Once Jack McDonald stepped in as CEO of Austin-based Internet services firm Perficient, he grew the company fast: from 9 workers to 180 in 10 months. But using outside recruiters was costing up to $15,000 per hire. So McDonald offered his employees a $5,000 bonus for successful referrals. That carrot proved even more enticing than he'd hoped. Of 65 new hires since January, nearly half have been referred by Perficient employees.

The bonus even inspired one employee, Internet team leader Jim Manley of Tampa, to post an ad on BrainBuzz.com. As the ad ran, Manley used his weekend time to preinterview candidates, sending the ones he liked on to Perficient's seven-person HR department. Three of his referrals landed jobs. Here is the ad that grossed $15,000 for the enterprising employee:

"If you're looking for THE BEST Internet development job in the country, look no further.

"Our explosive growth, including the opening of a London office, has created an immediate demand for technology professionals nationally. We are hiring Internet consultants with a minimum of 2 years of professional experience in one or more of the following disciplines: Visual Basic, Java/Java Script, Enterprise Java Beans, HTML/XML, Active Server Pages (ASP), TCL Scripting, C/C++, SQL, and Vignette Story Server. Programming experience with other languages will be considered. Experience in the E-commerce/E-content and corporate portal Web spaces is highly desirable. A background in structured programming and development methodologies is required, as well as an understanding of databases, like Oracle or MS SqlServer, in addition to client/server technology.

"Opportunities exist at all levels from associate consultant to project leader. You will be able to live anywhere in the US, including sunny Florida, as this job requires Monday through Friday regional travel (all expenses paid). These are immediate openings so serious inquiries only, please."