Forget a competitive salary; in this labor market companies are dangling generous sign-on bonuses in prospective workers’ faces. It makes sense; as of July the unemployment rate was hovering at 3.5 percent. Sure, more people are returning to work, but the job market is still hot. Companies vying for talent are pulling out all the stops.
Take Walgreens as one example. The drugstore chain is offering bonuses of up to $75,000 to pharmacists. The Portland, Maine, police department is another. Candidates get $10,000 upfront to join the force. In New York, the state government is paying up to $3,000 in sign-on bonuses to new health care workers.
According to employment site Indeed, 5.2 percent of job positions advertised in July included a sign-on bonus. That’s more than three times higher than in July 2019. But these bonuses may not continue much longer. When compiling the data, Indeed said sign-on bonuses are cooling off. “It’s probable that such offers will slacken further as the supply of workers comes into better balance with employer demand, which appears to be returning to more normal levels,” wrote the company in a research report.
But for now, if you are looking for a job and want a sign-on bonus, consider these six industries.
Ever since the pandemic began, nursing jobs have been in serious demand. As of July, 18.1 percent of job postings in the field had a sign-on bonus, compared with just 6.2 percent of postings in July 2019, according to Indeed.
It’s worth noting that many of the occupations offering sign-on bonuses must be performed in person and require licensing. Bonuses range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more in the nursing field.
Drivers have been in demand too since the pandemic began. Whether for hauling cargo across states or delivering packages to doorsteps, drivers are needed — and companies are willing to pay to get them. As of July, 15.1 percent of driving jobs offered a sign-on bonus, compared with 13 percent in July 2019, according to Indeed. Bonuses run the gamut from $1,500 to $10,000.