Tech recruiter PeopleConnect has come up with a business model that it believes will reduce the risks, particularly for start-ups, of hiring talent.
"We find people who are willing to work without a paycheck for the first three months," said Chief Executive Max Shapiro.
The contracts can vary. Employees, for instance, can work for free until a start-up receives a certain amount of funding. However, employees get to keep stock options vested during the period they worked without a regular salary.
The idea is to give employers an opportunity to screen its employees better. It also gives job candidates a way to demonstrate their interest in working for the company. Ideally, a start-up will be able to attract a seasoned management team, always a consideration for venture capitalists without blowing everything in the bank.
"The toughest person to convince sometimes is the spouse," said Shapiro.