Decoding The Corporate Perks Facade: What It Really Means

Google is the pioneer of offering perks to attract top talent and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

A friend of mine works at Google HQ and describes his situation as “too good to walk away from” even when he gets bored. Free food, snacks, shuttle, laundry, etc will do that.

The startup scene has escalated to the point where if you don’t offer perks, you’re not relevant. But what if I told you it’s all a facade?

I love to eat. What makes food taste even better is when it’s free. But unlimited snacks and catered lunches are a nice bonus, but far from the mission of the company.

Now I’m not knocking perks as an enhancement to the employee experience, but what I am saying is how much does it affect your decision to stay?

Look at it from a financial standpoint: free food for the entire company is cheaper than giving a raise to one (of course you have to factor in size of staff though, but you get the drift).

My point is if perks are one of the highest ranking factors in retaining your services it’s putting your faith in fool’s gold. Perks are like purchasing the newest toy. After a while it gets old, you get bored and want more.

For example when I first started working for my current company the idea of catered lunches twice a week blew my mind. Now I still appreciate it, but I found myself getting pickier with selection of choices. If it happens to be a meal I love, free lunch is great! If not, I wish I didn’t have to sit through the company meeting during lunch.

Culture is a huge factor in retention, but perks shouldn’t be too high on your list of reasons to apply/stay. Times have changed where “what you get” is as important as “what you give,” yet ultimately what your company strives for and what role you play will always outshine any perk offered.

Work wisely.

Winsight Episode 48: Job Search – Position vs. Culture

fortune 100 best companies

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/winsight/48_Winsight_Episode_48_-_Job_Search__Position_vs._Culture.mp3]

When it comes to your next job search what are you looking for: the ideal position or dream company to work with?

Ideal job seems like the obvious choice, but what if you got your dream job, but the environment was toxic?

In this episode, here are some of the highlights:

  • Jeremy Lin chose money over fit since leaving the New York Knicks and it’s been a roller coaster since
  • The Top 100 Companies to work for feature perks such as: flexibility, food, transportation even life coaches…is that enough to sway you?
  • But what do you want? The choice usually is between time vs. money
  • It’s about identifying your priorities and making a decision from there

So what matters to you? Do you want your dream job or ideal company? Don’t compare, just pick based on values and go from there!