If you haven't been to the company spa, arcade, bar or bowling alley, you probably work outside of Silicon Valley.
Technology companies are lavishing employees with perks here at a time when much of the nation is experiencing just the opposite: job cuts, belt-tightening at the office and the strains of a generally sour economy.
...Free massages, hair cuts, laundry services, shuttles, gourmet meals and snacks galore are only some of the treats showered on employees. The list goes on. Google's success years ago allowed it to set the bar on comforts. Now it's looking like a perk playground on steroids in tech.
...Facebook is transforming its new Menlo Park headquarters into a Silicon Disneyland. The former Sun Microsystems property underwent a makeover that tore down office cubicles and put in shared work tables, couches, bars, cafes, eateries and even pubs.
Philz Coffee, a popular local chain, serves drinks made to order, but they're not free. People work outside at cafe tables. Nearby, there's a new outdoor barbecue shack with seating.
The kitchen staff puts out food carts that offer hot dogs, pizza or tacos along the main walkway. And Facebook has two main eateries to feed its staff -- Epic Cafe and Cafe 18 -- which can seat hundreds of the young, T-shirt-clad, smart and pretty people, most of whom are under 30. All food is free, day and night.
"In this market, particularly in Silicon Valley, you've got to take extraordinary measures to stand out from the crowd" as an employer, says John Reed, executive director of technology job placement firm Robert Half Technology.
...The need for software engineers is so great that companies are willing to pay $20,000 in finder's fees to employees who drag in the right people.
"People with these very specific skills are in high demand," says Jason Schloetzer, assistant professor of accounting at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business.