Jobs: Tech Companies Are on a Hiring Spree

Companies try to entice candidates with perks like free gym memberships.

ByABC News
April 22, 2011, 4:15 PM

April 22, 2011 -- Whoever said there is no free lunch obviously wasn't looking for a tech job these days. A lot of Silicon Valley companies offer free meals and much, much more.

"We have espresso bars, we have the shuttles, we have gyms," said Google recruiter, Christina Howard. "We have amazing classes to take. ... We have haircuts. The library comes in a bus to come and show us all the books. It's impossible to think of all the stuff because there's so much and it's great."

At job fairs, perks have become a big part of the sales pitch because tech companies are on a hiring spree and the competition for candidates can be fierce.

"There is incredible value in bringing in incredibly bright and talented people with raw ... intellectual skills and [a] passion for learning," said Howard. "We'll train you and we'll teach you about the space even if you don't have experience with it. But if you are willing to commit to an intensive learning experience and program, the growth opportunities are limitless here both for the company and for you personally. So there's a lot of opportunity to be had."

Google just rented 100,000 square feet of office space in Venice, Calif., the company is planning on adding 6,000 jobs. Economists says its presence will likely have a positive economic effect on the community.

The Rose Cafe, which is located next door to the new offices, is expanding its hours.

"Our chef is very creative," a restaurant representative said. "And even though they have their own kitchen, chef and free food, we'll tempt them quite easily."

Boris Petrov, a computer programmer, hasn't even graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, yet and already has several job offers.

"They're paying us disgusting amounts of money," said Petrov. "How great is it to do something you really love for $5,500 a month in your sophomore year of college."

The jobs not only are for engineers and technical wizards. There are jobs for English majors too.

"I've found that a Berkeley degree definitely ... helped me a lot," said Jeff Baker, a political science and history major who accepted a job doing sales for a software company.

No matter the position, the perks are what get people in and keep them there.

Facebook brags that a job at the company could make someone a Guitar Hero. While Zynga, the company behind the Facebook game Farmville allows employees to bring their dogs to the office.

Today, Microsoft upped the ante, giving every employee a 10 percent raise -- except it turns out Google beat them to the punch and did the same thing months ago.