The cost of everything is on the rise in the Boomin' Bay Area—rents, salaries, coffee, gourmet toast—so it shouldn't be much surprise that a startup is now offering up a $20,000 referral bonus.

ThoughtSpot, a Redwood City enterprise search company, is looking for makers, doers, believers—anyone, really—to join their team of "rock stars." But in this competitive hiring market, a well-stocked snack table and paltry $5,000 bonus isn't enough to bring in the big leads. So b-rate startups are shelling out their venture dollars to drum up recruits.

Gimmicky as they are, headline-grabbing recruiting efforts such as big cash bonuses or bus-stop poaching seem to be a new normal in the tech landscape. The promise of pingpong tables, catered lunches and free laundry service is no longer enough to get potential hires in the door.

ThoughtSpot's CEO stressed to the San Francisco Chronicle that the $20,000 bounty "is actually less than the cut many recruiting companies take." Considering working full-time at the U.S. minimum wage will only net you $15,080 annually, it puts the figure into further perspective.

Meanwhile, Gawker's referral bonus is only $1,500. Please send your resumes to and the author of this post will definitely make sure they are seen by the right people.