I was drawn to the phrase 'the perks people' in the headline of an article which appeared in the Wall Street Journal (November 20, 2014 issue) — The perks people: Meet silicon valley’s ‘Little elves'.

The article was introduced by Rochelle Kopp in the Sampling the Headline column of the Asahi Newspaper (December 20, 2014 issue), which is targeted at the English language enthusiasts among its readers.

I tried to get the original text of the article through Google, but was unsuccessful.

Is 'perks people' only applied to executives or talented employees of fast-growing organizations like Silicon Valley companies?

Or is it also applicable to anybody who gets perks or special privileges, such as congressmen, government officials, diplomats, and owners of tax-exempt businesses? Is 'perks people' a common phrase?

  • I had never encountered the term "perks people" before I read it here. Indeed, at my space/time coordinates, it garners less than 12,000 Google hits, and as far as I can see an awful lot of those are the result of juxtapositions like the one in the headline "31 Great Work Perks People Don't Tell You About".
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 8:46
  • 1
    I'm fairly certain it's referring to people providing the perks, not those receiving them: elves help Santa give presents, rather than receiving presents.
    – AlannaRose
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 8:50
  • @AlannaRose. Are you certain that Perks people are 'givers' of perks (to employees) not 'receivers' (from their employer)? Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 23:49
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    As seen in this screenshot of part of the article on a twitter feed, the "Perks People" are the employees of a company whose job is to provide perks for the other employees (now a function of HR in much of the Silicon Valley): twitter.com/andrewdumont/status/536163665096212482 Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 6:30

1 Answer 1


I think that the article used 'perks' with the meaning shown below referring to the benefits that corporations grant to their employees. The expression perks people may refer to those managers and emplyeee who are granted such benefits. Perks are typical of all corporations but are generally richer in industries such as tech and financial.

Perks: (From Business Dictionary

  • Informal word for perquisites which are privileges granted to employees in addition to their salaries and benefits (such as medial and pension plans). 'True' perks have little or no cash value or tax implications and may include company car, vacations, reserved parking space, spacious office, private dining and washroom facilities, etc.

Perks are used to define benefit also for Goverment official also:

China official perks 'fall by $9bn'Bn. (from /www.bbc.com.)

  • China says government spending on overseas trips, lavish receptions and official cars has dropped by almost $9bn over the past year.
  • The second half of the title calling them "little elves" supports your analysis.
    – AlannaRose
    Commented Dec 21, 2014 at 8:48

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