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What Ludicrous Perk Should an Accounting Firm Offer Its Employees?

As you well know, the war for talent in the accounting profession is on like Donkey Kong’s flies on feces.

Firms are pulling out all the stops to attract people, and their preferred tactic isn’t better working conditions or salaries, it’s perks! Whether it’s PwC’s tuition assistance, Grant Thornton’s unlimited PTO, DHG’s meditation room, or whichever firm is giving jeans the green light this week, perks are today’s talent bait.

And accounting firms aren’t the only ones going overboard with this stuff. This Washington Post article opens with a biotech CEO rationalizing his promise to lease Tesla Model 3s to its employees:

“The world’s changed a lot, and technology people are really hard to bring in,” [Nick] DeMarco, who has 10 full-time employees and is trying to double that number with new hires, said in an interview Monday. He believes spending money to lease the wildly popular cars — which are not expected to be available until at least the end of next year — will turn out to be a smarter recruiting investment than funneling more money to headhunters. Though he sees the leases as rewards for good performance to help retain current workers, he’s also hopeful the media coverage and word-of-mouth from employees will help him hire people with the skills he needs in what he calls an “esoteric field.” “We’re not sexy,” he says.

Something tells me that talking to Tesla salespeople is far more enjoyable than talking to headhunters, too. But if electric cars aren’t a realistic option for your firm, maybe some of these other examples will spur some ideas:

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.

Okay, those aren’t bad, but we can do better than that. For example, Deloitte should really have that DU cruise ship buffet in every office. KPMG should offer each employee a chance to golf nine holes with Phil Mickelson. EY should relocate their intern leadership conference to the Moon.

And if you don’t think that dreaming up lavish perks is worth your time, just know that HR experts expect this trend to continue:

“Whether it’s unlimited vacation or infertility benefits or weddings, this type of unusual stuff, we’re going to see more of it,” said Bruce Elliott, manager of compensation and benefits at the Society for Human Resource Management.

I suggest you all find the squeakiest wheel in your immediate vicinity and start putting ideas in their heads. You can brainstorm them below.