(CNNMoney) -- Here's how tight the Silicon Valley battle for tech talent has gotten: If you can fill an open engineering position at Hipster, the startup will reward you with $10,000 in cash and a year's supply of PBR beer.
The San Francisco company is looking for three or four local engineers with experience in building Web software and mobile apps -- the exact same skill set hundreds of other tech companies are also seeking. Posting the openings on traditional job sites didn't lead to any promising applicants. Then Hipster co-founder Doug Ludlow wondered, "What if we gave a year's worth of PBR? And it snowballed from there."
Hipster received around 500 job applicants in the week since it posted the irreverent job ad. Ludlow says about 10% of the applicants are top-tier candidates. Many are even current employees at Facebook and Google.
These aren't easy jobs to fill: Ludlow likened their target applicants to skilled surgeons, and plans to pay accordingly. The engineering jobs come with salaries running anywhere from $90,000 to $150,000 a year, plus generous benefits and stock options.
Founded in 2010, Hipster is a "stealth mode" startup -- meaning they're not saying much yet about what they're doing -- that is working on a way to help users find hidden information and content about local real-world locations. Several big venture capitalists are funding the company, including Google Ventures, Lightbank and 500 Startups.
Pulling together the right team is critical for startups: "90% is the people, 10% is the idea," said Ludlow.
But finding these new hires often relies on enticing potential employees to leave current positions at other Internet companies. Mega-employers like Google (Fortune 500), Yahoo ( , Fortune 500) and Facebook offer untraditional incentives like free lunch, laundry, massages, oil changes and dentistry to keep their employees. They also splash around cash: In a sign of how competitive the tech job market has grown, Google recently gave its workers an across-the-board 10% pay raise.,
Hipster's Ludlow is looking for engineers who want the challenge and pressure of working for a fast-evolving startup. But he doesn't expect to keep people for life: Hipster is after "entrepreneurs, not employees," he said. "We want the type of people who will start their own company in three years."
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