How to Effectively Use a Signing Bonus in Your Recruitment Strategy

In the ever more competitive world for high quality health care talent, many practices are finding themselves turning to recruitment incentives to sweeten the deal. Whether they are large relocation allowances, loan forgiveness, or other bonuses, offering whatever your organization thinks is appropriate when an offer is being made might not be enough.

Instead, thoroughly researching physician recruitment incentives such as a signing bonus and marketing them effectively can greatly improve your practice’s chances of sourcing and hiring a high quality physician. But how do you know what to offer, and how should such incentives be presented? Below are five easy steps you can follow to effectively use a sign on bonus as part of your recruitment strategy.

Step 1: Research Bonuses Offered By Competitors

Physician recruitment doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Most candidates, when considering a specific location, will often consider jobs with many practices and groups in the area, and usually entertain offers from more than one. Because the demand for qualified physicians is so fierce, it is important for recruiters to know what the competitors are offering. By checking recruitment advertisements of competitors, speaking to employees who were hired away from the competition, and even speaking with current and past candidates can often reveal what sign on bonus and other incentives the competition is offering candidates.

Step 2: Establish a Competitive Signing Bonus

Once you have established the range of the signing bonuses being offered by your competitors, it’s time to evaluate what you are currently offering. Ideally, the sign on bonus you offer should be in line or somewhat higher than your competition’s. While this might vary depending on the other incentives you and your competition are offering, it is important that you establish a bonus and overall incentive structure that will weigh heavily in your favor when it comes time for a candidate to choose.

Step 3: Include It In Marketing Materials

What good is offering a signing bonus if no one knows about it? Many practices and groups shy away from disclosing any information regarding compensation or incentives, but if you’ve done your research and established a competitive incentive package, this can be one of your greatest marketing assets. Including the signing bonus in a tag line, header, or emphasized portion of the copy can help your opportunity stand out from the competition.

Step 4: Be Flexible

Different candidates have different priorities. Whether they’re relocating from across the country and need assistance, or would like help paying off their student loans, the amount offered for incentives to each candidate can vary. Make sure to approach each offer with what the candidate has expressed their priorities are, and adjust the amounts for each incentive accordingly to make the offer as a attractive to an individual candidate as possible.

Step 5: Reassess the Bonus Periodically

The health care recruitment landscape is changing every day. With this constant change comes the responsibility of groups to not stay stagnant. The bonuses and other recruitment incentives being offered to prospective candidates should be reassessed bi-annually. By seeing what candidates are continuing to be offered and adjusting to any changes, your practice can stay ahead of the competition.



Whether it’s a sign on bonus or another physician recruitment incentive, following these steps can help keep your practice competitive in the recruitment marketplace. By researching your competition, advertising your strengths, and being flexible, your practice can stay ahead of the competition and consistently offer candidates competitive compensation packages.

Back to Blog