user.



Notifications for Qualified Small Businesses

What’s New

Users with holdings in companies identified as Qualified Small Businesses (QSB) will now be notified of the potential tax benefit. Carta determines QSB eligibility when performing a 409A valuation and email notifications will be sent to all users associated with the company once the valuation is accepted. In addition, vesting emails will include information about the qualified small business stock (QSBS) tax benefit.

Furthermore, users can now find a banner in the company overview page within their portfolio that informs them about QSBS eligibility, linking to a blog post to learn more. Finally, users will be notified if their exercise qualifies for QSBS once they submit an exercise request.

Who this affects

US Companies using Carta for 409A valuations that are QSBS eligible and all their stakeholders, prioritizing “Vested” option holders. 

How it works

Email notifications

Emails are sent to all users associated with a company that qualifies as a QSB. If Carta determines the company is a qualified small business, emails are sent once the 409A valuation is accepted. Extra emails are sent to all users each time the company’s valuation includes eligibility. 

Vesting emails

Vesting emails will now include information about QSBS eligibility to help make a more informed decision about exercising. 

Company’s overview page

A banner informing users of the QSBS Eligibility Tax Benefit can be found next to the company’s name in their portfolio. This banner appears for companies identified as qualified small businesses, including information about the potential tax benefit from exercising and the expected timeframe of the company’s eligibility. 

Exercise submission message

Upon submitting an exercise request, the Congratulations page will inform users that the shares are QSBS-eligible. It summarizes the conditions and links to an Equity Education article to learn more (highlighted in red).

Timing

  • General availability for all 409A customers by the end of Q1

Additional Resources

Set your employees' local currency

You can now set the local currency for cash compensation (salary and variable) for your employees' scorecards. This new feature paves the way for better support for international employees. Target compensation for non-USD currencies will be supported in the future.


Improvements to job leveling framework

We've enhanced the leveling framework with new and updated job areas and specializations. This improvement is an important step toward expanding the scope of the Bands feature to include benchmarks for these new job areas and specializations. 

NOTE: These updates do not impact your employee's target salary or equity, as they are simply improvements to the labeling system to more accurately reflect trends in job functions.

The following job areas and specializations have been added and updated. Job areas marked with an asterisk (*) are currently only available for leveling purposes and do not yet support bands. At this time, all specializations still do not differentiate bands/benchmarks from their top-level job area, however, we will soon be launching specialized bands starting with Engineering, IT, Marketing, and HR. You will be notified as soon as bands are available for these new areas and specializations.

Job AreaSpecialization
AdministrationAdministrative Assistant
Corporate Affairs*Government Affairs
Corporate Affairs*Regulatory Affairs
Customer SuccessTraining
DataBusiness Intelligence and Analytics
DesignIndustrial Design
DesignUX Design
EngineeringCrypto and Web3
EngineeringData Engineering
EngineeringWeb Engineer
FinanceFinancial Planning and Analysis
FinanceTax
HRBenefits
HRCompensation
HRDiversity
HRHR Generalist
HRLearning and Development
HRTotal Rewards
IT*Information Security
IT*Information Services
IT*Network Ops
LegalCorporate Counsel
LegalParalegal
Manufacturing*Assembly
Manufacturing*Manufacturing Engineering
Manufacturing*Production Planning
Manufacturing*Quality Assurance
MarketingCommunications/Public Relations
MarketingCreative Marketing
MarketingDigital Marketing
MarketingEvents
MarketingMarketing Operations
MarketingProduction
OperationsFacilities
ProductTechnical Writing
Project ManagementNon-Technical Project Management
Project ManagementTechnical Project Management
ResearchClinical Science
ResearchPre-Clinical Science
ResearchProcess Development
ResearchSupport
SalesSales/Solutions Engineering
StrategyBusiness Operations
StrategyCorporate/Business Development
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