A McDonald’s store in Chatswood recently handed out $1,000 sign-on bonuses to attract staff amid ongoing labour market shortages.
Sign-on bonuses have become increasingly common as employers struggle to attract and retain staff, with the fast food giant not immune to worker shortfalls.
Chatswood store manager Rhys Taylor told the Australian Financial Review the sign-on bonuses helped the franchise source much-needed staff alongside a refer-a-friend incentive scheme and a national job advertisement program.
The Chatswood restaurant is no longer offering the $1,000 bonuses.
A McDonald’s Australia spokesperson said sign-on bonuses were not available at all McDonald’s stores, but as individual business owners, franchisees were allowed to offer additional incentives to recruit people.
The spokesperson said there were more than 8,000 open roles at its stores nationwide, across crew, management, barista and maintenance roles.
“Our restaurants are actively hiring and looking for people of all ages and experience levels to embark on a career with McDonald’s,” the spokesperson said.
Labour shortage continues
Employers have been going the extra mile to attract workers, with Australia’s unemployment rate sitting at 3.5 per cent - the lowest it's been since the 1970s.
Recent research by NAB revealed almost four in 10 Australian small and medium enterprises believed labour shortages were having a “very significant” impact on their business.
NAB group executive for business & private banking Andrew Irvine said labour shortages had been a massive problem for businesses this year.
“Business owners are crying out for more workers – people on the shop floor, labourers to finish off jobs, drivers, pharmacy workers – you'd be hard pressed to find a business owner who hasn’t had trouble finding people to get the job done,” Irvine said.
Businesses in the health and construction sectors reported the greatest concern, according to the NAB survey, with around half labelling labour shortages as a key issue.
Sign-on bonuses were among the popular sweeteners employers were using to entice workers.
At the upper end of the spectrum, a mining services company was offering $10,000 as a lump sum to start various mining jobs in Queensland.
In the aged care space, which is also facing dire staff shortages, an aged care provider was offering sign-on bonuses between $2,000 and $5,000, depending on the role.
There’s also a sous chef job offering a $2,500 sweetener to start.
Tradespeople are also in short supply, with a $5,000 bonus offered for starting a mechanic job in Perth.
A roofing business was also offering $1,000 sign-on bonuses for roofers.
There are also childcare jobs advertised on SEEK with sign-on bonuses worth $500.