Remodeler Kelly Vogan considered a signing bonus something reserved for athletes — that is, until he began using one. Two years ago the president of Vogan Associates in Silver Spring, Md., created signs for his trucks advertising that the company is seeking carpenters at top pay and benefits — and with a signing bonus.
“I drive around a lot; I imagine there are dozens of potentially qualified people each day who see the sign,” he says. “I've seen people writing down the number as they're driving by.” In fact, he received one inquiry while he was driving.
“I got about 10 good leads from [the sign] and one guy working for me as a direct result. He is one of my best lead carpenters, so it was well worth it,” Vogan says.
The signing bonus is $1,000, and the employee has to be at the company for at least six months to earn it. When some of his employees complained that he did not offer them a signing bonus when they were hired, he decided to offer $500 to any employee who recommended a carpenter who stayed at the company for at least six months. “It is ongoing and helps remind employees that we are looking for people,” he says.
The three magnetic signs for his company's trucks cost a few hundred dollars.
“I don't keep the signs on the trucks all the time,” Vogan says. “Now is a good time of year because I can catch people as business is slowing down at other companies.”