You know that old saying that it takes money to make money? Well, at a time of record low unemployment in Los Angeles, that phrase is ringing especially true.

As businesses grapple in a tight market with the difficulties of attracting and retaining their most valuable resource — great workers — they’re rethinking their approach.

“Employers are facing a competitive market for top talent,” said Brian Hegarty, principal and managing director Los Angeles at Marsh & McLennan Agency. “To recruit and retain the best of the best, there is pressure to spend more on packages that extend beyond typical benefits like medical, dental, vision and 401(k).”

Hegarty sees smart executives listening to the marketplace and getting creative.

“Employees are looking for wellness incentives, on-site clinics, child care and more unique perqs that cater to today’s busy lifestyles,” he said. “Now more than ever employers need to think outside the box to set themselves apart.”

• • •

Not sure how rebellious they were, but the bold-faced names (and, presumably, the big checkbooks) were out in force at the recent Rebels with a Cause event at the Water Garden in Santa Monica. Benefiting USC’s soon-to-open Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine, the evening attracted the institute’s director, David Agus, as well as Larry Ellison, Haim Saban and Marc Benioff. And that was just for starters. Also working the room were emcee James Corden, magician David Blaine, Ashton Kutcher, David Foster and even Barry Manilow. And to keep everybody entertained, L.A. legends the Red Hot Chili Peppers turned out for a set of Angeleno-appropriate material. Good stuff for a good cause.

• • •

The kid has left the picture. Iconic Hollywood executive Robert Evans — the producer behind such classic films as “The Godfather,” “Love Story,” “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby” — died last week at the age of 89. Evans saved a struggling Paramount Pictures and guided the studio during the 1960s and early 1970s — one of the its most successful periods. But as good as Evans’ stories were onscreen, his offscreen work was just as memorable. If you haven’t already seen it, check out the award-winning documentary about Evans, “The Kid Stays in the Picture.” You won’t be sorry.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.