Why does geo-based compensation exist? You should be paid for level of talent and production, not the costs of the person you’re employing. Note: I understand tax-specific details can be relevant, but ignore that for now.

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It should align with company comp philosophy. If they pay for cost of living (which means inflation-based annual increase budgets) then geofiffs would make sense because cost of living varies by locale especially in bigger cities on the coasts. If a company pays “cost of labor” and refuses to give inflation-based raises then geodiffs seem silly because they are a function of cost of living. While cost of living and cost of labor may be correlated over long periods of time, cost of labor moves much more slowly and can more easily support a salary structure without geodiffs.

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I appreciate your time @VP Finance1. That makes sense. Thinking about it in the context of supply and demand was tremendously helpful!

Labor price is determined by the intersection between supply and demand. Lets take a remote US based job as an example.

Everyone authorized to work in the US can be considered the "supply". However, you can't really look at the "demand" side the same way because not every job is remote. Remote jobs have to compete with Hybrid / In-person roles for the same talent. This means that in areas such as cities with high demand for labor, the labor price may be higher.

Conclusion: The labor price is not higher because of your costs, it is higher because more companies want that candidate and that increases the standards for a competitive wage.

smarthelpful

I appreciate your clearly written reply. Would love your opinion on the other comment/thread.

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