Why Coinbase is ending salary negotiations

The move ultimately prevents inequality

Why Coinbase is ending salary negotiations

The pandemic year saw massive changes at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase: a 100% increase in headcount; a shift to a remote-first work arrangement (and closure of its San Francisco HQ); and the introduction of a purportedly neutral political culture among workers. The changes continued this month with the firm’s decision not to accommodate salary negotiations with job candidates.

“[It] is incredibly early for crypto as a new technology, and we’re in it for the long-haul. That’s why we take extraordinary measures to attract top talent to come build with us,” said LJ Brock, chief people officer at Coinbase, in a post on Medium. “It’s actually one of our most important values as a company: top talent in every seat. Upholding it requires us to constantly revisit our compensation practices to ensure we’re competitive in the marketplace, an attractive employer for candidates, and that our compensation practices reinforce the culture we want to build.

Read more: How to attract talent without spending money

“This year we’ve continued our commitment to top talent by further increasing our cash and equity compensation – from the 50th percentile amongst our peers to the 75th – across the entire company,” Brock said. With the higher stakes, however, the company is holding fast to its corporate values when making a job offer to candidates. “Because our standard offers are world-class, we are officially eliminating negotiations on salary and equity from our recruiting process.”

Read more: Is your company open to flexible pay?

The end to salary negotiations ultimately prevents marginalised employee classes from suffering pay inequality, according to Brock. “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,” the HR leader said.

“These negotiations can disproportionately leave women and underrepresented minorities behind, and a disparity created early in someone’s career can follow them for decades. We want to do everything we can to ensure that’s not the experience at Coinbase. All employees in the same position, in the same location, receive the same salary and equity offer. No exceptions.”

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