I’ve asked a Slovenian Developer Facebook community about their experience with Signing Bonuses in Europe and Slovenia.
What’s the reason for signing bonuses?
A US-specific reason is that signing bonuses helps with missed opportunities in job seekers’ current position. It’s compensation for unvested options or a general yearly bonus.
For some individuals, they provide additional funds that make it easier for them to change their jobs. Depending on the amount of debt it can be a significant hardship to change a job. Signing bonuses cover some of the missing paychecks between jobs. It’s important to note here that the relocation package is and should be a separate discussion.
Is this applicable in Slovenia or Europe?
According to experience from people in the Facebook group and some private messages, it seems that it’s also a thing in this part of the economy.
I’ve heard privately that some Slovenian companies offer signing bonuses to more experienced developers as an incentive to switch their jobs. Employers also use it to increase new employees’ initial pay without breaking companies’ salary structure. These kinds of offers are even more prevalent in Austria and Germany.
How much should a signing bonus be?
Some numbers that people cite are in the range of two or three monthly salaries. This money provides an additional safety net to the job candidate if their new position doesn’t work out for them, and they’ll need to be looking for a new job.
What I learned from this discussion
Asking seemingly simple questions to a large enough group of people can yield a broad range of answers.
There are more hidden business practices that you can only discover if you talk to your peers.
Signing bonuses are also a thing in Slovenia if your role is in high enough demand.
You can discuss it as part of you compensation negotiation.