Long one of tech workers’ sweetest perks, the lucrative employee referral bonus is now up for grabs: Bay Area companies ThoughtSpot, Thanx, and Thumbtack are offering compensation to regular Joes who recommend applicants who are ultimately hired—in ThoughtSpot’s case, a $20,000 check.
Why? Professional headhunters cost up to 30 percent of an employee’s first-year salary. Offering cheaper incentives to people with talented friends can save young companies tens of thousands of dollars—and provide a solid PR benefit.
ThoughtSpot’s $20,000 payoff is on the high end, but the other companies give out solid bonuses too: Thanx offers two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the world, while Thumbtack is handing out an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the Four Seasons in Hawaii. What looks like generosity is actually a self-serving ploy. “A good engineer with a network is a company-maker,” says Thanx chief executive officer Zach Goldstein.
And a random person with a Rolodex is a moneymaker
Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco