Hundreds of companies in SWFL offering signing bonuses to attract workers

Posted at 7:12 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 19:12:17-04

BONITA SPRINGS — Businesses are so desperate for employees right now, they’ll pay you just for getting hired.

Hundreds of companies in Southwest Florida are offering signing bonuses right now. Bonita Dental Care in Bonita Springs has four positions open just at its location on Bonita Beach Rd., and without enough applicants, they’ve started offering hundreds in bonuses.

We learned they’re just part of a growing trend.

With a growing practice, and more patients coming back after the pandemic, HR Manager Renee Mathis said finding staff hasn’t been easy.

"Not enough qualified candidates are applying," said Mathis.

Mathis finally told her Operations Manager, they needed to sweeten the deal.

"I was like, we’ve got to do something because we’re not getting enough qualified candidates, so she was like go ahead, let’s throw in signing bonuses," said Mathis.

For the first time ever, Bonita Dental Care is now offering up to $500 for the right candidate.

Over at Goodwill of Southwest Florida, Communications Director Debra Donatto said they’re doing the same thing.

"We do have a $250 sign on bonus, and it’s for all of our positions that we offer," said Donatto.

The companies are part of a growing trend all across Southwest Florida.

Just click here to visit our job search page, type in sign bonus, and you’ll find more than 450 openings just in the Cape Coral area.

"There are lots of jobs available, but the rate at which we’re filling them is just slower than anybody would want to see," said Victor Claar, and Economist with Florida Gulf Coast University.

Claar said Goodwill and Bonita Dental Care are having trouble because, after the pandemic, prospective employees have a lot more to think about.

"How they look at spending time at home with their family, how they look at commuting, how they look at working in-person versus working remotely. A lot of those things have changed," said Claar.

Claar said, in addition to signing bonuses, the numbers show wages are up nationally about two percent higher than they were at this time last year, as businesses compete for workers.

Mathis said, she hopes her company’s offer will get good employees to apply soon.

"We just need some good people on our team," said Mathis.