Attracting the hottest talent is a challenge. Keeping it after kids come into the picture is a whole other matter.
Netflix and Microsoft have recently announced what most would consider pretty generous policies on parental leave. Netflix is now offering unlimited paid leave to parents during the first year after a child is born or adopted. Microsoft, meanwhile, has converted the 12 weeks of leave it offers all new parents to fully paid leave, and is continuing to offer eight weeks of paid leave to birth mothers (so now birth mothers get up to 20 weeks paid time off.)
The changes – both announced in the last 48 hours – are only the latest in what is shaping up to be an arms race among tech companies seeking to prove themselves the most accommodating workplaces to build not just a career, but a family. Here are some other tactics companies use to hold on to employees past the honeymoon stage.
Apple and Facebook offer to cover the cost for freezing the eggs of female employees, the goal being to allow those employees to focus on their careers without worrying about declining fertility. With advances in oocyte cryopreservation technology, fertility rates using frozen eggs are comparable to rates with fresh eggs. Still, this perk has stirred some controversy and critics say it may send the message that motherhood as a liability to success in one’s career.
Google and Cisco both offer childcare facilities on or near their campuses. Intel doesn’t have child care centers on site but instead partners with day care centers located near its Santa Clara offices, taking the guess work out for parents anxious about where their child is spending his or her time during the workday. On-site nurseries cut out commute time for parents and make it so parents don’t have to take as much time out of the work day to deal with family matters.
Paying for college.
So now those kids who spent their early childhoods at the on-site nursery are all grown up and heading to college, and their parents are still working at the company. College is expensive. At least one company has made a priority out of helping cover that cost. Chieh Huang, CEO of bulk shopping app Boxed, has set up a fund using his own assets to cover the costs of tuition for employees’ children.