Roblox salary negotiation
Company Guide
August 9, 2021

Roblox Salary Negotiation

Roblox, known as the 'world's playground', crushed its first quarter as a public company, proving the value of its game-creation platform. The company is well on its way to becoming a cornerstone of the wider creator economy. Gamers spent 9.7 billion hours on the platform in the first three months of 2021. For context, the popular streaming platform Twitch reported a record 6.3 billion hours watched over the same period. Roblox has a solid growth plan, a high talent bar, and a great culture, making it one of the most exciting places to work in the tech industry

This guide leverages the information we have gathered from many of our recent negotiations with Roblox to give you a better understanding of how the negotiation process works at Roblox. If your situation is unique or you want 1:1 support to ensure maximization of compensation, please sign up for a free consultation with one of our expert negotiators.

Negotiate Your Offer

Table of Contents

  • Roblox Offer Compensation Components
  • Roblox Negotiation Process
  • Roblox-Specific Negotiation Advice

Roblox Offer Compensation Components

Before commencing any negotiations with Roblox, make sure you fully understand the different compensation components offered. A typical job offer for a software engineering role at Roblox will contain the following monetary components:

  • Base Salary
  • Equity (also known as Restricted Stock Units - RSUs)
  • Signing bonus (primarily for new grads)
  • Stock refreshers

This is what a Roblox IC5 offer looks like over a 4-year period:

*Note: stock refreshers won't actually be listed in the offer letter, but they are expected at Roblox

Base Salary

Roblox pays a top-of-market base salary, higher even than companies like Google and Facebook. For an E4 Facebook Software Engineer in the Bay Area, the base salary goes up to $177k, whereas Roblox's base salary for the equivalent level (IC3) can go up to ~$225k. This is partly due to the fact that Roblox does not have a yearly cash bonus (typically a % of base salary), so to stay competitive, Roblox's base salary is much higher right off the bat.

Additionally, it is possible to get a 4-6% increase in base salary every year, depending on performance. Salary is reviewed twice a year. H1 reviews happen in Q3, and any raises/promotions would take effect in Q4. Similarly, H2 reviews take place in Q1 of next year and any raises/promotions take effect in Q3

Restricted Stock Units (RSUs)

Roblox, like most other large-cap tech companies, has a traditional vesting structure with an initial equity grant that vests in equal instalments over a 4-year period. If you are granted $600K in RSUs, you will receive:

  • Year 1: 25% ($150K)
  • Year 2: 25% ($150K)
  • Year 3: 25% ($150K)
  • Year 4: 25% ($150K)

The RSU bands are fairly wide at Roblox, and again, they tend to pay higher than most companies from the get-go. E4 Facebook Software Engineers can make up to $400k over four years in RSUs, whereas Roblox IC3 Software Engineers can earn up to ~$560k.

Roblox can also go above band on equity for senior roles, but this requires a nearly perfect negotiation. At Moonchaser, we successfully negotiated a significantly above band IC5 offer, and in that scenario, the client needed CTO approval.

The number of RSUs you receive will be calculated using the 60-day trading average proceeding the first board meeting after you join. Roblox's vesting schedule recently changed, getting rid of the one-year cliff, which means you will receive 1/16th of your grant in the first quarterly vesting date that is at least 90 days after your start date. Subsequently, 1/16th of the grant will be granted each quarter thereafter.

The Quarterly vesting dates are: February 20th, May 20th, August 20th, and November 20th

Signing Bonus

There is no traditional signing bonus as part of the total compensation package at Roblox. However, in some cases, Roblox awards a very small signing bonus as part of their compensation package for junior-level roles.

Performance Bonus

Unlike many big tech companies, Roblox does not award a cash bonus at the end of the year. The 4-6% base salary increase, as well as stock refreshers, are framed as performance bonuses at Roblox. These numbers will shift and fluctuate depending on overall business growth and individual performance.

Stock Refreshers

Roblox typically issues 25% of the initial grant as a yearly stock refresher, which then vests quarterly over four years. There isn't a cliff associated with the refreshers and the 25% grant is when the employee 'meets expectations'. The amount of stock allocated as refreshers can increase significantly depending on performance. Refreshers are awarded at the end of Q3, and to be considered for refreshers, typically, you would have completed one full year at Roblox.

For example, if you join Roblox in March 2021, you will be awarded the first refresher grant in the following year, i.e. September 2022.

Roblox Negotiation Process

Before diving into the negotiation process, I want to clarify leveling as this doesn't map 1:1 with Google or Facebook.

  • Software Engineer - IC1 at Roblox is the lower end of L3 at Google
  • Software Engineer II - IC2 at Roblox is equivalent to L3.5-4.5 at Google
  • Senior I - IC3 at Roblox is equivalent to upper L4 at Google
  • Senior II - IC4 at Roblox is equivalent to L5 at Google
  • Principal I - IC5 at Roblox is equivalent to L6 at Google
  • Principal II - IC6 at Roblox is equivalent to L6.5-L7.5 at Google

There are a few critical mistakes to avoid if you have not yet received your offer from Roblox:

  1. Do not share your current compensation. In many states (e.g. California), it is illegal for companies to ask this. If you are asked by a recruiter, you are certainly within your rights to say "I do not feel comfortable sharing that information"
  2. We do not recommend sharing your compensation expectations before receiving an offer. Roblox tends to pay very competitively and is willing to negotiate after giving an initial offer. If you choose to just throw out a high number when asked, that will increase the chance you are required to provide proof of a competing offer. Instead, we recommend replying with, "Right now, I'm focused on the interview process and haven't really thought of a number. I am very confident that we will be able to get to a number that works for both of us"

Once you get the news that Roblox will be extending an offer, it's time to prepare for the negotiation process. The process we typically see at Roblox is outlined below, although there is a degree of variance from recruiter to recruiter.

  1. After the final onsite interview, you will get an email from the recruiter asking to set up a call
  2. The recruiter will congratulate you for passing the interviews and share that they will be extending an offer. In most cases, they will share the initial offer. However, if they ask for your expectations, we would recommend pushing back with, "I'm still trying to figure out my market value, I would appreciate it if you could go back to the team and see what the best offer you can give me given how my interviews went"
  3. Recruiters at Roblox typically need to go back to the compensation team (which meets every Tuesday and Friday) to get approval for any offer, so you will sometimes have to schedule a follow-up call to hear the initial offer. Recruiters at Roblox usually would give the initial offer without too much resistance. It is rare to see lowball offers, as the company is competitive with their total compensation. They are also willing to negotiate if you have leverage
  4. After extending the offer, the recruiter will often reach out and set up a few calls with your manager to give you more insight into what the day-to-day work will look like
  5. Now that you have an initial offer, you need to start preparing for the upcoming counter offer call. There are many potential points of leverage you can use during your negotiation. Roblox often wants verbal confirmation from you that the offer has been finalized by the competing company and in some cases, they request a breakdown. The recruiter will likely mention that they require additional data points to present to the compensation team and will probe to see if they can get any specific details about your competing offers. It is in your best interest to use selective information to gain leverage
  6. You can typically expect an update within 1-3 days (sometimes longer depending on the size of increase that needs to be approved) at which point you will need to decide whether to push back a final time or accept the new offer. We have seen Roblox do multiple rounds of negotiation, though they generally prefer to avoid going back and forth

At Moonchaser we build a tree diagram unique to your situation with the most likely objections and the optimal responses to those objections. The goal is to get the recruiter to support you request to the compensation team.

Roblox-Specific Negotiation Advice

Willing to extend timelines: Roblox recruiters are generally quite flexible with timelines. They often wait for you to finish all your processes so you can bring them data points to take back to the compensation team. Even in the cases where they are setting deadlines, it is possible to extend these deadlines by scheduling calls with the hiring manager and team.

Competing offers: Roblox does not require you to share competing offers in writing, which is great because many companies won't put offers in writing until you are ready to sign. However, they will sometimes push for the competing offer breakdown and will also ask you to confirm that the verbal offer is finalized. Roblox does not like going back and forth and will only engage in a few rounds of negotiation. If Roblox is your top choice, you should first maximize compensation at competing firms, then bring numbers back to Roblox.

Above band offers: Unlike some companies (e.g. Facebook), Roblox is willing to go above band for strong candidates. Although this is still rare, if you have the right leverage, it is possible. The approval process for this generally takes longer as it requires VP/C-Suite approval.

Willing to match: If you play your cards right, Roblox can often match the highest competing offer you present to them. They rarely use the excuse "We're not Facebook and can't match that pay level". That said, an optimal negotiation is when you get Roblox to beat the competing offers you present them, which requires specific negotiation strategies.

Negotiate Your Offer

1:1 Salary Negotiation Support

Negotiation strategy

Step 1 is defining the strategy, which often starts by helping you create leverage for your negotiation (e.g. setting up conversations with FAANG recruiters).

Negotiation anchor number

Step 2 we decide on anchor numbers and target numbers with the goal of securing a top of band offer, based on our internal verified data sets.

Negotiation execution plan

Step 3 we create custom scripts for each of your calls, practice multiple 1:1 mock negotiations, and join your recruiter calls to guide you via chat.