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Uber/Lyft

Uber’s Quandary: Attracting Top Talent Without Breaking Equal Pay

Uber last year changed how it pays people to try to eliminate the pay gap between men and women. Now some executives are complaining the new system makes it harder to recruit top talent.

That has pitted human resources chief Liane Hornsey against many other executives who want to offer some sought-after candidates more money, say people familiar with the situation. Ms. Hornsey last year introduced strict pay ranges for what managers could offer to recruits, to ensure Uber paid the same money to women and men—and whites and non-whites—doing the same job. She has resisted raising those pay ranges, the people said. Meanwhile, the drop in Uber’s valuation has made the company’s equity less valuable, also making hiring harder.

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“It’s hard for HR to have prescriptive rules [on pay] and still have the flexibility...to augment, break or otherwise replace those rules in real time” by making exceptions.