As the economy begins to heat up, employers are becoming more creative in the ways they attract top talent.

Although job seekers still rank company culture and senior leadership as their top considerations in choosing a job, employers are stacking the deck with unique benefits and perks to try to close the deal. According to Fast Company, job seekers are more drawn to traditional benefits, such as health insurance, 401(k) plans, vacation time, paid sick days, and performance bonuses. However, they view some of the ingenious benefits and perks offered by employers as the icing on the cake and are likely to give employers who offer them the nod for their creativity.

As you look at this list of benefits and perks, you can’t help but feel there is a serious game of one-upmanship going on, wondering what they can possibly come up with next. If you’re a job seeker or an employee looking for greener pastures, these are bound to get your attention.

Work when you want to

Imagine working for a company that lets you decide when and how long you work. At Netflix, employees are measured and paid by their productivity, not the hours they work. If they can get the job done in three hours, they can go home, Netflix doesn’t care. Weebly tops that by offering no set work hours plus a company credit card for employees to use for anything they might need during the work day.

Take whatever time you need

Most employees count on their paid vacation days and holidays for rest and relaxation. Some companies take it step further by offering their employees unlimited paid time off. Virgin Group wants its employees to work hard and it is willing to reward them with the time they need to play hard. Other companies don’t go quite as far as unlimited time off, but they are still very generous. On top of three or four week vacations, employees at Metis Communications get their birthdays off, a bonus vacation in December and Fridays off during the summer.

Family matters

One of the fastest growing benefits is family leave time, and some employers are pulling out all the stops in trying to be the most generous. At Facebook, new moms and dads receive four months of paid family leave plus reimbursement for day care. Employees also receive $4,000 in “baby cash” to spend on their newborn. American Express offers its new moms and dads five months of paid leave plus an additional six to eight weeks of salary continuation for medical leave. Spotify tops them all with six months of paid leave, one month of flexible work hours upon their return to work, and the company will cover the costs for fertility assistance and egg freezing. These are pretty nice benefits, but it also counts to know that the government requires most of the large employers to provide family leave time.

Above and beyond health services

The one complaint employees have about Google is that there are so many perks and benefits it’s almost impossible to know about all of them. Above all else, Google is committed to its employees’ health and well-being, which is why it maintains and army of health care provides onsite, including physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists according to Glassdoor. You can’t help but like Microsoft’s $800 annual “StayFit” reimbursement program to cover the cost of gym memberships. In the “top that” category, Accenture will pay for your gender reassignment surgery.

Student loan reimbursement

 For the 70 percent of former college students carrying student loan debt, employers offering student loan reimbursement programs are looking quite attractive. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was one of the first to offer the benefit, reimbursing employees up to $1,200 per year for six years. LendEDU topped that with a $2,400 annual reimbursement. NVDIA tops them all with a $6,000 annual reimbursement up to $30,000.

Continuing education

Employees cite career advancement and development as one of their top considerations in choosing a job. An increasing number of employers are getting on board with that by offering tuition payment programs for higher education. Starbucks offers a College Achievement Plan covering full tuition for Arizona State University’s online program. AT&T will pay for $3,500 each year up to a total of $20,000 tuition costs. In the “top that” category, Verizon will pay up to $8000 per year in college tuition expenses.

Paid travel

Some employers are taking paid vacation benefits to a new level by offering to pay for their employees travel. Epic Systems employees earn a four-week paid sabbatical for every five years they’re on the job and receive a travel stipend for them and their travel companions. Fizziology offer travel funds ever year through its For Your Inspiration (FYI) Trips. Airbnb employees receive $2,000 in travel benefits each year and can stay at an Airbnb location anywhere in the world.

Free double-double

My personal favorite is the free Double-Double hamburger and fries that all In-N-Out employees can have during every shift.

About the author

By Patty Moore, a blogger who writes about careers, family, and personal finance. Follow her @WorkMomLife on Twitter!

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