Tech companies are hiring ‘perks managers’ in a fight to woo talent

The logo of mobile app "Pinterest" is displayed on a tablet on January 2, 2014 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Lionel Bonaventure — AFP/Getty Images

The fierce competition for top talent in Silicon Valley is giving rise to a new job category — the perks manager — as tech companies scramble to be the best at keeping their employees happy.

The Wall Street Journal, in chronicling companies’ growing reliance on these perks providers, reported on Friday on workplaces such as the Pinterest headquarters, where a team of employees provide their colleagues with perks ranging from martial-arts classes to an event where employees make Jell-O shots.

Whether they are startups looking to gain a foothold in the tech industry or members of the old guard, tech companies keep raising the stakes when it comes to talent-attracting perks, the Journal says. An employee at Adobe Systems (ADBE) is planning a whiskey tasting and software company Asana gives employees several thousand dollars each in an allowance to go toward personalizing their computers and workspace.

Google (GOOG), which topped this year’s Fortune list of the Global Best Companies to Work For, is a well-known purveyor of perks. The tech giant offers a wide range of food options, all for free, to its employees, along with meditation and fitness centers. Coming in right behind Google on the list is software company SAS, which offers employees access to an in-door pool and yoga classes.

Other tech companies, such as eBay (EBAY) and design software company Autodesk (ADSK), are also known to allow employees to take weeks-long paid sabbaticals every few years.

Obviously, all of these companies believe the cost of such perks is worth spending if it keeps their employees happy and productive. Now, tech companies may also be more willing shell out money to the perks managers who dream up those perks and put them into action. At Pinterest, the Journal reports, such a coordinator could make anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000 annually.

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