I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: People will do nearly anything for a free T-shirt. In the past decade or so, employers seem to have caught onto this — it’s become standard practice for companies to hand them out at new hire orientations, recruiting fairs, and more.
But as more and more companies invest in swag, the appeal of knick knacks like T-shirts as well as coffee mugs and frisbees seems to have dulled a little bit. In fact, companies have had to get more and more creative with their gifts and goodies in order to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, a handful of companies have upped the ante and are still nailing the swag game. The seven companies below all have seriously unique, creative, useful, or just downright awesome swag. And psst — they’re hiring, so get those applications in now!
Company Rating: 3.4
What They Do: Marketing software company
Where Hiring: Chicago, IL; London, England; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA
The Swag: If you’re a marketing geek and a bookworm, Percolate might just be the place for you. In addition to receiving a new hire package that includes such gifts as T-shirts, mousepads, notebooks, stickers, pens, and water bottles with Percolate’s logo splashed across all of them, all Percolate employees receive a Kindle in accordance with the value the company places on intellectual curiosity. Whether it’s explicitly work-related or not, employees are encouraged to stay informed and continually learn in order to grow.
Company Rating: 4.0
What They Do: The world’s most transparent job and recruitment marketplace
Where Hiring: Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Dublin, Ireland; Green, OH; London, England; Mill Valley, CA; San Francisco, CA
The Swag: I’d be remiss to write an article about cool company swag without mentioning my own employer. The type of swag you receive at Glassdoor always depends on what’s in stock, but whatever you get, you won’t be disappointed. When I first started at Glassdoor about four months ago, I was greeted with an amazing swag package including a T-shirt, tumbler cup, notebook, multi-device charger (with plugs for Androids, iPhones, micro USBs, etc.), snacks and more, all inside of a Glassdoor-branded Rickshaw bag (which my sister has tried to buy off of me on multiple occasions). Rumor has it that there’s also speakers, water bottles, ping pong paddles, and more located throughout our headquarters.
Company Rating: 3.7
What They Do: Energy, oil, and gas company
Where Hiring: Baltimore, MD; Blaine, MN; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Naperville, IL; Toledo, OH; Wayne, NJ; Whiting, IN and more
The Swag: Company swag is often kitschy and fun, but at the end of the day, will it really make a lasting impact on your life? At BP, that answer is a resounding yes. BP is one of several companies that challenge employees to improve their health with a free FitBit to count their steps and daily activity. Along with the device comes a fitness challenge — employees who log a certain amount of steps are eligible for wellness points and prizes. Getting healthier and getting free stuff? That’s a win-win in our book.
Company Rating: 4.1
What They Do: Creative, cloud-based software company
Where Hiring: Boston, MA; Lehi, UT; McLean, VA; New York, NY; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA
The Swag: It may not exactly be swag in the traditional sense, but when we learned about Adobe’s Kickbox program, we knew it was too cool to leave out of this post. Kickbox is an initiative within Adobe designed to spur innovation — any employee within Adobe is eligible to apply for the program, which involves them receiving a red box that contains reference cards and frameworks to help hone ideas, a gift certificate for coffee, candy bars, and, most notably, a pre-paid credit card of $1,000. Those with particularly stellar ideas are eligible to receive further investment from senior management, which dozens of Adobe employees have already achieved. Want to work for a major tech company that still retains the innovative spirit of a scrappy startup? Check out open jobs below.
5. Warby Parker
Company Rating: 4.1
What They Do: Eyewear retailer
Where Hiring: Berkeley, CA; Bethesda, MD; Chicago, IL; Lexington-Fayette, KY; New York, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Seattle, WA; Toronto, Canada and more
The Swag: As an eyewear retailer, it makes sense that Warby Parker would offer free frames and a gift certificate for a free eye exam to employees. What’s not so expected? The copy of Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums each new hire receives in their welcome package (Warby Parker gets its name from two characters in Kerouac’s book). In addition, Warby Parker employees receive “an army supply notebook to take notes as the new employee learns about the company” and “Martin’s Pretzels because the four founders always ate them when starting the company,” according to The New York Times.
6. Blue Corona
Company Rating: 4.7
What They Do: Digital marketing agency
Where Hiring: Charlotte, NC; Gaithersburg, MD
The Swag: While Blue Corona offers a standardized new hire swag package of Yeti tumblers, Patagonia fleeces, Under Armour jackets, T-shirts, and more, they also take a more personalized approach to rewarding their employees. Because they realize that “not everyone is motivated by the same thing… [we] take time to learn what drives each individual and disproportionately reward performance with swag or gifts that speak to them,” says General Manager Katelyn Palacorolla. A few examples? Blue Corona has “helped employees make their dream vacations a reality; we’ve made moving easier on employees by helping them with moving services and gift cards for new furniture; we’ve snagged hard-to-get playoffs tickets and jerseys for the biggest fans in our office; we’ve paid for date nights for new parents, including a gift card for a nice dinner out and cash for a babysitter,” and more.
Company Rating: 3.8
What They Do: Mass notification/crisis communication software company
Where Hiring: Burlington, MA; Chicago, IL; Lansing, MI; Pasadena, CA; San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC
The Swag: In the event of a crisis, large organizations like schools, city governments, and corporations need to be able to get in touch with their constituents quickly — and through Everbridge’s mass notification software, they can. But Everbridge doesn’t just take their clients’ safety seriously — the safety of their employees is just as important. That’s why, in addition to traditional company swag, Everbridge team members receive a branded seatbelt cutter and a flashlight/keychain with screwdriver bits. We’ve got to hand it to them — there aren’t many companies who can claim that their swag can literally save your life!