09 Jun A closer look at bonus structures

9 June 2021

Bonus structures continue to vary among roles and firms and are becoming increasingly important to keep and attract strong performers at all levels. These roles usually have set targets and KPIs, where experts can show revenue as a direct result from their BD activities.

As some firms remained cautious and removed bonuses during COVID-19, others introduced them as a way to attract and retain talent.

What do bonuses look like?

  • Across legal, accounting and engineering firms, bonuses are generally discretionary at all levels.
  • For firms that pay a bonus, this usually sits between 5-10% of the total salary package and are tied to overall firm performance and 360-degree feedback.
  • The largest bonus percentage we have seen is 25% on base salary.
  • Some engineering firms have profit share schemes, while others offer a higher base (circa $300,000 for Directors) with a small discretionary bonus.
  • High bonuses are usually found in Big-4 and ‘new law’ firms where there is a direct link to sales and performance, sometimes up to 50% of the base salary.
  • Sign-on bonuses and forgone bonus compensation are more commonly used to attract talent and can be up to $15,000.

Next steps

If you would like to learn more about career opportunities, the market and current trends, contact a member of the Dalton Handley team for a confidential discussion and expert advice. Email: australia@daltonhandley.com Phone: +61 2 8042 7970.