Negotiate your Square Salary

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Square Salary Negotiation Guide

Do we like negotiating with Square?

Square is willing to negotiate, but they tend to have narrower pay bands. When they extend an offer, you don't typically see immediate timeline pressure, which can be very helpful for setting up leverage. Square can go above band in rare circumstances, but we've also seen them refuse to match competing offers. You have to make sure you frame your request correctly.

Square's compensation structure

  • Base Salary
  • Square Equity Package (see Square’s vesting schedule below)
  • Performance-based Stock Grant Bonus (varies by Square level)
  • Square Signing Bonus (not included in all initial Square offers)

Square performance bonus targets

One unique aspect of Square's compensation is that they don't offer cash performance bonuses. Instead, they offer performance-based stock grants. Unfortunately, most recruiters are unwilling to share targets, and Square has not historically listed this information in offer letters.

Square's approach to remote pay

In 2020, Jack Dorsey, Square’s CEO announced that employees could either work from home fully or follow a hybrid model where they would only be required to be in office a few days per week. However, Square salaries continue to differ based on location.

Square's relocation package

Square assists with immigration and provides a relocation bonus if you are required to move for the role. Typically Square relocation packages are smaller than other big tech companies, but it's not a major component of compensation so shouldn't be a deal breaker.

Most negotiable component

Square equity is the most negotiable component of the total Square compensation package. They are willing to negotiate base pay, but the increase is typically much smaller than the equity component. Surprisingly, Square sign on bonus can be one of the hardest components to negotiate, as they are usually small with narrow comp bands.

More information regarding how to negotiate via email, how to prep for a call with the help of scripts, and understanding equity and startup stock options is available on our blog.

Does Square require written offers?

Square rarely requires a written offer but they might request a detailed breakdown of the competing offer or other details (e.g. what level is the position, role title, etc.).

Will Square go above band if I have a strong competing offer?

For higher levels, Square may consider going above band if the negotiation is going very well. It's important to note that Square will typically apply time pressure after giving out a strong offer.

Is my hiring manager relationship important at Square?

It is always beneficial to have a strong relationship with your hiring manager. However, recruiters and managers at Square have less control over Square’s salaries as the company has a comp team that helps to standardize offers.

What does the hiring process look like at Square?

Square’s hiring process typically has 4 stages: recruiter interview, team interview, projects and assessments, and offer stage.

After your application is selected, the first interview is conducted by the recruiter and will contain questions regarding your experience and interests.

The second round of interviews is conducted by the team you’re applying to be a part of. This is essentially the team matching process. The team will chat in detail regarding your experience.

Afterwards, you will often be asked to complete an assessment. This could be in the form of a project, case study, or submission of a portfolio containing previous work.

‍Lastly, if you succeed and a Square offer package is extended, this is where your Square salary negotiation process will begin.

Note: If you require resources for interviewing, we have an article comparing different interview resources like interview cake, leetcode premium, etc.

Does Square pay well compared to Stripe?

Square pays well overall but is slightly lower than other fintechs like Stripe. Let’s consider a Square software engineer salary. The base pay for both companies is quite similar (for level 7 it would be about $250k). However, the signing bonus and equity at Square is lower compared to Stripe. The signing bonus at Stripe is about $50-70k and in the equity there's a difference of $50k.

What kind of benefits does Square offer?

Square has a solid list of company perks (i.e. all the standard stuff you'd expect in tech). Unlimited PTO and 16-week maternity and paternity programs are two notable elements.

Square Equity Vesting Schedule

Year 1
25%
Year 2
25%
Year 3
25%
Year 4
25%
Year 5
25%
Year 5
%

Square Levels

Square Level

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

Level 7

Level 8

=

Equivalent Level at Google

L3

L4

Between L4 and L5

L5

L6

L7

Why use us?

Our Clients Love Moonchaser

Coming from a non-FAANG background, I was shocked to find out how much I could be earning. Before I signed up with Moonchaser, I made the mistake of telling Amazon my current compensation. Thankfully, Moonchaser knew exactly how to fix it and ended up getting me an offer that was 2.3X what I previously made and more than $600K higher than Amazon’s initial offer!

Through several weeks of interviews, Ganesh was always available to make sure I knew what to say for each conversation. I interviewed with start ups, Google, Facebook and Amazon and was really impressed that Moonchaser knew the comp ranges and were able to give me tailored advice for each – even the start ups.

There ended up being two particularly complex moments in my negotiation. One of the start-ups I had a personal relationship with and I wasn’t sure how it would affect the negotiation. I like that there was a focus on my individual circumstances and that they were leveraged to get me a higher offer. The other situation is that Amazon made a mistake on my written offer and initially wouldn’t rectify it. Ganesh was able to guide me through a challenging conversation to get it resolved.

Steve Commisso
L7 Principal Software Engineer, Amazon

Thanks to Wilson and the team at Moonchaser I got a ~$250K increase on my remote Facebook offer! I was initially worried I wouldn’t have much leverage because Facebook reached out to me, and I wasn’t interviewing anywhere else. Moonchaser introduced me to an Amazon L7 recruiter and helped me get that process started. I didn’t even end up needing to finish the Amazon interviews, since we were able to use some early compensation conversations to justify our numbers to Facebook.

At one point I was also considering pushing for an E7 role, and they wrote up a great script for me to broach the subject with my recruiter. She ended up giving me the option to do an additional interview to be considered for the higher-level position.

The whole process was very smooth, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use the service for any future negotiations. I found the regular calls with Wilson where we walked through strategy and discussed the scripts to be extremely helpful. Not only did it help with this negotiation, but I also learned a lot of useful negotiation tactics that I’ve already started to use in other situations.

Chris Jones
E6 Software Engineer, Facebook

As an engineering leader with decades of experience and having now gone through the negotiation with the team at Moonchaser, the only thing I can say is — get the help. Whether you realize you need it, or even if you think you don’t. Just because you have done well in engineering doesn't mean that you understand the tactics and limits of the recruiting process.

Moonchaser helped me get a $200K increase on my original Facebook offer without any competing offers.  It was clear that Moonchaser was deeply familiar with Facebook's negotiation playbook. I’d honestly give the experience an 11/10.

In addition, Moonchaser guided me on how to get the position switched to a revised remote role which was a huge deal at a personal level. They showed me how to redirect FB’s questions so that I could explore the possibility of not relocating, without ever having to say no to my original offer.

E7 Hardware Engineer
Facebook

This is my first FAANG role and I'm so happy I worked with Moonchaser (thanks again Annie!) for the negotiation. My goal was to increase my Google offer, but I was in a tricky situation where I only had 1 other interview (no offer yet) at a small startup. With their guidance, I managed to get a $240K increase on my Google offer, despite Google's policy of requiring cross offers in writing to justify an increase.

The mock negotiations were a big part of why I was able to get this increase. Going into the negotiation, I assumed the key factor was what to say but I quickly learned that how you say it is equally if not more important. This was clear when over the course of the call"no" turned into "I'll see what I can do" and eventually"I think we can make this work". A big part of this was also having someone with me on the calls to provide real time guidance. This took a lot of the stress out of the situation. I can't recommend this team highly enough!

Andrei Gorbushkin
L5 Technical Program Manager, Google

After receiving several job offers, I needed to make a decision within a few days. I wanted to make sure I was getting the best offer possible, so I decided to use Moonchaser. I was very pleased with their service. My coach, Sameer, was well prepared and had information about what compensation increases were likely possible. He provided detailed scripts covering a range of scenarios, and he did practice negotiations with me that helped me feel confident when I had the actual conversations.  

With his help I was able to increase one offer by $45k per year plus get a $50k signing bonus and then use that to increase my offer from Square, which was my first choice. All throughout he was very responsive as I was dealing with some tight deadlines and looking to wrap things up quickly. Moonchaser's fee was only a tiny fraction of the increase they helped me negotiate, and even though they would have made more money if I had taken the highest offer, Sameer always put my goals first and never pressured me to do so. I highly recommend Moonchaser!

L6 Software Engineer
Square

My friend introduced me to Moonchaser and I’m so glad they did. I initially did some calculations to see if working with them would be worth it - my final increase ended up being ~3x higher than what I had estimated to be possible!

Their data is much more accurate than anything I found online. Without Sameer's guidance, I would have never known (and would have probably been too nervous) to ask for >$800K for anAmazon L7 offer. Of course, it's not just not enough to throw out a big number, you also need to be able to justify it. Sameer guided me through negotiating an up-level at another company, which I didn’t even know was possible at my level. With their scripts, I was able to leverage my competing offer to get exec approval for my Amazon offer. They also knew all the tricks Amazon would play (e.g., assuming 15% stock appreciation) and exactly how to counter them.

My total 4-year compensation increased by $570K. I don't think I've ever had a higher ROI – I’m very thankful that this service exists!

L7 Principal Software Engineer
Amazon

Maximize your Square Offer

Square

has a unique set of negotiation policies. If you don’t have experience negotiating with them, you risk losing out on large amounts of money because of very small mistakes.

There are many of these rules you need to know to get the highest

Square

offer possible.