Coinbase banned all salary and equity negotiations for its future hiring and instead plans to offer identical pay to every employee in the same position and location in an effort to eliminate the lingering effects of early-career pay disparities.
The company announced the new policy as part of a series of steps to make its compensation more competitive and fair, according to a blog post written Monday by L. J. Brock, Coinbase's chief people officer. "Traditionally people expect they need to negotiate for the best package after being hired in a new job. Those that do this well tend to be rewarded, and those that don't lose out. These negotiations can disproportionately leave women and underrepresented minorities behind, and a disparity created early in someone's career can follow them for decades," Brock wrote.
Coinbase will also increase its compensation targets to the 75th percentile of its peers and adopt annual equity grants that vest yearly over the course of the workers' career, instead of the standard four-year vesting grants offered at most tech companies. Stripe and Lyft have also recently shifted their equity offers to one year from four.
While the four-year vesting rules typically create longer retention periods for tech companies, the new one-year offers will allow companies with fast-growing valuations to avoid enormous equity payouts, costing less over the long-term for small and medium-sized startups. The new offers may also prove more attractive to top talent interested in increased workplace flexibility as the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end.
"Some may say eliminating 4-year new hire grants could hurt retention; we disagree. We don't want employees to feel locked in at Coinbase based on grants awarded 3 or 4 years prior. We want to earn our employees' commitment every year and, likewise, expect them to earn their seat at Coinbase," Brock wrote.