Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Are Job Perks Coming into Vogue Again?

Cliff posted about 10 years ago | from the corporations-with-carrots dept.

Businesses 481

Pharmboy asks: "The Register is reporting on a company that was awarded 'Best Small Company to Work for in America' by the Detroit Free Press, in part, for providing Free beer to their employees. They offer free breakfast, lunch AND dinner, gym and snacks. This sounds similar to the late 90s, where companies were offering extreme benefits to attract extreme talent, before the bubble burst and most workers were just glad to have a job. As the job market gains strength, what are companies willing to do in order to attract the best talent? Are we about to enter another era where employers are willing to make work fun again, in order to attract and keep talent? Will this have any effect on other employers, forcing them to again offer benefits to keep pace and talent? How important are these kinds of perks to the average employee anyway? What kind of perks would you have to have to switch to a job that pay the same?"

cancel ×

481 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Are jobs coming into vogue again? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | about 10 years ago | (#9904615)

Seriously, it seems the job market is only marginally better these days.

Re:Are jobs coming into vogue again? (2, Interesting)

Jhon (241832) | about 10 years ago | (#9904723)

Marginally better than last month? Yes. Marginally better than last year? Much better. Marginally better than 1999? Nope -- much worse.

I think the point is that we are starting to see a return of 'perks' as an incentive for talent as the job market gets better. Not a return to dot-com boom days -- but I think that was a fluke and obviously not sustainable. It was a fun fluke, though...

Re:Are jobs coming into vogue again? (3, Informative)

Rei (128717) | about 10 years ago | (#9904729)

Thanks for saving me the time of having to mention that. If anyone doubts you, just redirect them to a news site so that they can notice that the dow just lost almost 150 points today. In the past two days, the Dow lost 3% of its value. Since June, it has dropped 6%, and Nasdaq about 12%.

For those who haven't been following it, the economy this year - the "big improvement" - has barely outpaced the number of new people entering the job market. And since June, it has been notably outpaced by the number of people entering the market. We not only have low job creation numbers for July (just over 30k), but they revised down the previous several months.

It's in pretty bad shape right now... lets hope we can some day recover. :(

Re:Are jobs coming into vogue again? (1)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | about 10 years ago | (#9904816)

It's in pretty bad shape right now... lets hope we can some day recover. :(

Wow are you short-sighted.

It was pretty bad in 2001. It sucked in 2002. It was still shit in 2003. 2004 has been a good year.

Re:Are jobs coming into vogue again? (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | about 10 years ago | (#9904899)

Stock market is being hammered by oil prices. Supply is adequate but there are concerns that drive up the price. Like the Russian Gov't basically trying to Nationalize the Russian Oil Industry. It's a little known fact that Russia is about 20% of the worlds supply right now. That is slack that OPEC can't make up even if it wanted to. So when it costs you more to do one thing (drive) you do less of another. Job market is OK for folks at my level (20+ yrs IT/software) but the pay scale is about like 1998. I'm looking around right now as my contract is up in September.

Re:Are jobs coming into vogue again? (1)

mtrupe (156137) | about 10 years ago | (#9904809)

I don't know--- I have had 3 job offers in the past month, two of which came this week, and all of which offer salaries similar to those of the late 99-2000. The job market is coming back. Despite what all the doom and gloomers like to say, these things do go up and down. We're coming out of a down cycle.

By the way- I went to my current employer and told them about my offer. They are countering. Oh yes, the job market is back (I am a software engineer).

Re:Are jobs coming into vogue again? (1)

seestheday (629799) | about 10 years ago | (#9904817)

I'm still getting paid less now as a 2nd year database developer than I did as a 4-month co-op student junior programmer (before the bubble burst) .

Re:Are jobs coming into vogue again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904879)

The growth rate is down. Today's big news. Seems funny that this appears on Slashdot. Google News. [google.com]

Re:Are jobs coming into vogue again? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904897)

Meanwhile Microsoft has released Windows XP SP2 to manufacturing today:

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1632921,00. as p

Not surprisingly this hasn't been posted to Slashdot yet. Only negative Microsoft crap makes it here quickly.

The only perks I get... (3, Insightful)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | about 10 years ago | (#9904617)

The only perks I get... are free soft drinks & training. Oooh, and a fast computer. I want a notebook damit!

Re:The only perks I get... (1)

Feyr (449684) | about 10 years ago | (#9904658)

count yourself lucky. i don't get any of that (including the fast computer! stil using a p3 500 at work)

Re:The only perks I get... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904714)

Perhaps what we need is some honesty in the perks system. - ie:

You are entitled to £10000 (or whatever) of perks per year. Choose from the following list:
Company car: annual value £5000
Free food: annual value £4000
Notebook computer: annual value £300
etc etc etc

This still enables the companies to get their bulk discounts etc, making perks cheaper than extra salary. Further, it would mean employees get what they WANT from their perks, and feel happy about their employer being honest with them. (Yes, there are obvious holes here, but how is it as a basic premise?)

Googlebomb: Jabba the Lawyer [aftab.com]

Re:The only perks I get... (4, Informative)

Rick the Red (307103) | about 10 years ago | (#9904793)

That's how they do it where my wife works. Medical and Dental and the usual stock purchase and 401k programs are non-optional for everyone, but the rest is a-la-carte. She gets so many "points" to spend: Membership at a fitness center is x points, free legal services is y points, etc.

bwowoooogaaa! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904618)

I'm rick james, biotch!

Would want these employees? (4, Informative)

waynegoode (758645) | about 10 years ago | (#9904622)

Would you really want to hire employees who would be motivated by "free beer?"

I can understand how it could be to a company's advantage to offer free perks, but I can think of dozens (okay, thousands) that would be better for the company than free beer but still motivate employees.

Re:Would want these employees? (5, Insightful)

SnapShot (171582) | about 10 years ago | (#9904648)

Different strokes for different folks. I can't think of a better perk than beer for two reasons.

1. Its beer...
2. If my employer is handing me a beer it means that the work day is complete and there is no expectation that I'm going to go back to work and do anything more productive than surf the web. Recognition that the day is complete is one of the best perks there is.

Re:Would want these employees? (4, Insightful)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 10 years ago | (#9904717)

LOL @ #1 !

I read the original Register article and thought the best thing was the laundry service, mainly because thats a chore that I *hate* and therefore something like that would improve my quality of life. If an employer offered to do my ironing as well, then I'd probably be an employee for life!!

Although I do like the beer idea also, there's only *so much* of the stuff you can drink, and although drinks are work are fine, my work collegues aren't the people I want to hang out with all the time. And I'm not really a day-time drinker -- even if it is end of working day!

Re:Would want these employees? (1)

kfg (145172) | about 10 years ago | (#9904880)

But, what if you work in the laundry room?

KFG

Re:Would you want these employees? (3, Funny)

waynegoode (758645) | about 10 years ago | (#9904738)

Employees would like or dislike this perk based on their preferences. However, from the company's point of view, I don't think it's a good perk.

HR dude(tte) #1 "Want kind of employess do we want to attract?"

HR dude(tte) #2 "How about the kind who want free beer?"

HR dude(tte) #1 "Yeah! Let's offer a perk that would only attract people who drink a lot!"

Re:Would you want these employees? (2, Funny)

SnapShot (171582) | about 10 years ago | (#9904786)

I kinda figured that they were referring to a "free microbrews on a Friday afternoon policy" (a la Microsoft) not a "lets keep the fridge stocked with schlitz policy" (a la IBM).

Just kidding about IBM... ;-)

Re:Would want these employees? (1)

neuro.slug (628600) | about 10 years ago | (#9904680)

Yew shut yer trap orrrrrrrrrrr I'll come over there and do it for yeh! Oooh my head...

Liability? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 years ago | (#9904778)

Would you really want to hire employees who would be motivated by "free beer?"

Seems many places I've worked shy away from alcohol on their grounds. For fear of the employer providing the drink that puts a driver over the legal limit, the driver has an accident, the person becomes an alcoholic and blames employer, etc., etc.

Re:Would want these employees? (1)

Rick the Red (307103) | about 10 years ago | (#9904815)

It's not about attracting the best employees, it's about keeping the ones you have captive at work, so they'll be more productive. Would you rather have your workers go home at 5:00, or stay and eat free pizza while they continue to work? The ultimate goal is to have them never leave the office.

Re:Would want these employees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904943)

I think I have it pretty good. I work for a small company that builds ruggedized computers and displays for military applications. My pay is not great, but we get medical/dental, free meals, and flexible hours. My boss hates being called a "boss" - he considers it a dirty word, and prefers everyone doing their own work. Of course there are priorities, so everyone just helps out the person who's in charge of that job (so in essense they tell you what needs to get done).

When things aren't working and we need to have a late night or all-night session (which is great - because you can just take the following day off), the "boss" goes out and gets beer for everyone, and that keeps us going late!

You Insensitive Clods! (4, Funny)

darth_MALL (657218) | about 10 years ago | (#9904625)

My only job perk is Vogue! [style.com]

Re:You Insensitive Clods! (2, Funny)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | about 10 years ago | (#9904862)

Speaking of "coming into Vogue again"...

Pervert.

Or maybe... (1)

snipersock (575598) | about 10 years ago | (#9904628)

My company isn't that bad to work for... except for the traffic and distance. I think smaller companies are always best, you have better teamwork and the management seems to have a better grasp of whats going on.

Re:Or maybe... (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 years ago | (#9904708)

screw that, I perfer a big company that doesn't panic every time there is a stock blip.

Of course, the last company I was with made no sales for 2 quarters. their solution? fire the half the develepors, and treat the sales staff to two weeks in Jamaica.

Morons.

stronger? (4, Insightful)

.@. (21735) | about 10 years ago | (#9904634)

Job market getting stronger? I think you'd better go back and check the monthly jobless claims against the (revised downwards, sometimes repeatedly) new jobs reports. The past four years may see a zero gain in jobs, possibly even a net loss in jobs in the US.

People are still getting laid off. The example you cite is an exception; it's nowhere near the norm these days, nor will it be anytime in the near future.

Re:stronger? (5, Insightful)

jbash (784046) | about 10 years ago | (#9904703)

Well, I don't know about others, bit I'm still unemployed since September 2003 ...

After nearly 23 years with one organization .... to whom I was loyal and faithful ...

My UI benefits were exhausted last month ...

I now own a business: but it is a start up, and we are frantically trying to reach the breakeven point; we arent there yet .... we wont be there for a few months, and even then: we wont be able to pull a salary there for a few months after that ...

Im down to my last $150 in my bank account ...

My rent is due in 24 days ... and I dont have it ...

I have three kids: the oldest could not start college, because we cannot afford her modest tuition ...

We are starting to buy basic staples: rice and bean, pasta and flour ... in anticipation of running out of other 'easier' foods ...

My credit cards are saving my life, for the moment, but they will require another payment in 28 days ...

The job search, which should have already ended with a good job, has stalled, and gone stale: I have four outstanding cover letter/resume packages with prospects for decent work, but they are sitting on them, while I start to sweat it ... badly ....

I have sent each of those four a kindly email to find out my current status, and all four say I am in the running .... but: the clock is ticking ....

I have been thinking about looking up the local food bank ... my thoughts are now floating towards memories of obtaining food stamps, and the shame I felt being in that office, and answering those questions ...

All the while: knowing I have vast technical experience that surpasses nearly anyone else in the local job market, and should have been hired weeks ago .... I think my experience scares prospective employers ... I have been paring it down to the bare bones to try to be more attractive to employers: so far: no dice ....

So as I ponder my near term future: as I fret over how I will feed and house my children and wife, as I wait by the phone, wondering if those whom still consider me a 'viable candidate' for open jobs will actually call, wondering if I should at least find a menial job of ANY kind in the interim: fry cook, janitor, laborer, gas jockey, ANYTHING .... I am resisting making further contect with my 'prospective' future employers, so I dont reveal my ever growing desperation .....

Im going to dig in the phone book: and see if I can find a backdoor into my chosen field ... otherwise: all Im doing is spinning my wheels, waiting for a call that may never come ...

Sighs: dont you wonder how much better this GOP economy can get ? ...

Do you wonder how many jobs 2.4 TRILLION dollars in tax cuts will buy the nation ? ....

Is it trickling down yet ??? ...

Someone tell me if it does: I would hate to miss it ....

Re:stronger? (3, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 10 years ago | (#9904779)

I was out 26 months (October 2001-December 2003). Hang in there. You'll find the questions for assistance are MUCH harder now than they were even 10 years ago- food stamps basically aren't available if you have 2 people getting UI checks within the last 6 months, and welfare is basically non-existant. We lost about half of our asset value before I finally got a job. And I was putting out 100 resumes every single month (basically did nothing else other than send out resumes).

Re:stronger? (2)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | about 10 years ago | (#9904819)

I'm sorry, but having no money is a fucking dumb exscuse for not starting college.

I'm a sophmore at a uni in Ohio, and I have yet to pay a dime out of pocket. All I've done is signed some loan paperwork, and I'll pay it back when I graduate.

College is no longer only for those with money, and I'm sick of hearing that exscuse. It just means you were to lazy to do any research.

Re:stronger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904906)

Yeah, the government should have given you a handout instead of giving the rest of the country a tax break...

What I want to know is, why after 20 years on the job were your finances so delicate that a year on 70% salary (unemployment) has bankrupted you. Sounds like you planned poorly and are mad that those meany republicans won't give you a handout.

Re:stronger? (0, Troll)

mtrupe (156137) | about 10 years ago | (#9904833)

Maybe you should check the news. The unemployment rate has been dropping for some time now. Employers are hiring again (to be expected), and many are realizing that outsourcing didn't save any money (in many cases, it cost even more to outsource).

I don't know--- I have had 3 job offers in the past month, two of which came this week, and all of which offer salaries similar to those of the late 99-2000. The job market is coming back. Despite what all the doom and gloomers like to say, these things do go up and down. We're coming out of a down cycle.

By the way- I went to my current employer and told them about my offer. They are countering. Oh yes, the job market is back (I am a software engineer).

How about the essentials? (5, Insightful)

ejaw5 (570071) | about 10 years ago | (#9904635)

How about providing healthcare and retirement, seeing these two have been disappearing for quite some time now.

Re:How about the essentials? (2, Insightful)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | about 10 years ago | (#9904807)

A 40 hour work week. Go home. Have a life. Come back refreshed and more productive.

Hello American IT geeks. (1)

Big Sean O (317186) | about 10 years ago | (#9904889)

The US government provides good healthcare, a good retirement plan, and civil service protections that include going home and having a life.

Plus, like the Air Traffic Controllers, many of the original IT gurus are close to retiring.

If you're an intermediate worker bee, you can expect to top out at a GS-12 Step 10, which today pays around $81K in Chicago. Not great, but it's unlikely you'll get laid off.

Re:How about the essentials? (1)

bladernr (683269) | about 10 years ago | (#9904847)

How about providing healthcare and retirement

Healthcare should be solved, but retirement? Its a pretty new concept, introduced in a big way to shrink the workforce during the depression. Think retirement was the rage in the 1800's? Nope. Why is retirement a right? The thought of suddenly stopping my life is horrifying to me.

Now, financial independance so I don't have to work, that's good. But do you know about life expectancy comparisons between retired and non-retired people of the same age and physical condition? The retired people die first.

Seriously, me and a couple friends sit around marveling at the "retirement culture" we've developed. I used to believe in it, but, if you really start thinking about it, what sense does it make? Why is there a "magic age" when you stop working? What changes about you in a mere 24 hours (as you pass that age) that you suddently go from able bodied contributor, in one swoop, to not working at all?

Retirement: you can keep it.

Re:How about the essentials? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904919)

How about providing healthcare and retirement, seeing these two have been disappearing for quite some time now.

No thanks. Emplpoyer-provided healthcare is probably the number one reason for the state of the US healthcare system. Just like the IRS takes payroll tax out of your paycheck before you even see it, thus keeping you from truely feeling the cost of income taxes in your gut, so too does employer-provided health insurance.

Since people don't see the money flowing from their wallets to the big, inefficient, bureaucratic health care providers, they rarely have either a sense oif what healthcare really costs nor a responsibibility to be frugal with the spending, instead most people like they need to get as much out of the system as they possibly can, thus leading to spiralling medical costs, pushing affordable treatment out of reach of the common, un-insured man.

Instead, we need a system that brings responsibility and accountability right back where it can do the most good - in the hands of the individual patients and doctors. Make health insurance groups or pools illegal. Change the current buffet-all-you-can-eat type system to something uses credits or something similar so that each patient can decide, with the conseling of their doctor and family, what course of treatment is most cost effective.

If we did that, the cost of health care in the USA would plummet. But then so would the share prices of all the HMO's and other middlemen that only create paperwork and privacy risks.

That's nothing... (5, Insightful)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | about 10 years ago | (#9904637)

I'll change the place with free snacks to the place with good psychological cimate and interesting projects in a blink of an eye.

Re:That's nothing... (3, Insightful)

Rob_Warwick (789939) | about 10 years ago | (#9904759)

Exactly, a well put together workplace is far more valuable than any perks they may offer you. Yeah, free food is a huge plus, but somewhere that you can actually work on good projects with a sane environment is worth far more.

I'm a young coder (not employed at present, I have the luxury of being 18 and still living at home so I have no expenses that I don't want.) and my right now I'm hunting for my ideal job. I'm going to university in the fall to make sure I can get some good jobs in the future, but for now all I want is somewhere that I can code and concentrate on it.

The ideal workplace for me is a desk in a room, no windows, no distractions. A bookshelp, a whiteboard, a couple tables (I plan on paper a lot), a good computer, and enough time given to actually get the work done.

There's a reason why a lot of hackers (trad. usage) work in the middle of the night. There's nothing to distract. No phone calls, no meetings, no people from sales who think that because you're just staring at the code you can't possibly be busy.

I'm convinced that many hackers aren't naturally night owls, we just associate those hours with our best productivity/enjoyment, and we change our schedules for that.

It's not what free stuff they give you, it's how they let you work.

AGI has a *great* climate, and it was never boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904777)

I know. I worked there for over four years.

Re:That's nothing... (1)

ßilhouette (35534) | about 10 years ago | (#9904918)

I totally agree. Back in the "hey day", I switched jobs for more pay, but then three months later it occurred to me that the cliche 'money isn't everything' is true sometimes. I went from a small company where I was able to learn a little bit of a wide range of technologies (and ultimately concentrate on any one of them to further my skills), to a company where they pigeon-holed me as a "windows admin" and made me Ghost desktops all day. Lucky for me, I proved that I was a competant worker at my last job (albeit not exactly loyal) and the VP of Engineering invited me back with a salary match to boot. Yeah, I learned my lesson after that (what a young punk I was only a few years ago). :)

Employement? (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 years ago | (#9904639)

As the job market gains strength, what are companies willing to do in order to attract the best talent?

See the news today? 32,000 new jobs for July?

I still know too many people who consider a perk actually being paid more then a burger flipper. This is probably one of those exceptional places, where the owner doesn't feel the need to line his pocket and gives something back. See how long it lasts.

Re:Employement? (2)

gantrep (627089) | about 10 years ago | (#9904705)

linkage [google.com]

Re:Employement? (4, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 10 years ago | (#9904792)

Also, note that with our current immigration rate- we need 300,000 jobs EVERY MONTH just for population expansion. 32,000 jobs is NOTHING.

Job market getting better? (1)

superpixel2000 (777844) | about 10 years ago | (#9904647)

Did anyone see the news today? New hires are WAY down... The only perks I've gotten recently:
1. We get to work 200 more hours this year for the same pay
2. More responsibility!
3. Same old free coffee

Woohoo!

Re:Job market getting better? (1)

seestheday (629799) | about 10 years ago | (#9904853)

free coffee!?! lucky bastard....

Perks? (3, Insightful)

dacarr (562277) | about 10 years ago | (#9904685)

While beer is great and all, it doesn't exactly contribute to the working environment.

Cafeteria and feeding the employees is nice and all.

What do I consider perks? HOw about a boss that lets me DO MY FSCKING JOB.

Re:Perks? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 years ago | (#9904752)

I worked for a company that would give us beer friday afternoons, when we where on schedule.
We where usually on schedule. I would say that we put in more after hours work because we wanted to be drininking beer by 3PM, at the latest.

Re:Perks? (1)

dragonp12 (798787) | about 10 years ago | (#9904843)

The best perk would be somewhere the job is enjoyable and the company is an employee-friendly one to work for.

Wow. I've found it!! :-P

---mod me up i need the karama---- (1)

mboverload (657893) | about 10 years ago | (#9904688)

What job would you change to for a Klondike Bar?

Redundancies in the article summary (5, Funny)

nytes (231372) | about 10 years ago | (#9904693)

Free beer... They offer free breakfast, lunch AND dinner... and snacks.

Once you say "free beer", saying "breakfast", "lunch", etc. are redundant.

"Beer" pretty well covers everything.

Here's what I want (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904695)

Sexy Lesbians Please!


Preferably covered in hot grits.

Re:Here's what I want (0, Troll)

nlindstrom (244357) | about 10 years ago | (#9904782)

Preferably covered in hot grits.
You forgot to have them petrified first.

Sad news - Rick James dead at 56 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904702)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - funk musician Rick James was found dead in his Los Angeles home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly a GNAA FP icon.

parent not a troll (0, Offtopic)

bandy (99800) | about 10 years ago | (#9904886)

He's really dead, folks. Google for it yourself.

Perks? Not on your life! (4, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | about 10 years ago | (#9904704)

I work for an EXTREMELY large company. For the last four years, our perks have been cut and cut and cut again. Our salary increases have been typically half of cost of living in the years we actually get them. Annual bonuses are gone for good. Training has been cut back to less than acceptable.

Hearing that some companies are starting to give perks again means that the cycle is turning back. I will be so glad to see employers like mine losing all of their best employees next year, because they'll be playing catch-up -- and it will be 'too little, too late' for most of us.

mmm... (5, Funny)

mikeeeeeee (748191) | about 10 years ago | (#9904716)

free beer all day, personal hammock, and massages every hour....cant beat bein' a kobe cow....

Re:mmm... (5, Funny)

Poseidon88 (791279) | about 10 years ago | (#9904913)

free beer all day, personal hammock, and massages every hour....cant beat bein' a kobe cow....

Sure, but the retirement plan sucks.

Fridge Goodies (1)

Jinsaku (729938) | about 10 years ago | (#9904726)

I work for a small startup in DTC, and one of the nice perks is that the upper-ups keep the fridge and cabinets stocked with drinks and snacks.. a small sugar rush can definately help in some of those late coding nights.

I was their systems/network admin for over 4 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904732)

...from 1995 to 2000.

Analytical Graphics is the *best* place I've ever worked.

I left because I wanted to do new things. Gawd I miss that place sometimes!

But SW Engineering jobs dropped 15% last quarter! (5, Informative)

Cryofan (194126) | about 10 years ago | (#9904736)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its July 30 report: [vdare.com]
"There was no recession in the second quarter of this year, but BLS data show 131,000 fewer American computer software engineers employed in the second quarter than in the first quarter of 2004--a decline of 15% in three months."

So, I seriously doubt that we are going to get anything at all like the late 90s going on for technical workers.

Re:But SW Engineering jobs dropped 15% last quarte (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | about 10 years ago | (#9904926)

Any hints on how many of those Jobs in the US of A are now jobs in India? I know the company I work for as a contractor (large network gear company that starts with a C) keeps moving more and more work to India in spite of a number of issues they have discovered.

I like to start (2, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | about 10 years ago | (#9904739)

by asking for them to arrange for Halle Berry to drop by my place on a regular basis. Obviously in the spirit of negotiation I bring along a list of 200 fit actresses and models I will accept as a substitute if Halle is not available.

It must be said I am not having the greatest of success with this approach at the moment. I guess I have to hope either Catwoman bombs or the market picks up a tad more and in the meantime be happy if they offer me free parking.

Hmm... Slashdoting their HR department? (1)

petra13 (785564) | about 10 years ago | (#9904741)

Browsing their website, it appears that they are currently looking to hire people for 11 positions. I sense an imminent overload of their mail servers when /.ers all simultaneously attempt to send their resumes.

How about this (5, Funny)

KillaForTheScrilla (797314) | about 10 years ago | (#9904743)

I guess a good perk would be for the company to buy my plane ticket to India when they outsource my job there.

Language classes would be good too.

Free as in 'Beer'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904757)

...I'd settle for free as in 'speech'.

talent ... average (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904766)

<snip>what are companies willing to do in order to attract the best talent? ... How important are these kinds of perks to the average employee anyway?</snip>
*cough* It doesn't matter what the average employee wants. These perks are aimed at the top 1-2%.

It wasn't to attract employees.. (1)

RayDude (798709) | about 10 years ago | (#9904771)

They didn't do it to attract employees. They did it to keep them from starving to death. They made 'em work 100 hour weeks, missing large chunks of their lives and the food was just one way to keep 'em from going home. --Raydude

ummm.... (1, Funny)

Compholio (770966) | about 10 years ago | (#9904774)

Unlimited free Diet Coke and Coffee.

Flextime (2, Informative)

Shobimono (803469) | about 10 years ago | (#9904776)

Flextime is considered a perk at my company.

Then, Now, Tomorrow (3, Interesting)

blunte (183182) | about 10 years ago | (#9904780)

Then (during the "bubble", yes perks were particularly in vogue). Some of the 90s perks were ridiculous. Netscape was famous for many things, and infamous for some of their perks - onsite free sushi bar, roving free masseuse, etc.

DotComs were offering Ferraris to those who could recruit the most talent. Everyone who was anyone offered stock options.

When the bubble burst, much of the madness was finally seen as madness, and it all went away. That gave many existing companies leverage to take away benefits - "You're lucky to have a job!". Yes and no.

I had a friend who was an attorney for Tandy Corporation (Radio Shack). Tandy paid their attorneys ridiculously low salaries (as in $30k/yr for a real estate attorney). When I asked him what the hell was wrong with them, and why they thought that was appropriate, he told me their response: "These guys are just going to come here for a couple of years and leave anyway, so why should we pay them reasonably?" Duh! Naturally, anyone with talent will move along. That's true in IT as well, and options do still exist. Maybe they involve moving to a new city, but they exist.

Some companies have been doing right all along, and they are rewarded with fierce loyalty and very good productivity. SAS Institute [sas.com] , in Cary, North Carolina, has been providing stellar perks for years. They've remained private, and thus avoided the Quarterly Earnings per Share death-cycle. Imagine if your company had benefits [sas.com] like theirs.

Other companies could be like SAS if they weren't public, and if their leaders understood what some perks could do for their productivity and employee loyalty.

Get your pens ready... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 10 years ago | (#9904781)

What kind of perks would you have to have to switch to a job that pay the same?

I'd switch jobs if the new one was 5 miles closer, or there were more attractive women there.

One big bonus is the amount of spying that management does. I'm currently self-employed. I bill for the work that I do. When I'm working from home, instead of cigarette breaks, I get pr0n and Slashdot breaks. While a queued task is completing, I can stop for a couple of minutes, check the progress of my downloads or the Slashdot headlines and get back to work.

It'll take a fair bit more money than I'm currently making to make me give up this life.

LK

Re:Get your pens ready... (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | about 10 years ago | (#9904896)

I'd switch jobs if the new one was 5 miles closer...I'm working from home

You must have one big house. I'd suggest moving your office closer to your bedroom.

Re:Get your pens ready... (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 10 years ago | (#9904931)

I guess I should have been clearer. :)

I'm working from home, at the moment. But, when I didn't work for myself, the distance thing was a big factor.

LK

Perks (3, Interesting)

Judg3 (88435) | about 10 years ago | (#9904794)

Ah, well, perks are cool.
One of my last jobs catered us lunch on Fridays, did the free liquor thing, paid for our healthcare and did a 150% 401k match (Every dollar I put in, they put in 1.50).

This current job is a hell of a lot better though. Sure, they don't have all the real cool perks. Catered lunch was replaced by Donut/Bagel Fridays, there's no company match for the 401k (Until next year), the healthcare isn't free but they do chip in. But I do get some nice perks, mainly the free college education. I can work my way up to a PhD and it's on the company dime. And they take care of me better then the employer with a lot of perks. There's no pay cap. Well, there is, but if you hit the cap for your position, instead of a raise the company will cut you a bonus check for a few thousand. And they give everyone a certain percentage in stock each year. Overall, even though I have less visable perks, the perks I do get, in the end, equals more money. Bonuses, stocks, and a free education hehe.

wow... (1)

templest (705025) | about 10 years ago | (#9904798)

That's awesome. As long as the companies don't overdue it and start going bakrupt, thus, this little 'perk' thing dies off, I don't mind it, but I don't want the companies going down the drain and screwing the job market again just so I can get a few gym sessions but lose my job 2 years down the road.

Your questions answered! (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | about 10 years ago | (#9904806)

As the job market gains strength, what are companies willing to do in order to attract the best talent?
Not much more than when the job market sucked. Wait. That's now.

Are we about to enter another era where employers are willing to make work fun again, in order to attract and keep talent?
No.

Will this have any effect on other employers, forcing them to again offer benefits to keep pace and talent?
No.

How important are these kinds of perks to the average employee anyway?
When you've never seen a perk, or had them all taken away with the knowledge that they aren't coming back, probably not very.

What kind of perks would you have to have to switch to a job that pay the same?
My perk would be to not have to go into work. I would happily switch to a job that paid the same, but wouldn't require me to work. Is Slashdot hiring?

Re:Your questions answered! (0, Troll)

Nova Express (100383) | about 10 years ago | (#9904933)

> I would happily switch to a job that paid the same, but wouldn't require me to work.

Ah, so you're voting for Kerry, then...

Well at my office... (2, Interesting)

otlg (803177) | about 10 years ago | (#9904811)

Several employees have corporate gas cards, car allowances (even for non-sales/travelling personnel), corporately paid cell phone bills, corporate laptops, corporate paid internet access, etc.

We do this because we would rather people get something useful than giving half a pay raise to the government. Plus we try and be flexible on work hours (although on the flip-side we are INSANELY timeline sensitive, e.g. work when you want but get it done by Wednesday 9:00am).

I'm noticing a trend with friends at other places as well. It's a win-win in my books.

Job Market Gains Strength? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904812)

The US BLS released the news that in July, the economy added a total of 32,000 new jobs, and revised May and June down 71,000. Doesn't sound like gaining strength to me.

I'd need... (1)

siskbc (598067) | about 10 years ago | (#9904825)

What kind of perks would you have to have to switch to a job that pay the same?"

...free beer. WHAT? You're kidding. What's the company's name? AGI? I'm applying.

Less time, more pay, clean bathrooms (1)

ahdeoz (714773) | about 10 years ago | (#9904832)

Any other "perks" are for suckers.

But good for any company who can get their employees to work harder, stay longer, and take less money.

India? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904837)

So this company is in India right?

Not hard to answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904838)

What kind of perks would you have to have to switch to a job that pay the same?

Allowed unscheduled bathroom breaks [unionvoice.org] ?

How about a chance for a raise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904848)

What kind of perks would you have to have to switch to a job that pay the same? Ummm.. How about a chance for a raise within 5 years? My company has halted all raises in the US.

THIEVES!!! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904858)

I've been doing that for my employees forever. I never stopped, nor will I. All I ask is that they show up to work on time, and work while they're here. I give all kinds of bennies. Including free colocation (up to a certain bandwidth of course). Gym membership, paid time off to GO to the gym membership. Best Healthcare I can find, Parties, HOMEBREWED beer made by yours truly. 3 weeks vacation time, plus additional time off for any overtime worked that's cumulitive and rolls over from year to year up to a certain point.

What's funny is I have ALL of the same employees I had 5 years ago when I started this. They know their work inside and out and there's very little they can't handle. I wouldn't trade my crew for anything. I like to think I'm a good boss, and I work WITH my employees, not above them....sadly enough, they make more than I do :(

Perks? (2, Insightful)

existential goo (622017) | about 10 years ago | (#9904867)

Sometimes I think employers try to offer "perks" because they are cheaper than offering real incentives, like group insurance plans and retirement help.

I worked for a webhosting company recently called WestHost in their support department, and one of the things that they would do is advertise to potential hires "we offer free pop, and LAN parties!" Then, they would hold this over our heads, and if we didn't perform perfectly and clean up management's messes and smile all the while, we got no LAN parties and they acted like we were not deserving of the free pop.

Oh, and did I mention that they paid us jack crap?

I really would rather be paid more and have no extra 'perks' as long as they treated me right. I will always be willing to work my tail off for an employer who does that.

You pay for it, one way or the other (2, Interesting)

retostamm (91978) | about 10 years ago | (#9904869)

Economists think that in general, Employees are paid based on their productivity.

If you create lots of value, you get lots of money, if you create less, you get less. On average that must be pretty close to reality, because if you get paid more than what you create, your average company would go bust right away.

Now, if you get "Perks" like Gym, free food etc, that's still coming from your total compensation, and on average just makes your paycheck smaller. That's true for Perks as well as "Free" insurance, Social Security and all the other things that "the employer pays for". If the Employer does not pay for it, you would get that money.

IANAE (I am not an economist)

Basic benefits (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 10 years ago | (#9904871)

As a W2 contractor- I'd jump for health care in a heartbeat. Training would be nice too.

But on the plus side I'm getting 55% of what the company is charging for my time, even if it is only half what I would bring into the company during the dot com era.

Pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904877)

The same pay rate? Where have you been? Pay rates has gone down 30%. If I changed jobs, I'd take a serious cut. For the time being, I have to keep this job.

I know many hate to admit it... (3, Interesting)

mtrupe (156137) | about 10 years ago | (#9904887)

but the market is back. I've had 3 job offers in the past month, all of which pay 10 to 20% more than I make now. Today I went to my current employer and told them my situation--- they are going to counter offer.

I think the big perk right now is working from home or at various sites. My current job allows me to work from home 2 days a week. Oh- and I get every other Friday off. One of my job offers has 1/2 days ever Friday. Hopefully I see two trends:

1. Employers are realizing that we have lives and not forcing us to work ridiculous hours. I make more than I have ever made right now and I never work more than 40 hours a week.
2. Employers see the benefit of allowing employees to work off site and/or at home. 2 of the 3 offers I have had offer work at home benefits. My current job allows me to work from home. Nice. Why does a software engineer need to be in the office every day anyway?

Markets go in cycles. We are in a recovery now. Employers are ready to produce again, and in the case of software, that means its time to hire. They realize that outsourcing didn't save them any money, so they are hiring workers right here in the U.S. Good news!

Self Employeed (4, Funny)

rf0 (159958) | about 10 years ago | (#9904912)

Being self employeed I give my self my own perks. So for the long hours, sleepless night I get a meal out at the local pub on a Friday. God I'm a cheapskate

Rus

Answers (1)

yankeessuck (644423) | about 10 years ago | (#9904915)

Disclaimer: I work as a jack of all trades developer in a non-software industry IT department so my answers may not be typical. Just my $0.02.

As the job market gains strength, what are companies willing to do in order to attract the best talent?
Nothing. There are plenty of IS workers looking for jobs.

Are we about to enter another era where employers are willing to make work fun again, in order to attract and keep talent?
No, not until demand for workers exceed supply.

Will this have any effect on other employers, forcing them to again offer benefits to keep pace and talent?
No. See previous answer.

How important are these kinds of perks to the average employee anyway?
Not important. I care about interesting projects, competitive salary, raises and bonuses exceeding the rate of inflation and opportunities for career and knowledge advancement.

What kind of perks would you have to have to switch to a job that pay the same?
Perks take a back seat to everything mentioned in the previous answer.

YUOr FAIL IT!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9904916)

It's best to try Join in especially can be like THE RESIGNATION OS I do, because And a8ms and dick future. The hand KKep, and I won't The mobo blew

YEAH! (1)

changa (197280) | about 10 years ago | (#9904939)

I hope the company I work for pick up on this trend...

Then I might eventually get free parking and paper towels!

*Grumbles about cheap-ass companies*

Does stress and anxiety count as a perk? (1)

kin242 (789922) | about 10 years ago | (#9904945)

My company paid crap, piled on the workloads and made a lot of empty promises. My perk was being driven out by making my life intolerable. The only perks I would like to see is to actually get treated likea human being for a change!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>