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HHS Employee Referral Award Program
To recruit high quality personnel in "hard to fill", mission critical, and high value positions.
To provide incentives or recognition for HHS employees who refer qualified external (i.e., non-HHS) candidates who are selected for employment.
A referral award may be given to an employee who helps HHS recruit new talent by referring external candidates for employment. The award may be granted in the form of a lump sum cash payment after HHS hires the candidate and he/she remains in the position for 90 days. Cash awards are taxable income and are subject to appropriate tax reporting and withholding.
Title 5, United States Code, Chapter 45
All categories of HHS employees are eligible award recipients EXCEPT the following:
The following job candidates will not qualify as referrals under this program:
NOTE: An HHS employee cannot refer a "relative" as defined at 5 U.S.C. 3110(a)(3) (that is, a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister).
Each OPDIV will determine at least annually the positions for which referral awards may be given in their organization. The new appointment may be career-conditional, career, or temporary (more than 1 year) under Title 5.
Announcement of Eligible Positions:
Each OPDIV will send out a notice at least once annually via E-mail to all employees identifying which positions are eligible for a recruitment referral award.
Amount of Award:
Referral awards may be granted in the form of a lump sum cash payment after the referred candidate has actually entered on duty and remained in his/her position for 90 days. The award amounts will not exceed $1,000 and should be determined by each OPDIV depending on the type of position being filled and the difficulty experienced with recruitment and retention.
Timing of Award:
In order to receive the award, the referring HHS employee must be on the payroll (1) when the candidate is referred and hired and (2) at the time the award is made (except for referring employees who retire).
The full amount of the cash award will be granted after the referred candidate has completed 90 days of service.
Limits on the Number of Awards:
There is no limit on the number of HHS Recruitment Referral Award incentives employees may receive.
The funding of this program should be governed by individual OPDIV appropriations for cash awards. For situations impacting more than one OPDIV, if an employee in one OPDIV recruits a candidate for a position in another OPDIV, the OPDIV hiring the referred candidate pays the referring employee's referral award.
Procedures / Recordkeeping:
STEP 1: For each qualified candidate referred, the referring employee must complete Sections I and II of the HHS Employee Referral Award Form [Download form - Word Document format] and give it to the referred candidate.
STEP 2: The referred candidate will sign the HHS Employee Referral Award Form (Section II) certifying that the named individual did refer him/her, and is not a "relative" as defined at 5 U.S.C. 3110(a)(3), and upon hire, present the form to the supervisor when he/she reports for duty.
STEP 3: The recruited employee's supervisor will complete Section III of the HHS Employee Referral Award Form certifying the date the employee entered on duty, provide the new employee's and referring employee's names on the HHS Referral Award Form. The supervisor will also complete the Recommendation for Cash Award Form (or the approved cash award form already in existence in the OPDIV). This form requests payment to the employee making the referral. The supervisor must forward the HHS Employee Referral Award Form and completed Recommendation for Cash Award Form (or the approved cash award form already in existence in the OPDIV) to the referring employee's servicing Human Resources Office for processing.
STEP 4: The referring employee's servicing Human Resources Office will complete the bottom portion of the HHS Employee Referral Award Form certifying the referred applicant was hired and the date he/she actually entered on duty. The servicing Human Resources Office will process and report the award following the OPDIV's established awards reporting procedures. The servicing Human Resources Office will process the Recommendation for Cash Award Form (or the approved cash award form already in existence in his/her OPDIV) using nature of action code 848 for employee referral cash awards.
Note: Any employee who improperly makes promises of employment to candidates, or engages in inappropriate conduct as it relates to this program will be denied an award and may be subject to disciplinary action.
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