What is a Golden Hello or Handshake?

golden hello

During my time in telecommunications in the late 1990s, recruiting some specialist IT roles was a challenge and we used a scheme called the “Golden Hello” to attract people into key roles. I’ve heard this phrase again recently as employers pull out the stops to compete for talent. With the current recruitment challenges and skills shortages, this has made its return just at the right time.  


Over the last year the employment landscape in the UK has shifted dramatically. Workers are realising their importance in various industries. With the impact of Brexit and the pandemic, there is a massive shortage in Hospitality, logistics and care workers. Employers need workers more than ever and employees know they are vital to the sustainability of businesses. This has seen the re-emergence of “Golden Hello’s”.   


What is a ‘’Golden Hello’’?  


A ‘’Golden Hello’’ is a signing on bonus used to entice in demand workers to take up employment within your business from a rival business. This bonus is usually in the form of a large single cash payment that the employee will receive when they have joined your business.  


These bonuses have recently soared as high as £10,000 for registered night nurses in Scottish Care Home’s. This reflects how far recruitment are willing to go when compared to average wages for these jobs. These are short-term solutions for a long-term problem and workers must proceed with caution when accepting these offers. Contracts could include a training period or otherwise stated fixed period, where resignation during this time will require the worker to pay back the bonus partially or in full. Although this can be attractive, it is designed to plug urgent gaps quickly and can disregard other duties of care in the contract, such as training.  


The “Pingdemic” has forced many businesses to turn to “Golden Hello’s”. With thousands of people being notified via mobile phone that they must isolate, industries have slowed down as people have been forced to take weeks off work with no warning. Alternatively, slight wage increases and increasing the minimum number of staff on the payroll are other options which give worker’s incentives and leverage for their services.  

The Benefits

Attracting Talent:

It can be an effective tool for attracting highly skilled and sought-after professionals to an organisation, especially in competitive job markets.

Competitive Edge

Companies offering such incentives may gain an edge over their competitors in securing top talent.

Immediate Financial Reward

For the new employee, a Golden Hello provides an immediate financial benefit, which can be especially appealing.

Commitment Incentive

Such bonuses may encourage employees to commit to staying with the organisation for a certain period, as these bonuses sometimes come with conditions related to tenure.

Filling Critical Roles Quickly

In sectors where certain skills are in short supply, it can speed up the process of filling critical vacancies.


However, it’s important to note that while there are benefits, this method can also create expectations for high compensation and may impact the internal pay equity within an organisation. Employers should carefully consider these factors when deciding to offer such bonuses.


Contact Us

Overall, if you’re looking to attract high-level employees to your business, the ‘’Golden Hello’’ method may be for you. If you would like to find out more about this or need help to drive your recruitment efforts forward, contact us.

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