How does growth take place between levels?

You land at the start of a level. With every quarterly assessment, you and your lead closely monitor how to move you from “Working towards…” to “Meeting” to “Exceeding”.

When you move to “Meeting” expectations on all six skills, you move up within that level band.

When you move to “Exceeding” on at least 4 of the 6 skills consistently for 2 consecutive reviews (i.e. six months or more, as explained here), you move up a level.

It is fair to expect this process to take 2 years.

What do the examples under each skill indicate?

The examples show what growth in a certain area would usually look like at each level, but progress isn’t restricted to those examples.

How are new hires assessed?

The hiring committee will determine this by comparing the candidates’ responses about their recent experiences relative to the people currently at Obvious at various levels. These details will be shared with the candidate once they’ve accepted the offer.

Then, through the first 90 days through monthly check-ins, the new team member will work with their team lead and formalise their determined level.

Will the salaries for each level be published?

We don’t share compensation and level details in the public domain. Within the organisation, the level ranges associated with an individual’s own level and that of one level up are shared with that individual, so they can aim and plan for growth.

Do tenure and past experience affect evaluations?

No, they do not. Past experience is relevant only during the recruitment process and in determining provisional levels at the time of joining. Growth evaluations are conducted purely on behaviours, deliverables, and merit of contributions to prescribed skill. That said, the longer you are at Obvious, the more opportunities you have to grow and progress within the framework.

Will the framework change over time?

Yes, the framework will see iterations over time. This is to ensure it’s as usable in practice as it looks on paper and continues to value the right skills. If changes are made that materially affect even one person’s evaluation, we’ll ensure plenty of advance notice is given.

Does this framework apply to non-designer teams?

This applies only to designers. Graphics, Content and Research teams will soon get their own frameworks, once this one has been stress-tested enough.

Engineering will also get a completely separate framework, but it will still be guided by our core principles of craft, curiosity and compounding.

What happens if someone hasn’t met promotion criteria but has made visible progress?

Suppose visible growth and progress have been made in the last 12 months but the individual hasn’t met promotion criteria. In that case, they can still be eligible for a salary increment without being promoted, provided their mentor(s) recommend a salary hike. More on our compensation values and framework here.

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