Companies are offering sign-on bonuses in a bid to attract new staff members.

Even humble Maccas is offering a $1,000 bonus for joining the yellow arches team.

With rising interest rates and the COVID-19 winter spike, employees are nervous about switching jobs so in a bid to attract talent, employers are offering incentives such as sign-on bonuses.

Companies such as Theiss have advertised a sign-on bonus of $10,000 for truck and excavator operators in Peak Downs. The bonus is on top of the $142,000 annual salary.

Volkswagen has also offered a bonus of $6,000 for a mechanic. A plumbing business in Newcastle is paying a $5,000 bonus. A company in the NSW South Coast is also paying a $5,000 bonus to a truck driver and a company in Bunbury, Western Australia is also offering an extra $5,000 to future employees.

Bupa is paying registered nurses who attend their recruitment day (and receive an offer on the day) a $5,000 sign-on bonus and carers a $2,000 bonus in Melbourne.

Sydney companies, Linked Property Maintenance and Kings Transport are both paying new employees a $1,000 sign-on bonus.

GPs in Melbourne who apply through Sigma Resourcing can expect a $10,000 sign-on bonus.

These are just some of the companies that are offering sign-on bonuses with many other companies listing them on Seek.

A Seek survey revealed in January that 20 per cent of employees are hesitant to change jobs but the number dropped to eight per cent in May before climbing again last month.

Seek’s ANZ managing director Kendra Banks spoke to the Australian Financial Review and said: “COVID-19 did make people very hesitant about changing jobs. That’s a normal reaction in times of uncertainty. When there’s a lot of uncertainty around, they ask, ‘Do I want to introduce more by shifting employers? I have flexibility in this role. If I move, am I really going to be able to catch that again?’

Parity Consulting specialist consultant, Ai Iwami said: “We haven’t seen too much about sign-on bonuses in the marketing world – some clients offering completion bonuses though.”

The bonuses were paid to temporary employees who successfully completed a project.

Ms Iwami said: “If they are brought on to work on a project so more completion of a project, successfully achieving an intended goal so applies more for contractors rather than permanent employees.”

She clarified: “If a Communications specialist was hired into a six or 12-month contract to work on a project to produce a set number of reports – once they complete them, they will receive x amount in the form of a completion bonus. I believe it is most prevalent for Product Managers though.

“There’s definitely been a drop in the number of people willing to leave roles at the moment – we’re putting it down to interest rate hikes and salaries stabilising.”

Seek also asked employees if they are happy in their jobs.

Ms Banks said that job satisfaction dropped to below 40 per cent earlier this year but has climbed back to almost 45 per cent.

“During COVID-19 people were a lot more likely to say they were happy in their jobs – there was a lot of gratitude for being employed during an uncertain time.

“We started to see that slip early in the new year.”

Although employers are being upfront about sign-on bonuses, 80 per cent are not publishing their salary, with the reason being that they don’t want to upset current employees.

Seek senior economist Matt Cowgill said that wages were starting to increase with average salaries up eight per cent for software engineers and early childhood teacher salaries up more than six per cent.

Despite a massive increase in people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic only 4 per cent of employers specifically mention working from home as an option in the job ad. It is however the top keyword search on Seek, with 61 per cent of jobseekers saying that they wouldn’t work for companies that do not offer work from home flexibility.

Ms Banks says that Australia has not experienced a ‘great resignation’ and that it is actually the opposite with people remaining in their existing jobs.

She said that there was a ‘great jobs boom’ with 59 per cent more jobs being advertised on Seek than in 2019.

The accounting sector is up 34 per cent, education is up 39 per cent, hospitality and tourism are up 32 per cent and manufacturing transport and logistics are up 28 per cent year-on-year.

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