More employers offer signing bonuses

What benefit are more of your competitors going to offer candidates this year?
Answer: signing bonuses.
That’s the word from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. According to a recent survey, 55% of employers plan on offering signing bonuses to new employees leaving college this summer. That’s up from 47% last year. Though last year, 56% of them actually ended up giving bonuses, so the real percentage this year could be even higher.
More money’s being handed out, too. Companies plan to offer an average of $4,450 — compared to $3,568 last year.
Where are the most bonuses distributed? Many are going to people with science and technology backgrounds as competition for those workers heats up.
What it means for recruiters
Some advice for employers trying to keep up with the competition:

  • Don’t assume you need to offer a bonus. The trend isn’t equal across all jobs and industries. Also, benefits like flex-time and tuition assistance might mean more to some candidates than more money upfront.
  • Don’t throw the money away. If you do offer a bonus, include a provision that says the money must be returned if the employee leaves within a certain time.
  • Use it as a negotiation tool. If a candidate negotiates for more pay, you might want to offer a signing bonus instead, since it’s a safer investment than a higher starting salary.