Signing bonuses, flexibility, culture: B.C. businesses offering incentives for new

From offering several thousand dollars to flexible hours to a focus on workplace culture, B.C. employers are increasingly finding ways to stand out to job-seekers in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.

A review of job boards finds multiple companies are offering hundreds of dollars to unskilled, entry-level employees in warehouses, up to $10,000 for skilled trades and executives ranging from trucking companies to B.C. Ferries.

“It is a candidates’ market, without a doubt,” said Legacy Bowes recruitment consultant Lisa Cefali. “We’re in a position where employers are now being interviewed as well — they have to be on, they have to be presenting their company, their company culture and they can’t just talk about the job because there are multiple companies offering the same type of job.”


That includes the public sector as well. With healthcare workers increasingly walking away due to demands, bureaucracy and poor morale, private companies are ready to snap them up — promising a better work environment in the bargain. 

“We pay very competitive hourly rates, we provide mileage, we provide healthcare benefits…and we’re offering a $1,000 bonus, no questions asked,” said Veronica Tiserra, of Nurse Next Door.

She insists the company is laser-focussed on respecting the nurses and caregivers they hire, expressing that by handling all of the administration and providing support services so that staff can focus on the relationship with patients.

“In a hospital, there may be a nurse to 100 patients, so here our caregivers get to work one-on-one with clients,” said Tiserra. “We have always tried to make sure they feel like (nurses) are being cared for, that they’re being valued.”


Demands for flexible work hours, the ability to work from home and more vacation time, for example, are all on the table during this time of historically low unemployment. Some employers believe those issues are just as important as the compensation.

“What makes a great company is the innovation and how they evolve with the generation that we’re hiring,” said Rhys Giannarelli, who owns the Fraserview and Point Grey veterinary clinics in Vancouver.

He highlighted many employees’ desire for career mobility, work-life balance and other intangible benefits in being able to maintain a stable workforce – pointing out it’s good business for employers to invest in their staff. 

“(Profitability comes) by having and retaining employees, happy employees, people who believe in core value that we have and the reason we are here, “ said Giannarelli. “Happy employees equal happy clients, with the familiarity and the same faces and continuity, it just comes together as the foundation of a great company.”

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