Free Tesla: SF tech firm gets creative amidst engineering shortage with recruitment drive

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A young San Francisco company is revving up its employee recruitment program with an offer that's sparking a lot of interest.

You might say Envoy is going through a growth spurt.

Currently with 150 employees, the 6-year-old company has plenty of room to expand. It hopes to add dozens of engineers before the end of the year.

"We will hire as many people as we can find," said Larry Gadea, Envoy's Chief Executive Officer. "Engineers are definitely at the top of the list."

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You may have used Envoy's signature product without even knowing it. It developed a check-in system that's used in 13,000 office lobbies. Now, it's hoping to innovate the office in other ways by developing newer products.

To do that, it needs more engineers.

"We're looking for all types," said Gadea. "Front end, back end. All software engineers, of course. Any kind of full stack folks, engineering managers also count as well."

To bring in the best and the brightest, he sent out a tweet that read, "refer five engineers, get a Model 3."

The catch is that all five have to be hired.

Three years ago, Marvin Lopez worked as a corporate recruiter. Today, he works for UC Berkeley and connects engineering students to jobs. The offer of a Tesla does not surprise him.

"It's probably an outlier, but it does not surprise me at all because the job market for engineers is hot, particularly the job market for top engineering talent," Lopez says.

In the first three weeks of school, UC Berkeley has held three different career fairs just for engineers.

There's also a practical reason for the Tesla giveaway. Gadea says it's cheaper to give away a Tesla than to pay a job recruiter.

"We will not hold back in giving away any car," he promised.

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Lopez dreams of having a three-car garage full of Teslas soon.

"I certainly have a talent pool I can offer, so I can get a fleet of Teslas, yes," he said wistfully.

The contest is expected to run until the end of the year, but could be extended.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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