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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Facebook sets table for tech workers


So Facebook is luring workers with a top flight chef. That would work for me, though a weekly hour-long full-body massage would also trip my trigger.

Could I have both?

Companies with smart management recognize what is required to attract and retain talent, emphasis on talent. It's not all that hard to attract and retain incompetence.

Of course, many, generally those devoid of anything even remotely resemblying vision, argue that chefs and massages and whatever else makes the peeps happy are just too expensive.

That is true. However, think about the expense that arises from not attracting and retaining talent. With a few turnovers, that chef starts looking reasonable.

Or that expense that you'll never quantify because you never hired the one person who'd have been the catalyst creating greatness that you can now only dream about.

We have a company in the RTP area that recognizes the importance of keeping people happy on the job. The company lunchroom published a cookbook. They have healthcare on site. They have a gym on site. They have flex hours. I suppose they also have telecomuting.

SAS Institute buffs around a lot of edges to avoid the expense of turnover.

The one thing SAS does not do that was once considered is to provide on-site housing, the initial idea being to run the site as a campus. The site is still referred to as a campus.

We joke about this at work when we're in a period of long hours. The thing is that I doubt I'd mind living on site all that much if the site was worth living on. Imagine a downtown structure with reasonable access to food and distraction, say a three story Woolworth's building. That could be made to work with a little imagination.

Yeah, I've already scouted the building that I think would work in Raleigh.

Of course, it's very easy for such an environment to become focused tightly inward, limiting interactions with the outside, which in turn presents a demonstrable barrier to success. This incestuous environment is a potential, and unstudied, problem before these forward thinking companies.

It's also something that most of us probably don't have to fret over much.

-- text tapped from a virtual keyboard.

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