Up to $120,000 is in the program’s budget, according to county commission. The program will run for a year or until funds are depleted.
Beginning this month, newly-hired permanent full-time employees may be eligible for a sign-on bonus of no more than $3,000, according to the county commission. Permanent part-time employees may be eligible for a sign-on bonus of up to $1,500, too.
The referral and sign-on bonus program is part of the county’s effort to hire and retain employees. Clark County is thought to be the first Ohio county to implement this kind of program, county administrator Jennifer Hutchinson said.
The first half of the bonus for newly-hired employees will come after 30 days of employment, while the second half will come after the completion of a “probationary period.” New workers must remain employed through the date of the bonus payment, according to the county commission.
Those who aren’t referred to a job but are hired are also eligible for a sign-on bonus.
Current county government employees may now be eligible for referral bonuses, worth $3,000 for each referral that completes a probationary period. Eligible employees can be awarded up to two bonuses.
Employees can only refer people with whom there are not “ethical concerns,” nepotism, conflict of interest and more. Elected officials, seasonal or intermittent workers are not eligible for the referral program. Directors and other supervisors who participate in the screening and interview process of the job in question are also not eligible.
County offices that have their own boards, such as the Clark County Combined Health District and the Clark County Park District, are also not eligible for the program. More details about eligibility for the program can be gathered through the county’s human resources department.
Clark County commissioner Melanie Flax Wilt said the county is providing the right “tools” for people to access government work opportunities, and the referral and sign-on bonus is another tool to add “value” to county employment.
As of Wednesday, county departments had 20 open positions, with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services having multiple openings.
The Clark County Commission in July approved $2.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to award employees an additional retention incentive at 2.5% of their earnings, bringing the total percentage for retention bonuses up to 5% for eligible employees. The incentive is calculated by gross annual income not including other bonuses, mileage, overtime and other payment beyond the hourly or base pay, according to commission.
By the Numbers:
20: The number of vacant positions in Clark County government
120,000: The maximum budget for the referral and sign-on bonus program
3,000: The maximum bonus for permanent full-time employees who are newly-hired or who refer someone to a job