Back-to-work bonuses are booming.
“I’ve had an example yesterday of a company that’s offering $1,000 bonus for the first day,” said Phil Blair.
As co-owner of staffing agency Manpower San Diego, Blair knows the trials and tribulations of trying to hire people in this job market.
There’s a lot of opportunity right now in hospitality jobs, light manufacturing, call centers, engineers and for programmers, according to Blair. So much opportunity he’s trying to fill more than 300 positions.
To do so, Blair said, “We’re among the many that are offering signing bonuses. It’s basically enticing people to get off the couch and come back to work.”
Manpower San Diego is offering $150 bonuses to people who stay on the job 90 days. And they’re not alone.
San Diego-area Islands restaurants just announced they’re offering $200 bonuses for dishwasher and cook positions during the month of May.
This past weekend “The Lot” in Point Loma held a job fair offering kitchen staff hires $1,000 bonus. And casinos like Sycuan are offering $500 for cooks who take a job or $300 for servers and cashiers.
When asked if this is a sign that jobs need to pay more, Blair said, “Yes, in this job market. Life is about supply and demand.”
The supply of willing workers has been dampened as companies compete with $300 pandemic-enhanced unemployment benefits, along with child care issues and lingering COVID-19 concerns.
Rebecca Hyde-Edwards is feeling the pinch. She’s increased salaries to $17.50, but is still dealing with no-shows for interviews as she tries to hire two new front desk assistants for her Little Italy salon, Hyde Edwards. She’s adamantly opposed to offering incentives.
“No! Absolutely not! We all have to work and there is a certain amount of pride in that and getting up and having something you go towards and you make your own money. Absolutely not. No! I won’t. I won’t do that,” exclaimed Hyde-Edwards.
El Zarape is trying to fill two cashier and cook positions, but manager Francisco Ulloa said applicants who don’t want to work weekends are asking for more money, which could ultimately take a bigger bite out of customers’ wallets.
“You can see $11,” Ulloa said pointing to the menu. “Maybe in a month it’ll be $13”
It’s an employees’ market now, but experts say that will likely change when the expanded unemployment benefits end in September, schools return full-time and child care businesses get fully back up and running.