- Signing bonuses may be a flash-in-the-pan offering, according to a Salary.com survey released Aug. 12; while 50% of employers are offering signing bonuses in 2021, only 20% expect to be doing so by the end of the year.
- Higher overall salaries may stick around, however. Sixty-two percent of organizations surveyed said they planned to increase base salaries in the next six months in part to attract both salaried and hourly employees.
- As employers grapple with a market in flux, company leaders may focus more on HR metrics and "gauging employee sentiment," Garry Straker, compensation consultant at Salary.com, said in a statement — especially as employee expectations change in the post-pandemic environment.
Coronavirus has derailed compensation plans since it pushed workers remote — or out of jobs. However, the tenor of these changes has shifted from the reduction or cancellation of raises early in the pandemic to a push for higher salaries overall in an attempt to keep workers on board.
At the end of 2020, half of employers surveyed by Gallagher were expecting to decrease salary bumps, while 45% said they were suspending them entirely. Fast forward to mid-2021 and employers are offering signing bonuses to find applicants as the job market revives. One trucking company is offering signing bonuses worth $15,000 — and in some cases, incentives worth up to $20,000 — to overcome a serious driver shortage. Meanwhile in the retail industry, employers are rolling out bonuses to try and keep workers on board as the industry struggles to maintain its workforce.
Overall, employers expect to hike pay increases in 2022, according to analysis from Willis Towers Watson, aligning with Salary.com’s findings. Employers in "high-tech" sectors had the largest projected increases, while those in either oil and gas or leisure and hospitality reported the lowest projected increases.