Facebook employees receive bonuses on a semi-annual basis, typically in March and September. The exact timing and amount of bonuses varies based on company and individual performance. However, most Facebook employees can expect to receive an annual bonus worth 5-15% of their base salary. Bonuses are a key part of overall compensation at Facebook and other major tech companies.
Facebook Bonus Eligibility
Not all Facebook employees receive bonuses. Bonus eligibility depends on the following factors:
- Level – Bonuses are standard for employees at certain job levels and above. For example, most individual contributors at E3 level and higher are bonus eligible.
- Performance – Employees must receive a minimum performance rating to qualify for a bonus. Typically this is a ‘Strong’ rating or above.
- Start Date – Employees must have a start date before October 1 to be eligible for the end-of-year annual bonus.
- Status – Only regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible. Interns, vendors, and contractors do not receive bonuses.
Assuming these criteria are met, the majority of Facebook employees will participate in the company’s cash bonus plan.
How Facebook Bonus Amounts Are Determined
There are two main factors that determine an employee’s bonus amount at Facebook:
- Company Performance – The overall bonus pool each cycle is based on how well Facebook performed against its financial goals for revenue and profitability. If Facebook exceeds its targets, the company will allocate more funds to the bonus pool.
- Individual Performance – Each eligible employee is assigned an individual bonus target, expressed as a percentage of base salary (eg. 10%). The actual bonus paid is determined by multiplying the target percentage by the employee’s base pay. So an employee with a $100,000 base salary and 10% target would get a $10,000 bonus at 100% payout. However, the payout percentage may be adjusted up or down based on the employee’s performance rating.
In this way, Facebook rewards both company success as well as individual contributions when determining bonus payouts.
Standard Bonus Target Percentages at Facebook
While bonus targets are personalized, Facebook follows standard target ranges based on level. Here are typical bonus percentages at different job levels:
|Level||Bonus Target Range|
|E3 (Senior IC)||5-8%|
So at more senior levels, bonus opportunities increase as both a percentage of salary and total dollar amount.
Timing of Facebook Bonus Payments
Facebook pays bonuses twice per year, typically in March and September. Here is an overview of the company’s bonus payment timeline:
- January – March – Company performance for previous year is finalized. Individual employee ratings are completed. Bonus amounts are calculated for the annual bonus based on these factors.
- March – Annual bonuses for the prior calendar year are paid out. For example, bonuses for 2021 performance are paid in March 2022.
- July – September – Mid-year company and employee performance is assessed. Bonus amounts are calculated for the mid-year bonus.
- September – Mid-year bonuses are paid to eligible employees.
In most years, the mid-year bonus is approximately half the size of the end-of-year bonus. However, the two payments combined usually total the employee’s full annual bonus target amount.
Sample Facebook Bonus Payment Timeline
Here is an example timeline showing Facebook’s bonus payment schedule over a multi-year period:
|Period||Bonus Paid||Payment Month|
|2020 Annual||$10,000||March 2021|
|2021 Mid-Year||$5,000||September 2021|
|2021 Annual||$10,000||March 2022|
|2022 Mid-Year||$5,000||September 2022|
|2022 Annual||$10,000||March 2023|
In this example, the employee has an annual bonus target of $10,000 paid over two installments each year. The March payment rewards the previous year’s performance, while September is mid-year progress towards the current year’s goals.
Facebook Bonus Payment Methods
Facebook delivers annual bonus payments through the same payroll method used for employee salaries. Bonuses are taxed as supplemental income in the pay period received.
For employees paid semi-monthly, the March and September bonus installments will each be split over two pay dates that month. So rather than one large lump sum, bonuses are divided into two smaller amounts.
Employees can view their net bonus amounts, after applicable taxes, in their pay statements accessible through Workday.
How Facebook Bonuses Compare to Industry
Facebook offers competitive bonus opportunities compared to other leading technology companies. Here is a comparison of Facebook’s bonuses to industry peers:
|Company||Annual Bonus Target||Payment Schedule|
|5-20%||March & September|
|10-30%||March & August|
|Microsoft||5-25%||September & March|
|Apple||10-20%||June & December|
While the timing and size of payments vary, annual bonuses ranging from 5% up to 30% of base salary are standard across these major technology employers.
Pros and Cons of Facebook’s Bonus Structure
Some key advantages and potential disadvantages of Facebook’s approach to bonus compensation include:
- Rewards Company Performance – Bonus amounts tied to Facebook’s revenue and profits encourage employees to prioritize the overall company mission.
- Individual Accountability – Varying payouts based on employee ratings hold people accountable for results.
- Market Competitive – Bonus targets and payment timing are in line with industry norms.
- Semi-Annual Approach – Biannual schedule enables adjustment of mid-year bonuses to reflect changing business conditions.
- Emphasis on Short-Term Results – Semi-annual bonuses may encourage focus on short-term wins over long-term success.
- Uncertain Payouts – Individual bonuses can vary significantly year over year based on company and employee performance.
- Delayed Payment – Annual bonuses reward prior year efforts, with a time lag for when work was delivered.
In summary, here are some key points on Facebook’s bonus payment approach:
- Bonuses are paid semi-annually in March and September
- Eligibility depends on level, performance rating, tenure, and employment status
- Target amounts are based on job level, with higher percentages at more senior levels
- Actual payouts depend on both company financial results and individual contributions
- The semi-annual program aligns with bonus practices at other major technology firms
- Pros include rewarding performance and industry competitiveness, while cons include short-term focus and uncertainty
Facebook uses bonuses as an important component of total rewards to attract and retain top talent in the technology industry. The company’s practice of paying bonuses twice per year aims to balance corporate, team, and individual goals over the short- and long-term. While payouts vary based on performance, most employees see bonuses as a consistent part of their overall compensation.