Tough-to-Beat Employee Perks

corporate gymIt looks like Google has become a fixture at the top of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

The company cinched the No. 1 spot on the recently released 2013 Best Companies list, making it four first-place finishes in a row for the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet giant.

Interesting subcategory: Top Perks, where a handful of Best Companies were highlighted for offering especially generous and/or unique benefits to their workers.

And, not surprisingly, Google was also recognized for some of the perquisites its employees so famously enjoy.

In addition to the free haircuts, gourmet food, fitness classes and myriad other perks Google is known for, the company was singled out for another, less-flashy benefit HRE noted in this space a few months back.

In 2011, the company began offering “death benefits” to spouses or domestic partners of U.S.-based Google employees who die while under the employ of the company. The surviving spouse or partner will receive a check for 50 percent of the deceased employee’s salary for 10 years, as well as acquiring vested stock benefits. Their children will also receive $1,000 a month until the age of 19; possibly longer if the child is still a full-time student.

That’s a substantial addition to an already impressive list of benefits, but Google only ranked 8th on the most recent Top Perks list. Check out the offerings from some of the companies that out-perked Google:

Coming in at No. 68 on the Best Companies list, Intel took this year’s Top Perks prize. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based electronics company really gives its people the star treatment, literally rolling out a red carpet for new employees to walk down—flanked by Intel Studios’ photographers and videographers—on their way to receiving welcome packages and a warm round of applause from their colleagues.

Qualcomm (No. 11 overall) hosts a farmer’s market at two of its locations on a weekly basis, offering items ranging from traditional produce to jams and jellies. Employees with “veggie box subscriptions” can pick up their produce packages at one of the cafes at Qualcomm’s San Diego headquarters.

Hitachi Data Systems (No. 63 overall) is a haven for its dog-loving employees, hosting a mid-summer “Dog Day,” where workers bring their pets to stroll through a vendor fair that often includes local groomers, store owners and pet trainers in addition to a dog talent show. Hitachi runs a raffle in the week leading up to Dog Day, with proceeds going to a local animal charity.

By now, every employer understands that offering “extras” beyond a nice pay package is part of attracting and holding on to their best people. And, as evidenced by the examples above, some companies go to greater, more lavish lengths than others in this department. But it’s hard to deny that these types of perks play a very real part in making these Best Companies desirable destinations for top talent.