Friday, July 7, 2017

Anyone getting any swanky bonuses these days?

From the inbox, an interesting Bloomberg article on the broad job market (emphasis mine):
While headhunters can get lofty retainers for executive positions, a 16-year low unemployment rate and a record-high number of job openings are turning workers across all sorts of industries -- from construction to trucking to software engineering -- into hot commodities. The need is so dire that employers are handing out large signing bonuses, giving second looks to people with blemishes on their resumes and reaching out to professional recruiters more than ever. 
The numbers show why that’s the case: There were 1.17 unemployed job seekers for every vacancy in April, the second-lowest ratio in data going back to 2000. That compares with a post-recession peak of 6.65 people per job opening in July 2009. Revenue for U.S. search-and-placement services rose to $21.9 billion in 2016, almost triple the level in 2009, according to estimates from the American Staffing Association.
So. Anyone getting signing bonuses these days? Big Pharma handing out bonuses to new Ph.D. chemists these days? Let's have it.

(I'm going guess yes? But maybe I'm wrong. I presume that regional competition (within Boston or San Francisco) is quite high, but not particularly strong elsewhere.) 


  1. $10K signing bonus, all moving expenses covered (including realtor and closing costs on a my house), plus a few thousand more to cover incidental moving/temporary housing costs

    R&D position in chemicals industry

  2. I got moving expenses and a pretty significant number of stock options at a small biotech, but no $ signing bonus.

  3. I got moving expenses and temporary accommodation costs at a medium size CRO, as a basic graduate level analyst in the UK

    1. Large CRO in UK, entry level synthetic position, no signing or moving expenses till I negotiated for them!

  4. Got a "signing bonus" which was actually to cover moving expenses.

  5. Moving expenses (movers/flights) + $5k discretional money intended for moving expenses, but given as lump sum w/o conditions.
    + RSUs
    R&D in Pharma

  6. Fresh PhD in chemistry R&D position in tech company here:

    Got a slum sum for moving of $7k (no need provide evidence of moving expenses) and a signing bonus of $7k on stock

  7. Out of post-doc, moved to R&D in chemicals. Got all moving expenses covered (realtor and closing for new house) and got additional $20K in various incidentals (not called a signing bonus)

  8. A friend fresh out of grad school with her PhD got a job in a chemical commodities company and received the following: $12k directly wired to her bank account plus a full-on moving company to move her stuff plus relocation of her travel to get there plus temporary housing if needed plus 8% guaranteed annual bonus plus 3% annual salary increase.

    I did not go to the same company but moved to the same area; only received a professional moving company to move my belongings and temporary housing for a month.

  9. Congratulations Dr. Smedly for singlehandedly discovering that new blockbuster drug. It's going to mean huge bonuses for the sales staff and myself.

  10. In the midwest (Minnesota/Wisconsin jo market). Never heard of signing bonuses or moving expenses being paid for my phd, ms, or bs chemist friends or myself. Sometimes yearly bonuses of 1-2 percent of salary.

  11. "...a 16-year low unemployment rate and a record-high number of job openings...The need is so dire that employers are handing out large signing bonuses..."

    Nope. Haven't seen any of this. Sounds real nice though.

  12. I was offered a signing bonus of $10,000 for an R&D position by an agrochemicals company last winter as a soon-to-be graduated PhD. Didn't end up taking the offer, though, due to 2 body was tough to turn down that money.