It isn't easy to woo high-technology professionals away from the hedconist heaven of California, especially if your company is a relatively small maker of integrated circuits like Inmos Corp., located in Colorado Springs, Colo. Inmos, nevertheless, suspects that techies in Silicon Valley are getting fed up with the soaring cost of housing. Next to the listings of job openings Inmos places in selected newspapers, the company puts photographs and descriptions of low-cost houses in the Colorado Springs area. The listings have apparently persuaded scores of job-seekers to abandon the West Coast and head for the Rockies.

"We needed to do something special to grab people's attention," says Jim Dwinells, employmewnt manager at Inmos. "We stay in close touch with local relators, and ask them to keep us informed about houses that our professionals, with their kinds of salaries, would find affordable. We also look for houses that would appeal architecturally to a California sensibility. The idea has worked very well. The listings draw attention not only to Inmos, but to the different life-style we have here. In some ways, we're saying, 'You don't have to live in San Jose, with its commuter hassles and smog, to do the kind of work you like."

In a recent issue of the San Jose Mercury News, Inmos showed four houses -- three split-levels and one ranch -- with prices from about $100,000 to $120,000. The company doesn't print salary figures, but the house prices say enough.