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Yeah, the relocation policy is bonkers. I think it’s just indefensible for them to do anything other than to take the highest local rate they pay and use that as the rate for all locations. If it incentivizes people to move to low cost areas, great! But I suspect employees who like city living will be perfectly happy continuing to pay higher prices to live there, as long as you’re paying them well.



As others have noted, it may be "bonkers" but salaries that are partly determined by where people live are absolutely the norm for the vast bulk of companies with multiple offices.

The only thing that makes GitLab exceptional is they're very transparent and upfront about it down to the specific numbers--some of which admittedly seem rather off.


I don’t think this is actually true for software and knowledge work companies. It is true for commodity labor.

If you’re an expert in a special database system, a company is going to have to pay you what you ask, regardless of whether you’re interviewing for that company’s NY office or Boulder, CO office or working remote from Alaska.

Companies that don’t do this, whether hiring remote or hiring into different office locations, generally aren’t investing in employees but are looking to cut costs with location arbitrage, and get reputations for being bad places to work, lacking compensation or career growth.

Gitlab is welcome to just be another one of these crappy companies, but it seems like they aspire to be seen as some type of thought leader, which is at odds with a pay policy that is at best mediocre and at worst actively exploitative by design.


Companies will bend or break a lot of rules for unique individuals that they want/need. But that doesn't apply to the vast majority of their employees including even fairly senior technical staff. Heck, plenty of the big tech employers are still generally resistant to remote work at all although they're slowly relenting in at least some cases.

I stand by my assertion that very few large employers ignore location when it comes to salary offers.


> “I stand by my assertion that very few large employers ignore location when it comes to salary offers.”

I agree with you but only because most large employers enforce commodity models of labor, and only far up the hierarchy do you get to unique employment requirements that break commoditization.

This doesn’t fit Gitlab at all though. They are still in a phase where very few employment needs are commodity.




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