Job seekers flock to jobs with hiring bonuses, study shows

Employers are turning to bonuses to lure potential workers — as hiring lags job openings — a move that appears popular among job seekers.

Job postings advertising hiring incentives more than doubled compared with last year, according to data by Indeed, with 4.1% of postings including them in the week ending June 18 versus 1.8% for the same week last year. At the same, job searches for such bonuses jumped 134% since January.

“Job seekers are able to have a little wiggle room and be able to shop around a little bit more,” AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “Employers are increasingly offering hiring incentives that can be anything from signing bonuses to retention bonuses to cash incentives.”

LARKSPUR, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 02: A customer walks by a now hiring sign at a BevMo store on April 02, 2021 in Larkspur, California. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate dropped to 6 percent. Leisure and hospitality jobs led the way with 280,000 new jobs followed by restaurants with 176,000 jobs and construction with 110,000 new positions. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A customer walks by a now hiring sign at a BevMo store on April 02, 2021 in Larkspur, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Workers in some sectors are more likely to find jobs with incentives.

For instance, approximately 16% of job postings for drivers offered a bonus in the week ending June 18, a 4.6-percentage-point increase over last year. About 9.1% personal care and home health advertised an incentive, up 3.2 percentage points from last year, while 7.3% of child care postings had a bonus, an increase of 3.8 percentage points year over year.

‘Hoping that they get that flood of workers’

Some sectors that badly need workers aren’t rushing to offer hiring incentives.

In April, job openings in accommodation and food services posted the largest monthly increase, but hires in the sector were fewer. Still, only 1.8% of hospitality and tourism and 3.1% of food preparation and service jobs offered hiring bonuses, Indeed found.

“That was a surprising finding certainly, especially with all the hiring anecdotes we've heard from both of those sectors,” Konkel said. “Some employers in those sectors probably don't have the budget right now to be offering a variety of those types of incentives, or they may simply be holding out and hoping that they get that flood of workers soon in the next few weeks.”

Read more: Top 10 tax mistakes — and how to avoid them

The bonuses in those sectors were often lower, too. Bonuses for food preparation and service jobs ranged from $100 to $2,500, while those same incentives for nursing jobs ranged from $100 to $30,000.

“There's incredible differentiation,” Konkel said. “It just goes to show that some employers are trying to sweeten the pot a little bit and others are throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.”

Yahoo Money sister site Cashay has a weekly newsletter.
Yahoo Money sister site Cashay has a weekly newsletter.

Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova

Read more:

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Reddit.