One method of compensation that hasn't been seen much since the late '90s has also reappeared: forgivable loans.
Forgivable loans are upfront cash payments that are forgiven if certain requirements are met by the employee—like staying at the company a certain period of time. Taxes on the loan are often deferred and recognized over the life of the loan.
Ullrich, who has been recruiting in the Valley since 1998, said she saw an offer recently where a company offered someone coming out of college a forgivable loan presented as a sign-on bonus.
These types of loans were more common in the late '90s to recruit talent but died off significantly after coming under scrutiny by regulators, she said. However, these loans during the dotcom era were often over $100,000, and this particular offer was in the $30,000 range, Ullrich added.
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The numbers being offered today appear more reasonable than in the late '90s, said Vernetti.
For example, Vernetti—who has been placing executives at tech companies for 15 years—said her firm recently placed a chief revenue officer at a private multibillion dollar technology company in Houston. Because the job required the individual and his family to move from Manhattan Beach, California., the company gave him a forgivable loan for a down payment on a house, she said.
Still, the offers aren't as ridiculous as they were during the late '90s, recruiters said.
"That doesn't mean that outrageous cases don't happen. There are isolated cases of companies doing surprising things to get the candidates they want," said Vernetti.
—By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.