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The companies offering the biggest signing bonuses

A signing bonus (also known as a sign-on bonus) is paid to employees when they start a new job. Usually, they act as an incentive to fill roles that employers are struggling to fill, or in industries where there are staff shortages. Adzuna’s view of the UK hiring landscape allows us to analyse over 1m jobs in real-time and identify companies providing extra incentives to attract staff.

But, what actually is a signing bonus and why are they used? Here we look at how they work and when you should take one. We also cover which employers are currently offering the biggest signing bonuses, how to ask for a signing bonus, and how to search for companies offering these bonuses on our website.

 

How do sign-on bonuses work and when should I take one?

If a company is experiencing a staff shortage and urgently needs to take on new staff, signing bonuses are becoming a common way of enticing new recruits. 

They can be paid in a lump sum either on the first day of employment, after your probation period, or spread out into instalments. Whichever way they land in your bank account, these bonuses will be subject to tax, student loan, and national insurance, much like your salary – so you won’t see the full amount in your pay packet. 

To get around that, some organisations offer a signing bonus that isn’t cash, such as vouchers instead. 

Most organisations offer a signing bonus because they need staff. However, some may use them as a way of masking low wages. Make sure that a signing bonus isn’t just a way of enticing you to a role that doesn’t meet your salary expectations, as after the bonus is paid, your salary will dip. 

If you’re getting a salary increase, and some great perks like pension and private healthcare and a signing bonus is just an additional extra, then it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll treat yourself to! 

 

A word of caution

Like any job offer, it’s always great to read the fine print. Make sure you understand what’s on offer, when a bonus will be paid, and any criteria you need to meet in order to receive the full amount. 

You can also use our ValueMyCV tool to get a good idea of your CV’s market value and what you should expect to be earning. 

 

How to search for signing bonuses

There is no better place to look for signing bonuses than Adzuna. But how should you start? With our handy Advanced Job Search tool, it’s really simple. In the search results page, simply select the advanced search button next to the search bar in the right-hand corner. 

 

Following this, type in ‘signing bonus’ or ‘welcome bonus’ or ‘sign-on bonus’ into ‘Matching this exact phrase’. Then you’re done! You will now see all of the jobs offering wonderful signing bonuses. Pretty cool, right?

 

 

Which companies are currently offering a signing bonus?

At the time of writing, there are over 12,000 job vacancies offering these bonuses in sectors ranging from Social Care, to Hospitality & Catering, to Logistics. Here are just a few of the companies currently offering signing bonuses to new joiners.

 

IQVIA

Signing bonus: up to £7,000

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £33,773

IQVIA is the largest provider of biopharmaceutical development, so if a career in healthcare interests you, this may be the company for you. The IQVIA roles advertised on our website offer a very generous sign-on bonus of up to £7,000. The average salary for IQVIA is £33,773, which is slightly lower than the UK average. However, it is worth noting that many of the roles for the company are home-based, which may be convenient for some jobseekers.

Some of the IQVIA roles require relevant qualifications and experience, so it is definitely worth checking before applying. 

Check out all available roles at IQVIA

 

Centrica

Signing bonus: £3,000

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £29,784

Centrica is a leading energy services and solutions provider and they currently have plenty of gas engineer jobs on offer. The average salary sits just below the national average, however, Centrica is offering a very generous signing bonus of £3,000 (£1,500 paid in the first month and £1,500 paid after a year). On top of this, the company offers overtime, an uncapped bonus scheme, and additional money for those living in London. 

It’s worth noting that for their gas engineer roles, you will need to hold current ACS accreditation in CCN1, CENWAT / HTR1 as well as a full UK driving licence. 

Explore available roles at Centrica 

 

Hilton

Signing bonus: £1,500

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £23,244

The well-known Hilton brand is also offering a large signing bonus for line chef and commis chef openings. Although the average salary is relatively low, it is definitely worth taking a look at some of the roles on offer at Hilton. The signing bonus is one example of some of the great benefits on offer. Employees can expect to see £500 of their bonus after 12 weeks in the role and a further £1,000 after a year. 

Other benefits at Hilton include paid overtime, special rates in their hotels across the world, free meals on duty, and dental and pension plans. 

Check out vacancies at Hilton here

 

Halfords

Signing bonus: £1,000

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £19,476 

Halfords are currently offering signing bonuses for MOT testers and vehicle technicians. Depending on the location these roles have salaries of between £18,000 and £24,000. 

Bonuses are paid in two instalments, once in your first pay packet and the other half after 12 months of service. You’d therefore need to stay a full year in order to reap the rewards of a full signing bonus. 

Both of these roles require experience and relevant education in this area. 

Check out the latest roles we have advertised at Halfords 

 

Home Instead

Signing bonus: £250

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £17,255

Home Instead is a company that provides specialised home care for the elderly. This makes it a great option if you have an interest in joining the healthcare industry. 

Home Instead offers a small signing bonus of £250, which is payable after the first 6 months at the company. 

Find roles at Home Instead here

 

Ventry Care Homes

Signing bonus: £250 + £250 after 12 months 

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £22,675

Fancy making a difference to the lives of care home residents? Ventry Care Homes have care assistant and activities roles with a £250 sign-on bonus, and a £250 retention bonus after 12 months of service. 

On top of salaries, staff are also offered assistance towards public transport costs and accommodation and/or relocation packages. 

Check out caregiver vacancies here

 

We Buy Any Car

Signing bonus: £1,000

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £23,448

Area retail executive roles are available in a number of locations for We Buy Any Car. The signing bonus here is split 50/50 at the 3 and 6 months mark. You also get £1 for every car you buy on an annual basis. 

Rather than selling, you’ll actually be responsible for buying cars and vehicles in your local area. The role will mean you’re on the go a lot, so if you don’t want to be tied to a desk this could be a great fit. 

Explore vacancies in car sales

 

The AA

Signing bonus: up to £1,500

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £32,025

The AA is currently looking for recovery drivers and roadside mechanics across the country and are offering a signing bonus of between £1,000 and £1,500. For the recovery driver role, you’ll need a full driving category C driving licence (HGV 2) and will ideally hold the CE (HGV 1) licence too. However, the company can help you to obtain this. 

As well as the sign-on bonus, you will also receive other bonuses including free AA breakdown membership after 12 months, along with a 50% introductory discount off breakdown cover for up to 5 friends/family members.

Take a look at the current vacancies for The AA

 

Veolia

Signing bonus: £1,500

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £26,636

Veolia is searching for HGV drivers for waste and recycling collection. Although it may not be the most glamorous role, Veolia is offering a sign-on bonus of £1,500. This is definitely an incentive for those with a Class 2 (Cat C) licence, which is required for the role. 

There are roles located across the country, so it is definitely worth checking out if there are any vacancies available near you.

Explore available Veolia vacancies here

 

Accenture

Signing bonus: £1,000

Average salary for jobs advertising a bonus: £27,651

Professional services company Accenture has plenty of vacancies currently available. The company is offering £1,000 sign-on bonuses for grad jobs right now, which could be used to pay off those mountains of student debt! 

Roles range from software engineers to client delivery and are located across the country. The company has start dates from May 2022- September 2023, so the roles are perfect for this year’s graduates. 

Search all available vacancies at Accenture 

 

Signing bonuses are not the only perk

You’ll notice that a lot of the roles above split the signing bonus over time, to encourage people to stay in their roles long term. 

Many companies such as Ventry Care Homes, also offer a retention bonus on top of the signing bonus, which is another way to hold on to staff. 

It’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for some lucrative packages! 

 

How to ask for a signing bonus

Are you looking at a job without a signing bonus? It’s not something that every job opening offers but if you have FOMO, there a definitely ways to get around this.

Here are some top tips for asking if a company offers a signing bonus:

Tip 1: Research your market rate

Knowing your market rate is absolutely key when starting a new role. Jobseekers should always look to negotiate their compensation package and in today’s skill shortage market this is more important than ever. This is about understanding your skills and the value they bring to your new company. Using a tool like ValueMyCV is a great place to start, as well as researching competitors, how much they pay, and what incentives they are offering. If a company can’t meet your expectations on salary, that’s the perfect time to ask about a signing bonus.

Tip 2: Justify the expense

Will you have any new costs if you take the new role? Will your commute be longer or more expensive, are you being offered the annual leave package you were hoping for, and do the other benefits given match up to your previous role? These are all reasonable arguments to ask for a signing bonus to sweeten the deal.

Tip 3: Look past the upfront cash

Signing bonuses can be tempting, but remember they are just a one-off benefit. Looking beyond the bonus, you should ask if the day-to-day salary meets your needs. It may sound counterintuitive, but in some instances it can be advantageous to suggest a higher salary over a sign-on bonus. For example, instead of a £2,000 signing bonus perhaps you can negotiate up £1,000 on your salary. If you’re planning to stay at a company for the long term, a higher starting salary will overtake a signing bonus in overall benefit – as well as helping you start from higher up the salary ladder, meaning any percentage raises you may get will ultimately be bigger.

Tip 4: Don’t skim over the fine print

Finally, make sure you understand the terms and conditions. For example, you may be asked to repay the bonus if you don’t meet your probation or leave before a certain time period. Signing bonuses may also introduce extra conditions such as non-compete clauses. Ultimately, negotiating an extra upfront pay perk can be extremely tantalising, but it’s important to make sure it doesn’t limit your longer-term career options.

 

Now you have all the information on what signing bonuses are, how to find them, and how to ask for them, you’re ready to start your search. What better place to begin than on Adzuna.

💡 Read more: The highest paying jobs that don’t require a degree 


If you’re looking for a new job, check out our ValueMyCV tool to see what salary you should be expecting to see.