Sign-On Bonuses Become all the Rage

Tight Labor Market Spurs Sign-On Bonuses

Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC), Amazon (AMZN), and Restaurant Brands International (QSR) are among the companies offering job seekers sign-on bonuses as they compete for workers in a tight labor market. The need for manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and food service industry employees is reaching a fever pitch, prompting companies to pull out all the stops to lure workers. As a result, the sign-on bonus is no longer a perk reserved for higher-level employees or top talent. Many workers making between $16.50 and $25 per hour are landing $1,000 bonuses.

Hourly Workers Cash In

Pilgrim’s Pride, which is one of the country’s biggest poultry processors, is offering $1,500 bonuses for jobs which pay $13.55 to $18.85 per hour. Harrison Poultry, a competitor, is offering jobs which pay $20 per hour and $2,500 in bonuses paid out during the first year of employment. Meanwhile, a Burger King in Pennsylvania is giving new employees $1,500 sign-on bonuses.

Amazon said in May it intended to hire 75,000 more workers in the US and would give them each a $1,000 signing bonus. Those bonuses are now up to $3,000 in some warehouse locations. Additionally, new employees get a $100 bonus on their first day if they show proof they received the COVID-19 vaccination.

Cash Bonuses Attractive to Employers

Employers are willing to offer cash sign-on bonuses because they amount to a one-time expense and do not involve increased pay for a long period of time. For employees, the bonus is appealing because it gives them upfront cash to cover expenses. Despite the efforts, there are some jobs that are still hard to fill, particularly in the restaurant industry.

The economy is roaring back to life after more than a year of economic shutdowns. It will be interesting to see just how much companies are willing to pay to recruit and retain workers.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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