There were more than 10 million open jobs in the U.S. in August, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and employers are scrambling to fill the gaps.
It's a job market where workers have an increasing amount of leverage, and where hefty signing bonuses have become the norm across industries. On the employment site Indeed, 5% of all job postings included hiring incentives, such as cash or signing bonuses earlier this month. That’s more than double from a year ago.
There's some fine print: Many companies require new hires to stay in a role for a minimum length of time before collecting their bonuses. Still, any way you slice it, applicants today have a good chance of earning an extra check just by signing hiring paperwork.
Here are some of the highest bonuses we've seen so far.
The massive tech company is offering thousands of new hires bonuses as it tries to staff up ahead of the holidays. Money found a job posting for a warehouse associate job tasked with preparing Amazon orders for delivery in Edison, New Jersey (shift hours are 1:20 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Saturday through Tuesday) that comes with a $3,000 hiring bonus and an extra $3 an hour through Jan. 1 — bringing the temporary hourly wage to $23 an hour. Other positions come with smaller bonuses and note that they may be paid in installments.
Supermarkets have been struggling to hire workers throughout the pandemic, as consumers raided shelves and spent more money on cooking at home. Now, some grocery stores are offering large bonuses to attract new workers.
Many Wegmans grocery stores — a chain with a particularly loyal fan base — are offering hiring bonuses ranging from $500 for part-time workers to $1,500 for management positions. That includes all six stores in Massachusetts.
Health care workers
There’s a hiring crisis at hospitals and health care centers around the country as burned-out medical staff quit en masse. More than half a million have done so since February, Quartz reports.
And as the coronavirus pandemic continues, these workers are more important than ever. A San Antonio area hospital offered hiring bonuses up to $25,000 for some health care workers earlier this month. In Michigan, the state’s largest health care provider — Beaumont Health — is offering $10,000 hiring bonuses for full-time registered nurses.
Educators have also been on the front lines of the pandemic, and most don’t make high salaries. Now, some schools are offering hiring bonuses to attract more teachers to the classroom.
Atlanta Public Schools announced a $3,000 hiring bonus this week for incoming teachers, and administrators say they're willing to pay extra for out-of-state teachers to relocate.
Cumberland County Schools in North Carolina, for its part, is offering $10,000 hiring bonuses for new teachers and $400 monthly bonuses for substitute teachers. Many districts across the country, from San Francisco to Newark, are in similar situations and offering bonuses.
The trucking industry is experiencing a record shortage of about 80,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Associations. As a result, lots of companies are offering drivers with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) fat bonus checks. Dollar General, for one, is offering a $5,000 bonus for new hires brought on before the end of January.(As an additional perk, they’ll let you bring one ‘co-pilot, a vaccinated dog or cat of eligible breeds, along with [you] on the road.”).
US Foods is also looking for CDL drivers. They’re offering $20,000 bonuses for some eligible employees. Applicants need at least six months of commercial driving experience or three months as a commercial driver in the food and beverage industry.