Sign-On Bonus Guidelines

A sign-on bonus may be considered for new employees with unique, critical skills or for critical occupations where there is a documented shortage in the labor market and recruitment or retention difficulty exists.

Eligibility: Sign-on bonuses are generally considered for the highest level staff positions and MSP positions and are only considered in rare circumstances.

Amount: The non-base building bonus can be any amount up to no more than 20% of the annual salary for the position.

Department's Responsibilities:

  • The hiring manager may request a sign-on bonus by sending an e-mail to the Associate Vice Chancellor - Human Resources prior to the position being posted.
  • The request must include the recommended amount and appropriate supporting justification.

Associate Vice Chancellor - Human Resources Responsibility:

  • The Associate Vice Chancellor - Human Resources will determine whether to grant a sign-on bonus after reviewing all supporting documentation and will notify the hiring manager of approval/denial via e-mail.

 Department's Responsibilities:

  • Prepare a sign-on bonus agreement for the hiring manager and the employee to sign. The agreement must clearly describe the nature of the payment, the amount of the payment(s) and the dates of payout. It is recommended that department's consider paying at the end of the first pay period.
  • The sign-on bonus will generally be made in two payments. The first payment will be made when the employee reports to work. The subsequent payment will be made at the discretion of the hiring manager, as long as the employee is performing satisfactorily or above at the time of payout.
  • The Description of Service Code (DOS) for the sign-on bonus is "HBO" and shall be paid as a one-time payment.
  • The employee must still be employed in the same position and must be performing satisfactorily or above, or the subsequent payment will be forfeited.


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