Netflix’s untraditional approach to leveling and compensation among their employees had created a unique work culture, earning them appearances in ‘top companies to work for’ lists. However, they’ve changed up their philosophy recently and are going with a more traditional approach that you see among many other top tech companies.
Initially, Netflix’s individual contributor seniority was flat, meaning that individual contributors were all considered the same level: Senior. As of this year, they’ve now introduced leveling for those roles, more in line with that you’d see at a company like Amazon or Google. The breakdown is as follows for a Software Engineer:
- E3: Software Engineer
- E4: Software Engineer II
- E5: Senior Software Engineer
- E6: Staff Software Engineer
- E7: Principal Software Engineer
Netflix applies the same logic to other roles too, including Security Engineers, Technical Program Managers, etc.
With leveling changes, come compensation changes as well. With a flat hierarchy, Netflix was able to offer strong compensation packages for employees at all career levels, using offers from other tech companies and market data as a strong anchor point. You might see a ‘Software Engineer’ at Netflix making $400,000 in total compensation, while another ‘Software Engineer’ is making $800,000. Their original philosophy prioritized market data for a skillset instead of a job title.
With the new changes, we expect to see more defined salary bands across the different levels, though we don’t know the exact breakdown at this point. This should help attract talent on both ends of the spectrum from junior to principal, as compensation aligns more closely with what most are used to seeing from the likes of Amazon, Google, or Meta.
Netflix was among the many tech companies involved in layoffs earlier this year, but they’ve also had a culture of transparency. As their annual compensation review comes to a close in the coming months, you may start to see some more defined info coming out about their compensation and how it might compare to its competitors.