Hero image

Startup Compensation 101

Cohort-based Course

Get the tools to pay fairly and competitively. Get the scripts to discuss pay. Attract and retain the talent you need.

Hosted by

Maryann Kongovi

Executive at two unicorns. Hired & managed hundreds at Google. Startup Advisor.

Course overview

Crack the code on how to pay your team.

You'll develop a framework to guide all compensation decisions. You'll walk away with a lightweight process to apply and maintain them, and the scripts to share it all effectively.

This course is for you if...

01

you're an early-stage startup founder and you worry that you're either overpaying or underpaying your team.

02

you're tired of reacting to pay demands. You want the confidence that you're making fair and competitive offers.

03

you want a sustainable compensation strategy that's fair to everyone, especially as you pass the #10 employee mark.

Key outcomes

Publish your compensation philosophy


See off-cycle requests and pay confusion disappear once you hit 'publish'. You'll develop your point of view on how pay works for your company. Through hands-on activities, you’ll craft the foundation for all future decisions.

Build or refine compensation bands


We'll review the different compensation data sets (both free and paid). Bringing it all together, you'll apply your philosophy to the market data and create or refine a compensation band.

Develop your pay scorecard


We will go through step-by-step guidance on how to create your company's pay scorecard. This is a tool to ensure you can see how you are paying relative to the market. With this visibility, we will explore the levers to align your pay with your philosophy.

Tell, and sell, your pay story


You'll produce a script to tell your pay story - how you pay and why - using templates that will be provided. In small breakout groups, you'll role-play the tough conversation you've been dreading and get peer feedback to refine your message.

Testimonials

        Maryann built a compensation plan to ensure we could hire and retain the talent Code for America needed. She developed a plan that was competitive, transparent and equitable across functional teams. She also supported leadership with the tools and training needed to make sure the plan worked.
ST Mayer

ST Mayer

former Chief Program Officer, Code for America
        Maryann developed the framework and tools to ensure our Talent team could always recommend offers that were competitive and followed Algolia's compensation philosophy. She was integral in building the operations and rewards teams that advised our compensation and benefits strategy. It was a huge asset and helped us to close candidates sooner.
Zaviear Lue

Zaviear Lue

Global Director of Recruitment, Algolia
        Simply put, Maryann is the best recruiter and closer with whom I’ve ever worked. She’s deeply familiar with the market dynamics for a myriad of roles and understands how to structure offers across every department of an organization. Maryann could teach any organization how to tell their story, attract top candidates, and then close them.
Mike Devine

Mike Devine

Senior Recruiter, Pave
A pattern of wavy dots
Be the first to know about upcoming cohorts

Startup Compensation 101

Meet your instructor

Maryann Kongovi

Maryann Kongovi

Startup Advisor & Operator

I have felt the pain and challenge of setting compensation many times over. First, hiring and managing hundreds of people at Google, and then as an executive running compensation processes. Now, as an advisor working with founders I see the same challenges.


I firmly believe that every (good) leader wants to pay their team fairly, but very few have the tools or guidance they need.


I'm incredibly motivated by the opportunity to help great leaders pay everyone on their team what they deserve.


Leaning on what I learned at Google, what I've picked up from a patchwork of consultants, and my analytical training from BCG, I built my first compensation process for Code for America.


I have since taken that approach and advised dozens of startups, as well as designed or co-created processes at companies like Algolia, and Pave, owner of Option Impact.


Now, with this workshop "Startup Compensation 101" I'd like to bring this framework to you. You can then approach every offer and compensation conversation with confidence!

A pattern of wavy dots
Be the first to know about upcoming cohorts

Startup Compensation 101

Program Curriculum

01

Create your compensation philosophy: why everyone needs one and how to get one

Publishing a thoughtful and well-written compensation philosophy can pre-empt and prevent stressful pay conversations. In this module, we will review the key elements of a good compensation philosophy and discuss different examples. Using templates you will then create your own. Peer feedback will give you insight into how it might be received.

02

Compensation bands: how to build and refine

Compensation bands provide the guard rails for how everyone's pay is set. Without them, pay inequities can remain hidden and outcomes may be unfair. In this module, we will discuss how to use bands, and how to find the data to update them. We will also explore how they fit into the broader framework of a good compensation plan.

03

Develop your pay scorecard

In this module, you will create a pay scorecard so you can assess how you are paying everyone in your company, compared to your philosophy and your compensation bands. You'll leave with a clear picture of how you are paying your team, and the levers to make adjustments in line with your philosophy.

04

Tell, and sell, your pay story (how to attract and retain talent)

You will lose talent to lower-paying jobs if they don't understand how they are paid. Using templates you will create your pay story so you never lose talent for the wrong reasons. You will refine your message with peer feedback. You’ll gain the confidence to have every kind of pay conversation, and the know-how to attract and retain talent.

Course schedule

3-4 hours per week
  • 4 Weekly Workshops on Thursdays

    12:00pm - 1:30pm PT

    We'll cover the core content in the first 45 mins to 1 hour. Stay for the full 90 mins for Q&A and additional discussion.

    • Live session with Maryann
    • Breakout groups to discuss workshop topics
    • Q&A and group discussion
  • Weekly projects

    1-2 hours per week

    • Each session will have pre-reads.
    • You'll leave each workshop with assignments to complete before the next session.
    • By the end of the course you'll have a complete compensation plan to ensure you're paying fairly and competitively.
A pattern of wavy dots
Be the first to know about upcoming cohorts

Startup Compensation 101

Build your compensation plan, step by step

Build your compensation plan, step by step

Active learning, not passive watching

This course builds on live workshops and hands-on projects where you'll develop the key elements of a good compensation plan.

Interactive and project-based

You’ll be interacting with other leaders through breakout rooms and project discussions. You'll receive invaluable peer feedback on how your plan is shaping up.

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you.

A pattern of wavy dots
Be the first to know about upcoming cohorts

Startup Compensation 101

Stay in the loop

Sign up to be the first to know about course updates.