business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Washington Post has a story about how, even in an economy that seems to improve only in fits and starts, one biotech company is going above and beyond to attract candidates.

Nick DeMarco, who runs a company called Practichem, "has 10 full-time employees and is trying to double that number with new hires." To get them , he is promising to lease new Teslas for his employees - when the back-ordered luxury cars become available. He says that he'd rather reward current and new employees than spend money on headhunters, and he's counting on the publicity the Tesla program has gotten to bring in resumes over the transom.

(A note here to younger MNB readers. I realize that the phrase "over the transom" has no meaning to you. A transom generally is defined as a beam that would be between a business's front door and a window that would open over it ... even when a business was closed, the transom window often would be open ... these were pre-air conditioning days. And so, people could deliver unsolicited items to businesses by sending them over the transom. Consider this a public service message, albeit one that clearly delineates how old I am. Sigh...)

The Post writes: "DeMarco's Teslas may be particularly flashy. But companies have been increasingly thinking beyond the usual buffet of benefits as they try to hire and retain workers with in-demand skills amid a tighter labor market. Companies like Fidelity and PwC have publicized the student loan repayment perks they now offer. Firms such Netflix, IBM and KKR have touted family-friendly benefits such as extended parental leave, free shipping for employees' breast milk or paid travel expenses for new mothers' nannies. Boxed Wholesale, an e-commerce company with 122 employees that sells bulk goods, sent out a news release last week announcing that it will help pay for all employees' weddings after the CEO learned about one of his employee's financial needs."

I don't think that crazy benefits will become the norm for all companies, but I do think it is worth recognizing that the best people are going to be looking for employers willing to make an investment in them. Sometimes it'll be a Tesla, sometimes just a decent wage.

It is all about investment - about companies that invest in their employees, knowing that this will encourage those people to feel connected to and invested in the business.

It is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: