Hiring - Hiring Bonus Program

This article provides information to hiring managers regarding how to request using a hiring bonus as part of a recruitment to attract qualified candidates who possess skills that are in high market demand. Most hiring bonuses will need to be requested and approved prior to recruitment, unless it is deemed a viable incentive during the negotiation process. Hiring Managers should submit the request for approval before sending other required materials to Extension HR at the start of the hiring process.


  • Hiring managers may need to occasionally provide hiring bonuses when attracting candidates to Extension employment
  • Hiring Bonus amounts are available up to $5,000.
  • Hiring Bonus funds will be issued centrally from the Dean’s office.
  • In most cases, the hiring manager will need to request approval for a hiring bonus before submitting the RTF to Extension HR.
  • Hiring bonuses are distinct from faculty start-up packages and relocation expenses.

**If an employee leaves the position within 12 months of hire, or prior to the proposed end date if the position is less than 12 months in duration, the employee will be required to repay a prorated amount of the hiring bonus amount.


Divisional Criteria

  • Pre-Posting
    • Traditionally hard to source positions; 
    • 2nd or 3rd postings; 
    • New positions that have a very limited available labor pool;
  • After-Posting - Exceptional Situations (e.g. during negotiations)
    • Requesting hiring bonuses after a position has been posted will be in exceptional situations and will require additional review by HR. 
    • Situations where there is a clear finalist and their salary request is outside the salary range; or
    • The candidate will lose a bonus or other benefits by leaving their current job and a hiring bonus would make up the difference. 
    • Contact hr@extension.wisc.edu if you are considering a after-posting hiring bonus.

Eligible Employee Classifications

  • Faculty
  • Academic Staff
  • Limited Appointees
  • University Staff
  • Temporary Employees
  • Student Hourlies
  • Post-Degree Training

Does not apply to:

  • Student Assistants
  • Internal Recruitments
  • Internal Applicants (current Extension staff)


Determine Justification

Justifications must detail that a consistent and verifiable recruitment problem exists, or is likely to occur, and that a hiring bonus is a reasonable solution. The following guidelines, in the form of questions, are intended to assist in identifying the existence of a serious recruiting problem and for developing a valid justification. Justifications should include examples, data, evidence, etc., relevant to these indicators.

  • Is there a history of recent (i.e. six months) problems attracting applicants?
  • Are continuous recruitments necessary due to lack of applicants?
  • Has attracting minimally qualified candidates proven difficult, demonstrated with applicant pools insufficient for the number of vacancies or a high rate of failed probations due to performance?
  • Are you recruiting at an entry level and still experiencing failure?
  • Have extraordinary efforts been made to recruit applicants yet challenges still exist?
  • Is there a high vacancy rate due to an inability to fill vacancies?
  • Is there known competition in the market where a bonus program may provide an advantage or offset competitor hiring incentives?
  • Have academic, industry, economic, or other credible experts reported a serious shortage of qualified candidates?

Determine Amount

Hiring bonuses are funded centrally through the Dean's office.

  • The amount of the hiring bonus can include an amount up to $5,000 (documented in Request to Fill (RTF)).
  • Requests to exceed the $5,000 maximum must be submitted to the Dean's Office.
  • If you need assistance determining an amount please consult hr@extension.wisc.edu.

Determine Approvals

  1. Extension HR
    1. Jamie O’Donnell - Primary
    2. Michele Curran- Alternate
  2. Office of Financial Services  - Nichole Wetter
  3. DLT Rep
  4. Dean & Director

Request Hiring Bonus


  1. Navigate to the Hiring Bonus Request Workflow.
  2. Create a new hiring bonus approval request
  3. Fill out all required fields
  4. Submit for approval
  5. Include the approved amount in the RTF you submit to Extension HR.

Note that any requests after posting (e.i. during negotiations) will require additional review and approval by the campus Office of Human Resources

What to Expect

Human Resources

  • Extension HR reviews the hiring bonus on the RTF and verifies that it has been approved and that the amount is 15% or less of the proposed starting salary and that the proposed starting salary is within salary guidelines.
  • ASU HR will include the hiring bonus in the Position Vacancy Listing (PVL) based on the RTF. 
  • ASU HR will include the hiring bonus information in the appointment letter.
  • ASU Payroll and Benefits will process the lump sum payment on the new employees first paycheck


  • The employee will receive the full hiring bonus on their first paycheck in the newly appointed role.
  • The bonus will have taxes taken out.
  • If the employee leaves the position within 12 months of hire, or prior to the proposed end date if the position is less than 12 months in duration, the employee will be required to repay a prorated amount of the hiring bonus amount.

Get Help

Questions? Contact hr@extension.wisc.edu.

Keywordslump sum pre-posting RTF   Doc ID114075
OwnerNathaniel S.GroupExtension Handbook
Created2021-10-04 11:06:44Updated2024-02-19 13:04:45
SitesExtension Handbook
Feedback  0   0