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Hiring Incentive for WSU Faculty and Staff

Hiring Incentive Payment Program (Pilot)

To support the ability to attract talent in a competitive job market, with approval from the Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) for Human Resource Services, departments may offer a hiring incentive for civil service and administrative professional employees.

A hiring incentive payment provides a lump sum payment to support the recruitment of specific positions in hard-to-fil job classifications. Job postings on WSU Jobs indicate eligibility for a hiring incentive payment and are posted for broad visibility to potential applicants.

Departments considering offering a hiring incentive payment for an open staff position must submit a request to HRS using the Hiring Incentive Payment Program Request Form. The request must be signed by the department’s delegated authority.

Requests must be submitted prior to posting the vacancy for recruitment, include a detailed statement of the difficulty to fill, and reasons for requesting the incentive payment.

Employee Referral Payment Program (Pilot)

As part of a comprehensive recruiting program, and to support the ability to attract talent in a competitive job market, WSU employees are in the best position to tell their friends and family why working at WSU is so rewarding. Our employees are often our best ambassadors when recruiting new people to apply at WSU. To support finding new employees, WSU offers an employee referral program.

An employee referral payment provides a $1,000 payment in two installments to current employees that recruit candidates for specific positions in hard-to-fill job classifications.

Once the hiring department determines a specific position is eligible for an employee referral, follow the below steps to earn the employee referral incentive:

  • The applicant must apply for the vacancy on the WSU Jobs. The job posting will indicate whether the position is eligible for the employee referral incentive.
  • After the applicant has applied, the employee making the referral needs to e-mail to let HRS know the name of the referral as well as the position they applied for.
  • Important: In order for you to receive the referral award, the candidate you referred must enter your name in the designated location at the time of application.

In order to be eligible to receive a referral award, you and your referral must be employed by WSU, in good standing, and in pay status at the time payment is to be made.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two types of incentive programs available?

Hiring Incentive: A lump-sum amount to a prospective candidate as part of an offer of employment to WSU.

Employee Referral: A lump-sum amount (paid in two installments) to a current employee of WSU to recruit an external candidate that is hired at WSU.

What types of positions are eligible for these incentives?

Non-represented Civil Service (CS) and Administrative Professional (AP) positions hired as a result of a traditional recruitment. Direct appointments are not eligible for incentives.

Does every CS and AP position require an incentive?

No. The incentives are intended for hard-to-fill positions after attempt(s) at traditional recruitment have not yielded a successful candidate.

How is it decided which position(s) are assigned an incentive?

This decision is made at the departmental level by the appointing authority. Since departments are responsible for funding any incentives, this decision, as well as the amount to offer, is made at the departmental level.

Why would we offer an incentive to a new hire to WSU and not offer incentives to employees already at WSU?

These incentives are pilot programs to provide another tool for departments struggling to fill positions. Short staffing impacts current employees who often have to take up the slack when positions are vacant. The employee referral incentive is a way for current employees to gain additional compensation for being ambassadors for WSU by recruiting candidates for open positions.

When do I get paid?

New hires receive their hiring incentive after working for WSU for six months. Employee referrals by current employees are paid 50% at time of hire and 50% after six months.

I am a current employee of WSU applying for a different position at WSU. Am I eligible for a hiring incentive? Can a different employee at WSU claim an employee referral incentive by recruiting me to my new position?

No. The intent of the incentives pilot is to recruit new employees to WSU.

What happens if a new hire quits before six months is up?

For the new hire, their hiring incentive will be cancelled. For the employee referral, the 50% first payment at time hire is paid, the 50% second payment at the six month mark is cancelled.

Are incentives taxable income?

Yes. Both hiring incentives (for a new hire) and employee referral incentives (for current employees) are reported as taxable income. Payroll taxes will be taken and reported on the W-2. Employees may wish to seek advice from a tax professional.

Why do I have to wait six months to get my hiring incentive? I have expenses now.

We discussed this thoroughly. Paying the incentive up front at time of hire would require a repayment should a new hire quit before reaching six months of service. Rather than building a process to recapture funds, we decided to pay at the end of the six month period.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?

Questions about the incentive pilot can be sent to