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27 Sep 2017

A $3 million pay package is waiting for you

"Unlimited salary for unlimited talent"

Most of us have come across versions of this unique statement spewed by HRs after job interviews. "We love you, we want to hire you but we don't want to spend more than XYZ amount for this post."

More often than not, the wriggle room for negotiation is very less.

However, in China, one employer says, "Unlimited salary for unlimited talent."

Here's more.

In context

"Unlimited salary for unlimited talent"
What is it all about?


What is it all about?

Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. is a news start-up founded by Zhang Yiming. Zhang has gained popularity among employees and notoriety among other employers due to a very simple reason.

He wants to pay you more than anyone out there if you are worth it. Something, that's making the top talents, from other market giants, knock the doors of his firm.

Jinri Toutiao

Well, this is for Jinri Toutiao

Zhang's firm is known for its mobile app called Jinri Toutiao, or Today's Headlines. It's a content aggregator, which pools news and videos from multiple media outlets to the palms of the user.

Within 5 years, it has become one of the most popular apps, boasting 120 million daily users. Reports peg Yiming's firm's valuation to be equal to that of Elon Musk's SpaceX.

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Nothing but the best


Nothing but the best

In the corporate circles, 34-year-old Zhang is famous or notorious for the way he recruits his employees.

He has bagged the crème de la crème employees from the Chinese industry giants such as Baidu Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Zhang is not afraid to raise salaries by 50% or give stock options, provided he gets the best match for his company.


No amount is too high

Speaking to Bloomberg, Zhang said, "Our philosophy is to pay the top of the market to get the best" because "the company that wants to achieve the most, you need the best talent."

Then he said the golden words, "Unlimited salary for unlimited talent."

However, unlimited is not exactly a ballpark figure. How much are we really talking about?

So, what are we talking about?


So, what are we talking about?

ByteDance's top employees can take home more than $1 million in salary and bonus a year. To sweeten the deal, there are also stock options.

So, in total, one is looking at a compensation that exceeds $3 million. Zhang said his employees prefer stock options over cash.

The firm currently has a dozen apps slated for release and is on a hiring spree.


AI, AI, AI and more AI

Interestingly, despite being a news aggregator, Toutiao doesn't employ a single editor. The app banks on AI engine and machine learning to curate, format and customize news feeds.

How many AI engineers does it plan to hire? One competitor believes it to be around 200, which is a very high number. Zhang, to this statement, glibly responded, "It may be more than 200."

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