Despite continued high unemployment levels, employers are still struggling to find skilled workers for their open positions.

How can these organizations ensure they attract skilled candidates to their openings? One tried and true way is by implementing unconventional perks for employees—which companies like Google have learned is a major differentiator in the job market. Plus, it’s something that job candidates are looking for in a new position.

These perks not only help attract new talent to the company, but they can also aid in motivating current employees while encouraging healthy lifestyles, team building and productivity. Here are some unconventional perks we enjoy:

  1. Meditation room or yoga classes. Many employees crave a bit of silence or relaxation after a long workday or during a break. By providing a room for meditation or yoga, they can re-focus their mind and return to work ready to tackle the next project.
  2. Free massages. Sitting at a desk all day can make your employees cranky and stiff. Massages are a great way to loosen up the muscles and relieve stress.
  3. Healthy food choices. Most companies want their employees to make good health choices, but only offer vending machine snacks and breakfast choices such as doughnuts. By switching out the junk food in the office for organic or healthy foods, employees will have an easier time staying healthy.
  4. Taking a pet to work. According to one survey, 46 million Americans would work longer hours if they were allowed to bring their pet into work with them. It’s also a great way to help employees balance work and life. Additionally, pets can be a great way to lift spirits in the office and relieve stress. Content employees often equal productive ones.
  5. Working virtually, telecommuting or offering flexible work hours. In a recent survey commissioned by Mom Corps, a national flexible staffing firm, 51 percent of working adults (ages 18 to 44) plan to look for a new job within the next three years with an employer that offers flexible work options. By allowing flexibility, workers can get their work done around their current commitments — productivity can increase because they aren’t worrying about how they’ll do it all successfully.
  6. Unlimited vacation days. According to The Wall Street Journal, a growing number of companies are offering “no-vacation” or “open-ended-time-off” policies. This helps employees to take time off without feeling guilty or worrying about the number of days off they have left throughout the year.
  7. Referral rewards. If an employee refers someone to an open position, and that individual is hired, do they receive anything? Simply offering an extra day off, small bonus, or other perk might encourage current employees to share job openings with their network.
  8. Fun outings. Rent a bus and take your employees out to a sporting event or a movie. Spend a day at a local park and barbecue. These outings not only help staff blow off steam, but also encourage team building and morale.
  9. Free time to spend on new projects. Let employees spend a percentage of their time on research projects of their choosing. Tech companies like Google and Facebook have learned that allowing employees to be intrapreneurs often yields a slew of amazing new product ideas.

What other unconventional employees perks do you like? What companies have the best perks for their workers?