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Recruits Ask for the Moon--and Sometimes Get It

"Six months ago, three months ago even, back in March, people were coming to us and saying we expect to get a car, a $5,000 sign-on bonus," Villella said. "I was like 'You arrogant son-of-a-gun.' That's kind of changed."

Now, Villella said, material requests come along with a desire to inspect a company's business plan.

There are still some gutsy wonders out there, according to a recent post on the High-Tech Net, a message board for human resources officials that is maintained by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Get this, wrote one recruiter: "This guy asked for use on the company jet. When the company said we are a start-up and don't have a company jet, the guy said, 'Well, then, I guess I'm not interested!' "

Another High-Tech Net recruiter said he'd had a request for an on-site washer-dryer from a candidate for a technical position. And a search consultant based in Ohio recalled that one job candidate moving from California to the East Coast asked for money to buy a cold-weather wardrobe. The company assented.

Guess that shoots the old signing bonus right out of the water.

Send tips, gripes, and impressions on punching the virtual time clock to Carrie Johnson at johnsonca@washpost.com.

Extra Extras

Local companies have been offering these perks to tech workers:

* Every other Friday off during the summer.

* One-year lease on a new car after three years with the company.

* Access to beachfront houses.

* Golf tee times.

* Tickets to concerts and sporting events.

* Banana Republic gift certificates.

* Nap time during the day.

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