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Is a sign on bonus always guarenteed for post MBA job seekers?

Sign on Bonus
New answer on May 06, 2020
9 Answers
2.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 27, 2020

I have worked 1 year post MBA outside of consulting. I am currently pursuing a career transition to consulting, but would also be open to different industries. I would like to seek advice on a few questions about sign on bonus:

(1) For consulting firms, if I join as an experienced hire instead of recruited on campus, will I receive a sign-on bonus? Do all consulting firms, including boutique firms, provide a sign-on bonus?

(2) For other industries outside consulting, is it also common to have a sign-on bonus in larger firms? Recently I got an offer (a US FT500 company based in Asia) but the HR was quite shocked when she realized I have received a sign on bonus from my current firm. She said this "sign on bonus" seems to be specifically for MBA graduate programs, and the company would not give a sign on bonus. Is this situation common and reasonable?

Thank you for your thoughts.

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Best answer
Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 27, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

Signing bonus is not always guaranteed but it's a common practice for MBB when they hire an experienced hire. Especially after the MBA, you can negotiate a signing bonus according to other job offers and eventually MBA sponsirship that you may got (if a company sponsors you, you often have a lock.in period and you have to pay to leave before).
Also smaller firms, like Oliver Wyman, gives you a signing bonus but it depends on company's policy.
Among corporate companies signing bonus is less common and it is strictly correlated with your personal story and actual work situation.

Best,
Luca

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Anonymous replied on Apr 27, 2020

Hi there,

No it is not always guaranteed. It depends on the location/industry/company practice. You can always ask for a sign on bonus when you negotiate your offer package, but it doesn't mean you'd neccessarily get one. It is quite fluid. And in some non-consulting companies, even when they are okay to give sign on bonus, the amount varies for each individual negotiation.

Best,

Emily

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Vlad
Expert
replied on Apr 27, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

  1. Nope, it's only guaranteed if you were hired post MBA directly. The rest you have to negotiate
  2. Yes, the sign-on bonus is mostly for MBA grads, but again, you can always try to negotiate. MBA debt is a good argument

Best

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Sidi
Expert
replied on Apr 27, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous!

Whether you get a sign-on bonus is primarily determined by the market in which you apply. It is very common in anglo-saxon markets like UK or US, but less common in other markets (like Germany for example).

So it is very hard to anwer your question without knowing

(a) the country in which you apply, and

(b) the origin of the firm for which you apply (which might also shape the "culture" of giving sign-on bonus).

The amount of the bonus also largely depends on the specific amrket context and varies a lot across geographies.

Cheers, Sidi

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Anonymous replied on May 05, 2020

Dear A,

No sign bonus guaranteed, and during the current situation it might be even cut off

Best,

André

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 06, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Not gauarenteed.

However, if you decide you want to negotiate for a better offer, sign-on bonus is a good way to do it. You can reference moving costs, loss of vested stocks/retirement matching, etc. etc.

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 01, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

1. yes, MBB and tier 2 provide it but almost every other consulting firms. There is no a specific policy about it, therefore you can negotiate it during the interview process with HR (especially by leveraging multiple offers)
2. it depends

best,
Antonello

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Thomas
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 28, 2020
150+ interviews | 6+ years experience | Bain, Kearney & Accenture | Exited startup| London Business School

In my experience, it is common for post-MBA or when you switch companies. However, I also learned that you need to prompt the company; asking comes a long way and they won't blame you for asking.

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 28, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

You cannot take it for granted, even for consulting.

However, it´s something very common in MBB and other smaller consultants who try to "mirror" them.

However, in other companies it totally depends. I would say it´s common -I had it in all my offers- but not to be taken for granted either. In any case, is one of the typical things you negotiate.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Luca gave the best answer

Luca

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BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached
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