Index Coop Hiring Guidelines v1

Amazing stuff, glad to see this finally being formalized. Everything seems spot on, here are a couple of questions:

Any specific reason we are specifically including a Set representative?

How do current contributors fit into this picture? Is this program only to find new contributors or to also promote from within?

Keep up the great work!


Any specific reason we are specifically including a Set representative?
Great question – this is largely in order to share context & our understanding around the needs/bottlenecks/current processes in the Coop, given Set team members’ depth & duration of involvement.

How do current contributors fit into this picture? Is this program only to find new contributors or to also promote from within?
It all comes down to filling high-leverage needs with folks that are able to deliver to the benefit of all Coop stakeholders. I’d expect that sometimes those people will already exist in the Coop (yahoo!!) and sometimes they won’t. Step #2 is intended to prioritize looking internally first. Ultimately, the decision will be made by the hiring team (2 full-time contributors, one working group lead), and then by the entire community via the IIP process.


Hi Greg,

Thanks for this detailed and well thought through proposal.

I am in agreement with your thinking and like the way it solidifies the requirement needed to transition from contributor to one of the “core team” (with vesting tokens). In short, by filling a high-leverage role.

I flag this point, as compensation based on experience is different to that based on capability. Your comments on relentlessly resourceful allude to this point. Would Index Coop pay someone with two decades of experience differently to someone with five years, even if they were expected to perform equally well in role?

Similarly, will the hiring process be set up to focus on experience or capability / skill / potential growth? The decision on how weight IC places on experience may have massive significance on the overall outcomes of a recruitment process.

Do any of the hiring team have experience doing these types of interviewing? It is pretty tricky to get right but, if done correctly, is supposed to be very effective.

In favor of this, keen to hear some thoughts on length of trial - in my head 3 months seems sensible for virtually all roles.

This statement is too strong given how broad our guiding principles. Pretty sure I won’t have stayed 100% true to guiding principle during my time with the Coop. Maybe soften this a little?

Agreed. Presumably this is a commitment to have much more specific criteria for success than IIP-36 (KPIs were all: “# Holders & # Unit Supply”)

Maybe outside the scope of this post, but some mention of what ongoing salary adjustment will look like could be worth including (for example: “We will hold yearly performance review meetings to agree changes to base salary)”.

On the whole excellent post. I look forward to seeing the next iteration and finding out which new roles will be coming through the process.


love the call out here – let’s remove “experience” and instead go with “capability.”

I indeed do — I’m not claiming expertise, but experience and comfort with the process.

Ultimately, i think it’ll depend on the role / candidate / hiring team decision. Which is an unsatisfying answer, but i can easily anticipate situations were no work trial is needed, and others where a long work trial may be needed.

good call, what about “gross violation”?

that’s not softening it, i know…open to suggestions here!

I’m going to say, “outside of scope” for the narrow purposes of this post, while acknowledging that I expect that is something we’ll have to figure out

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I have made the following edits:

Edit 1
From: “Compensation should be objectively based on skills, experience , and expertise”
To: " * Compensation should be objectively based on skills, capability , and expertise.

Edit 2
From: " Any violation of our guiding principles will result in immediate termination without severance."
To: “Any gross violation…”


Is this idea something to be considered as an addition to this draft?

just took a look, and that seems like an interesting idea. That is not within the scope here, though it’d be interesting to see a hardened/fleshed out proposal for further consideration by the coop.

Sentiment check poll added :white_check_mark:

Maybe: gross and/or repetitive violation.
Sometimes someone is doing something very stupid, but after a talk totally understands the mistake. Or realises on it’s own. After a night of sleep. My very own view. but some things, it is also true, are inexcusable.

But thanks for the proposal, very professional. I learn so much from your posts every time.


Wow, Thank you for writing this up @gregdocter. Gross violation could be changed to “clear violation”?

I think “clear violation” doesn’t quite address this point.

@gregdocter @Pepperoni_Joe
We have a code of conduct which can help paint a clearer picture. I think rephrasing to say something like:

“We will hold hires to the standards set out in our Code of Conduct. Demonstrating any of the unacceptable behaviour listed there will result in immediate termination without severance.”


Has any thought been given to tax optimization here? This was a little easier in the early days, but as it stands a straight-up grant leaves someone in the spot of having significant tax obligations come due as the grant vests (true in the US for sure and I’ve been told also the case in the UK). You can do an 83b election in the US to avoid the vesting sell pressure, but that’s also a mixed bag from a risk/reward standpoint (essentially forcing further long commitment). I think it might be worth seeing what other protocols have done or possibly even looping in (or hiring) some tax structuring advice.

The other thing that keeps our offers from being competitive in the US is health insurance. That keeps great talent from further committing to us. The solutions could be outsourced, but I figured it was at least worth raising here.

I think the framework should acknowledge these factors and have a roadmap for addressing them, but otherwise like it as a starting point.


Love to see the push for the coop helping out it’s contributors tax wise, but I want to highlight that we are a global organization we should not optimise for the US/UK tax code blindly because that might be detrimental to other juridictions.

I would love to see the coop providing accounting/tax advisory to it’s full time contributors.


Completely agree. Just speaking to what I know. And the UK bit just comes from conversations with fellow Coopers. My main point is jurisdiction-agnostic. Organizations seeking the best talent in the world provide thoughtfully structured compensation vis-a-vis tax.

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Not sure what standard practice is but I know that Badger accounted for tax advice and insurance in their FT hiring structure.

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Thank you for this post @gregdocter. Clearly lots of thought has done into this.

I’m mainly for this initiative, directionally, and there’s lots of value to add to the IC here - but I voted against the proposal for now, purely due to compensation numbers.

I have the same issue with $INDEX allocation going down 33% versus previous awards, especially given the $INDEX price has notably dropped, but note some follow up comments.

I also don’t think the comp is inspiring enough for successful (experienced or inexperienced) individuals in high-cost metro areas in the most developed nations - especially if they have families and higher fixed costs than single, young folks. In my assessment, if these individuals see such a compensation offer and rationally appraise it, they would be better off in risk-reward terms to: i) invest some of their salary in $INDEX and not contribute their time, or ii) contribute part-time. I assume we want to be able to attract such talent more than that though! I’m also mindful talent needs to prove value.

If we want to appeal to all talent, and values of it, we should think about this.

Generally, I would suggest increasing the technical talent comp 50% on the USD salary and the $INDEX allocation. As discussed here, lack of engineering resources is a huge issue for us.

Also generally, I think an issue here is trying to codify a one-size-fits-all approach re non-technical and technical contributors - in other orgs there’s a scale of talent. Ie - junior engineer, senior engineer, engineering team lead, CTO. Very high value DeFi engineers aren’t’ catered for here and neither is someone with 3-6-months experience with Solidity or Web3 trying to quit tradfi.


Glad you highlighted these points! I think most of them are addressed in the current version of this post :fire:

Couldn’t agree more, that is why this does not propose a one size fits all approach :raised_hands:

instead [bold added for emphasis]

to hit your other point about the guidelines being uninspiring, i’ll point to that :point_up: as well as [bold added for emphasis]


I don’t know if I have much feedback surrounding the numbers thrown around here - it sounds to me like there are some base numbers as starting points, and then the hiring team works with the candidate to agree on something within those ranges - I am totally fine with that.

I will say that I think we are missing something (or some things?) I saw @BigSky7’s tweet saying we are “pioneering full-time hiring for DAOs” and started thinking about that - are these guidelines “pioneering”? Up front, I do think it’s interesting that we don’t have any other “benefits” aside from a base salary and a vesting schedule. Tech startups compete heavily on benefits outside of salary and equity (and DAOs will soon do the same) - and this seems like an opportunity to do some unique / attractive things. Ideas:

  • health insurance stipend (probably the biggest consideration outside of salary and equity for talent leaving well-compensated positions)
  • tax/accounting stipend
  • travel stipend to attend conferences / meetups with other contributors
  • signing bonus
  • equipment stipend (for a new monitor, desk, grid+ lattice, or something of that nature)

These are just initial ideas and I am sure y’all have better ones, but the point is that maybe we can think more holistically about our package being attractive because it covers the potential downsides of leaving a well-compensated position elsewhere.

Also, I just wanted to understand how the package offered to the original 4 full-time contributors effects the thinking here? I ask because I would rather update their packages as well to go after something then not go after something because it would somehow put them at a disadvantage… I know these hiring guidelines will be an iterative thing as the months go on, so I think it is beneficial to chart out how past hires are effected by new guidelines being introduced?

Thanks @gregdocter for pushing this forward!


Solid points @jdcook - glad you layered this in here. I echo the sentiment