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Google - Competitive Intelligence BETA

Get insider information on how Google structures their compensation.

⏰ Recent Updates

  • June 2023 - Google is more widely using a compensation expectation form, asking candidates to fill out detailed information on base salary, equity, and bonus expectations.

📄 Offer Overview

🧐 Compensation Philosophy

What does a typical offer look like? What forms of compensation? Anything particularly unique to this company? How does this company pay relative to rest of market? How is compensation determined and set? Does compensation differ by location?

Google provides a fairly standard tech compensation package that consists of base + GSUs + Sign-on + Performance bonus. They also pay by geography, so depending on where an employee lives, their compensation band may differ.

Google allows renegotiating sign-on into equity. From L4 offer: $30k sign-on + $275k equity → $322k equity

  • Senior Staff SWE FB/Google
  • Base: $240k - $280k (both companies)
  • Bonus 25% (both companies)
  • Equity: $1.2M - $2.5M over 4 years (FB)
  • Equity: $950k - $2M (Google vesting 33/33/22/12)
  • Sign on: $50k - $150k (if they max equity, rare that they will get to $150k. Even D2 at FB didnt get to $150k sign on
  • TC: $650K - $1M (Mid $825K)

💵 Cash Compensation (Salary & Sign-on Bonus)

Do they give a sign-on bonus? If so, how much?

They do provide sign on bonuses, capped at $50k for most lower level roles, but can move up above for the right candidate.

📈 Equity Compensation (Valuation & Vesting Schedule)

How is value per share determined? What is the vesting schedule? Are signing bonuses offered and what is the range?

Vesting type: 'GSU' (Google form of RSU). Vesting schedule: primary for now: 33,33,22,12

Notably they don't seem to use this schedule for the new graduates.

Used to have: 25,25,25,25 (GSUs vesting monthly, without a cliff). Other less common schedules we saw: 36,28,20,16, 40,20,20,20, and 40,28,20,12.

The number of GSUs is determined by dividing $xxx by the average closing price of Alphabet’s Class C stock for the calendar month prior to the date of grant, rounded up to the nearest full GSU.

💳 Benefits & Non-monetary Compensation

What notable benefits does this company provide? Note: Also check Levels.fyi's public benefits page for this company.


Benefits at a glance (US):

  • Full medical, vision, dental plans (effective on day 1; no waiting period)
  • 20 vacation days when you join (increases with tenure)
  • 13 paid holidays per year
  • 401(k) Matching: Google matches half of whatever you contribute to your pre-tax and Roth 401(k). At the end of the year, if you have received less than $3,000 in company matching contributions and are still employed as of December 31, Google will contribute an additional $0.50 for every $1 you contributed to your account. With the governmental limit increasing to $22,500 in 2023, that means that by leveraging Google’s match, you could receive up to $11,250 in additional tax-free funds. Every dollar of the match is fully vested. There are lots of resources that you can access once you've started that will help you calculate the best way to maximize the match.
  • Free coffee bars, breakfast, lunch and dinner (and lots of snacks, too!)
  • Perks: on-site massages, being able to bring your dog to work, fitness benefits, celebrity guest chefs and presenters, etc.
  • 20 hours of volunteer time to give back to the communities/non-profits you are passionate about
  • Annual education reimbursement to keep growing professionally (Google will pay 2/3 of the cost up to $12,000 for job-related learning and 1/3 of the cost up to $1,200 for personal learning). Google will match 100% of your student loan contributions up to $2,500 annually, with those contributions going toward the principal of your student loan.
  • Parental benefits:
    • Maternity Leave: no tenure limit; 24 weeks of fully-paid leave + 2 weeks of ramp-back time
    • Parental Leave: no tenure limit; 18 weeks of baby bonding leave that can be used all at once or throughout the course of the child's first year
    • Fertility benefits: up to four cycles of IVF fully covered by Google
    • Adoption benefits: reimbursement up to $25,000 for up to three adoptions; 12 weeks baby bonding leave
    • Surrogacy benefits: reimbursement up to two attempts up to $40,000 per attempt; 12 weeks baby bonding leave
    • 20 days total of back-up care for when your regular caretaking method falls through

⏳ Timeline

How much time does someone have to think about an offer before accepting? Are they strict about dates?

Google is pretty generous with their timing since candidates will go through a team-matching phase.

🛳 Visas & Immigration

What are the companies policies for hiring non-US citizens? How does immigration process work?

Aligns with other top tech companies.

🚨 Gotcha's

Anything to watch out for?

  • Equity refresher policy: lower new-hire RSU (GSU) will lead to lower refreshers in the future.

🤑 Negotiations

🔍 Process Overview

How are offers generated? How soon can someone hear back from the recruiter after negotiating? How many rounds of negotiations can be done? What happens after signing an offer?

Most Google's negotiations can take up to 2 months, sometimes even longer (see links to our blog articles with details on Google interviews and negotiations).

You need competing offers to push compensation significantly higher (15%+). They ask for proof: either screenshots or a written offer/email from a recruiter. The documentation needs to reflect:

  • Date
  • Name
  • Company name/logo (if Offer Letter) OR recruiter's work email address (if email confirmation)
  • Compensation breakdown

It has to be another public company. They stopped taking competing offers from start-ups. Companies tend not to give written offers to prevent counteroffers. A way around it - ask a recruiter for a recap email with comp breakdown.

Thank you for jumping through all the hoops for this revised offer, I greatly appreciate it. I don’t mean to come across as compensation is everything, however, it’s important, especially when it's a long-term commitment for me. I'm sure that this offer has gone through a rigorous approval process already, but can we work with the compensation team again for a total compensation closer to $X? If so, I will sign the offer within 24 hours and wrap this process up since I'm really excited to join the team.

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but below are my justifications for this request:

I'll be forfeiting $X-$Y in cash bonus+unvested stocks from my current role since the payout month isn't until later. At the same time, my bonus at Airbnb is prorated from my start date until the end of the fiscal year. That said, I'm not being compensated for a bonus at all from either company. I hope you can take this into consideration. I'd greatly appreciate the gesture.

Also, I have 4.5 years of work experience in tech plus a Master’s Degree in my field, and a starting base salary of $X would be lower than what I make in my current company in X. With the relocation for this position, I'd have to look for an apartment and most landlords only take cash compensation into consideration to approve me for a lease. As such, I hope you can take this into consideration for a higher base salary. I hope you can empathize with me and understand where I'm coming from.

I can't emphasize enough how excited I am about this opportunity. Airbnb has been one of my dream companies to be a part of and I’m confident that I’ll be a great fit for the team. As promised, if we can come closer to $200k, I'd love to sign the offer. I understand that it's a big request, so I'm open to hear more from your end as well. I'm confident that we can work together to figure out a number that's best for both sides. I appreciate your continued support throughout the process and please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help. Looking forward to hearing good news from you.

Google doesn't typically take private company/start-up equity into account when clients talk about stock/equity they'll be leaving behind. But Google India does.

⚖️ Levers

What components can be negotiated? What levers can be adjusted (ex. salary can be increased)?

Most components of the compensation package can be negotiated, however equity and bonus will be the easiest levers to pull.

👥 Stakeholders

Who's involved in the process (ex. hiring manager, recruiter, etc.)? Who has the authority to make compensation decisions?

Recruiter works closely with compensation team to draft and approve the offer, once a recruiter provides a written offer to a candidate, there is not much room for subsequent negotiations.

📎 Other Negotiables

Can PTO be negotiated? Can relocation be negotiated? Can any other benefits be negotiated?

Most other components cannot be negotiated, however for the right candidate, they may be able to flex incentives/performance bonuses for higher level roles.

💼 Negotiation for Employees

If I start and I get promoted, do I get to re-negotiate my package? Can I negotiate a raise? How hard is it to negotiate an increase after I join?

It's 50/50, depends on the employee and how much the team doesn't want to lose them. When they transition from Alphabet companies to Google, that's the only opportunity where they get to renegotiate their package. Google will treat these transfers as external candidates.

👩‍💻 Employee Compensation Policies

♻️ Refreshers

What happens after 4 years when my stocks are fully vested?

Google offers refreshers. They use new-hire GSUs as an anchor for refreshers, so by getting candidates to accept lower GSUs, they get to pay less in refreshers later.

Annual GSU refreshers vest over 4 years evenly (25,25,25,25), they are granted in the beginning of January.

💲 Performance Bonuses

Are they given? How do they work? When are yearly bonuses paid out? When is the cut-off for someone to be eligible for a performance review?

Based on offers we received:

L3 - L5 - 15%

L6 - 20%

L7 - 25%

Bonus is paid in January of the following year.

🌎 Other Resources

Questions Google ask before extending offer:

Referral/Comp questions:

  • Aside from the people you met during the interview process, do you know any other Googlers who can provide an internal reference?

Work Experience Details:

  • Dates (months/years) of each role according to your resume
  • Is any of the work listed on your resume freelance - or were you directly employed by the companies? Please list out which were freelance and which companies you were directly employed by.
  • Details of unexplained gaps of 3 months or more in your work history according to your resume (travel, volunteering, moving, etc.)?
  • Is there any work experience mentioned on your resume that was either part-time or volunteer? If any of the roles are/were part-time, please list how many hours per week you worked.
  • Any promotions you received with the dates. If your promotion progression happened more quickly than the standard progression please include that as well.
  • Any awards at work?
  • Please attach a updated copy of your resume

College Details:

  • Dates in college - beginning month/year to graduating month/year

Your Success:

  • Any published papers/articles/theses
  • Any specific expertise you may have (e.g. any industry certifications, software skills, etc.)

Outside of Work and School:

  • Are you or have you been involved in sports or music? Do you have hobbies? Blogs? Do you belong to any organizations or associations?