Recruitment Incentive (formerly referred to as “Recruitment Bonus”) provides newly appointed employees with a lump sum payment up to a maximum of 25% of basic salary (including locality pay) and may be paid annually for up to four years.
Relocation Incentive covers current Federal employees who accept a position requiring relocation; provides for positions that would be difficult to fill. A one-time lump sum payment is given up to a maximum of 25% of basic annual salary (including locality pay).
Retention Incentive can be given to current Federal employees who are essential to retain, who perform work that satisfies an essential and critical need, or who have unusually high or unique qualifications and who would likely leave Federal service. It provides for positions that would be difficult to fill in the absence of such an incentive and is a one-time lump sum payment up to a maximum of 25% of basic annual salary (including locality pay).
Flexible Work Schedules can be offered that include job sharing, part time employment and flexible hours to attract employees who have other personal and professional commitments. Due to the bureaucratic management complexities of job sharing and flexible hours, many regulatory agencies are reluctant to offer this, especially to field frontline veterinarians. However, there are examples where if there is the will, a way has been found. As a result, more veterinarians with children, eldercare, and other responsibilities are more willing to work in government when such flexibilities are routinely offered.
Travel and Transportation Expenses to First Duty Station can be paid to cover actual costs incurred as a result of travel and transportation of household goods to the first post of duty. As of 2009, USDA FSIS has blanket authority to offer this incentive to all VMO 701 Series nationwide.
Payment of Travel for Pre-Employment Interview can be used when a hiring manager needs to conduct a face-to-face interview for a critical position. It often is not used due to a lack of adequate budget allocations.
Student Loan Repayment covers new Federal employees and former employees with at least a 90 day break in service. This may be used as retention flexibility for employees who, if they left, would affect the agency’s ability to carry out an activity or perform a function deemed essential to the Agency’s mission. It also may be used as a recruitment flexibility based upon shortages and difficulty in recruiting individuals with high or unique qualifications, or a special need of the agency.
Superior Qualifications Appointment may be used when an applicant possesses outstanding/high qualifications and for which the agency has a special need, such as an MPH or Board Certification in a relevant mission-specific specialty. This powerful tool enables the agency to set the rate of basic pay above the minimum level of the applicable civil service grade.
Highest Previous Rate may be used to set pay at a rate equivalent to the highest rate previously received when employed.
Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual covers new Federal employees and former employees with at least a 90 day break in service and may be used, for example, when the employee’s background is unique or demonstrates that the employee will contribute significantly to the mission and is highly qualified for the position. It provides for accruing more annual leave per pay period.
Referral Bonus Award can be paid to employees who successfully recruit new talent needed by the agency.
Dual Compensation Waiver for Reemployed Annuitants covers retirees wishing to be reemployed and provides a reemployed annuitant to receive both full salary and an annuity when reemployed with a Federal agency. A justification must be made explaining the uniqueness of the situation.
Physicians Comparability Allowance is provided specifically to physicians because the government has determined that they are a shortage profession and there is a significant pay gap between private and public pay scales. Currently the American Veterinary Medical Association has a policy stating that the government should provide veterinary medical officers GS-701 Veterinary Medical Officer the same comparability allowance as physicians as well as the same pay to a veterinarian performing the same job as a physician (Refer to DCVMA HOD Resolution). Currently, physicians receive more pay than veterinarians performing the same job if the physician is employed as a new and current Federal employee in the GS-602 Medical Officer series and who perform work associated with planning, formulating, and establishing public health programs aimed at controlling the incidence of foodborne disease. Both veterinarians and physicians are in government jobs that perform work that has materially and measurably improved the health outcomes of the target population; that has substantially improved policy development or made a significant scientific or regulatory advancement; have achieved substantial, documented efficiencies in the design or implementation of projects to maximize health care quality and better serve beneficiary needs; and have demonstrated exemplary performance in improving health outcomes of the agency’s target population as evidenced by two
or more “Outstanding” performance ratings. However, only physicians receive the additional pay benefits.
The physicians who agree to one or two years of service with these terms of employment can receive:
• Payments of up to $14,000 per annum paid in bi-weekly installments with less than 24 months of creditable Federal service.
• Payments of up to $30,000 per annum paid in bi-weekly installments with 24 months or more of creditable Federal service.
SOURCE: Recruitment and Retention Flexibilities and Authorities (USDA, FSIS, Office of Management, August 2008)