December 06, 2000, 10:06 AM —
SERIOUSLY, FOLKS, that's not too far from the truth. In a world increasingly
crowded with companies cash-rich from fresh venture capital and successful IPOs,
Silicon Valley start-up Interwoven is trying to rise above the crowd by giving away
BMWs to new employees. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet software company is
rewarding recruits in its engineering division with a two-year car allowance on a BMW
Z3 Roadster, which retails for around $35,000.
"We're growing the company and need a lot of technical talent," says Jack Jia,
Interwoven's vice president of engineering. Jia says that Interwoven is looking to hire
15 to 20 IT professionals to bolster its existing engineering staff of 60.
Jia stresses that this aggressive approach to IT recruiting is intended to augment
traditional efforts such as internal referrals, job fairs, and good old-fashioned
In the cutthroat world of IT recruiting, companies are going that extra mile to
attract top technical talent. From offering new hires free BMWs to bidding on workers
via online auctions, recruiters are resorting to new approaches -- beyond merely
offering perks such as stock options, hefty signing bonuses, or all the free sodas you
can drink -- in their attempts to lure employees.
At the same time, as the Web matures and provides a more robust platform for online-
based services and exchanges, IT recruiting is entering a phase of increased technical
"From a candidate's perspective, the IT jobs market has never been as hot as it is
right now," says Tom Schenck, a director at Hall Kinion's Sacramento, Calif.,
office. "From a recruiter's standpoint, talent is harder to find than ever before."
Recruiting and retaining IT professionals has become a top priority for managers.
Recruiters are starting to leverage recent innovations such as Internet-based applicant
tracking systems and online auctions. What's more, recruiters tempt job seekers with
all sorts of incentives.
These days, in some of the more competitive job markets, it's not enough for firms
to offer now-traditional employee benefits such as equity in the company, retirement
plans, flex time, or training programs.
Another Silicon Valley Internet company, Excite@Home, in Redwood City, Calif., is
offering job perks such as on-site dry cleaning, massages, and corporate concierges who
run personal errands for employees.
"It's gotten to the point where it's a given that companies offer things like stock
options -- these aren't even selling points anymore," says Mike Bakonyi, a recruiter at
Pencom Systems, in Austin, Texas.