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Salary negotiations with potential sales job candidates can be tricky. You might need to pull out all the stops to snatch up a top-level sales candidate you are excited about. Especially if they’re asking for a salary high above the set salary range and compensation for the sales role you’re offering. You could offer more vacation time, as well as numerous other perks. Or you could offer a sign-on bonus.

What is a sign-on bonus?

A signing bonus, or sign-on bonus, is a one-time payment offered to a job candidate as an incentive to take the sales job at the compensation you are offering. Signing bonuses are more well known to be offered to incentivize star athletes and software geniuses. 

But today, many businesses have weighed the pros of signing bonuses and have made the shift to adopt them. 

During Covid-19, warehouses and fast-food outlets used sign-on bonuses to make their job offers more competitive. Subsequently, job searches with the phrase “hiring bonus” have increased massively. 

Companies are also using incentives to hire the best sales talent. To hire the best talent, companies can use a lump sum one-time payment or stock options to incentivize sales candidates on top of the salary, bonus, commissions, and vacation time.

A bonus can be 10% or more of a hire’s first year pay. For example, a candidate asks for a 100k salary, but a company can only offer 90k. A 10k sign-on bonus makes the total compensation package more attractive.

What are the pros of a signing bonus?

One Time Payment

A signing bonus is a one-time payment that can make a total compensation package more attractive to candidates. Suppose your candidate is asking for more than the role offers. In that case, the one-time sign-on bonus can make the total compensation package more attractive to the candidate. For sales hires, snatching up the best talent will allow you to increase sales and likely compensate for the additional upfront expense. 

Compete for Sales Candidates

High-value sales candidates will likely be considering several alternative Job offers. A sign-on bonus is an additional incentive to show your interest in the candidate. And to persuade the candidate to seriously consider joining your company. For example, a high-value salesperson might be fielding offers from other companies. Offering a sign-on bonus is your company’s opportunity

Bridge the Gap

Often sales candidates try to negotiate for higher compensation than the business can offer. A sign-on bonus can bridge the gap between the candidate’s expectations and the base pay your offering. This ensures you can entice the candidate to your sales team without committing to high compensation in the long term.

What are the Cons of a Signing Bonus?

While there are many pros to offering a sign-on bonus, there are also cons. When it comes to year two of working at your company, your candidate may feel frustrated that they essentially received a pay cut. However, usually by now commissions and bonuses have kicked in to make up for that. Additionally, funds for a sign-on bonus can be tricky to locate. 

The pros and cons of a sign-on bonus should be weighed out by your company before committing to offering the incentive. However, when you are seeking out the best sales candidates who are motivated and able to add value to your company, a sign-on bonus can be the difference between finding the right salesperson for the role and not.

What ASPIRE Careers Can Do For You

Building sales teams can be difficult when the market continues to change and shift so rapidly. ASPIRE Careers has 18 years of sales recruiting expertise and has the tools and resources to find you the sales candidates you’re looking for. In a competitive global market, finding top-tier sales talent can also be time consuming. And that is where we step in. To not only make a successful match but to do so in a timely manner.