Oregon Compensation Survey 2018

Julianne Brands – May 2018

How are VC-backed companies in Oregon and SW Washington compensating their employees?  The Oregon Venture Fund teamed up again with the Brentwood Group to find out. 

To get meaningful, longitudinal data, our approach is to directly survey all privately held VC-backed companies in our region. This allows management teams and investors to track annual compensation levels and trends, including base and variable comp and equity ownership, by position, and controlled for company size, stage, and funding level.

To view current and historic survey results in an interactive dashboard format, please click here.

On 4/13/18, we convened a panel of leading talent and compensation experts to review and interpret our fresh findings:

-         Jeff Markham, director, Parker Remick

-         Frank Moscow, president, The Brentwood Group

-         Heather Flynn, global talent acquisition, Puppet, Nike

-         Mike Guerchon, chief people officer, Riverbed, Puppet

A few takeaways from that discussion and analysis:

-         Our data is getting better as the sample size grows, but important to remember that compensation data typically lags the market. According to our experts, current executive pay could already be up to 30% more than the data suggests & technical talent up to 10% higher.

-         The gap between PDX and other markets is shrinking – it’s a global market for hires, and every tech company in town now competes with Amazon, Apple, JLR, Oracle, Nike – whether they know it or not.

-         Think about compensation planning & succession planning early - when you make your first hire, but…

-         …Be flexible in how you think about compensation and budget for hiring – get an understanding of current market trends, use numerical & anecdotal data, and outline the total compensation opportunity to help employees see the full picture

-         Culture & intangible benefits count –the impact employees can have, the company’s mission and purpose, transparency about executive comp, volunteer opportunities, community engagement, and a modern philosophy of trustworthiness allows you to attract and retain harder working and more dedicated people.

This report was a collaborative undertaking between Oregon Venture Fund, The Brentwood Group, many of the venture firms investing in Oregon, and our collective portfolio companies. A huge thank you to our Advisory Committee –Heather Flynn, Mike Guerchon, Frank Moscow, and Stew Yaguda, for making this survey possible.

If you’re a venture-backed company in Oregon or a VC with venture investments in the area, and want to participate, please email me: Julianne Brands (julianne@oregonventurefund.com). Survey participants receive full access to the dashboard that analyzes employee salary, equity, and bonus compensation across company stage, capital raised, and revenue