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Frequently Asked Questions Pay & Leave

What is required in determining whether a position would be difficult to fill in the absence of a recruitment or relocation incentive?

Before the employee enters on duty in the position for which recruited, or in the position in the new geographic area, the agency must determine that, in the absence of a recruitment or relocation incentive (as applicable), the agency would encounter difficulty in filling the position. An agency may determine that a position is likely to be difficult to fill if the agency is likely to have difficulty recruiting candidates with the competencies required for the position in the absence of a recruitment or relocation incentive based on the fact that OPM has approved the use of a direct-hire authority applicable to the position or on a consideration of the following factors:

  • The availability and quality of candidates possessing the competencies required for the position, including the success of recent efforts to recruit candidates for similar positions using indicators such as offer acceptance rates, the proportion of positions filled, and the length of time required to fill similar positions;
  • The salaries typically paid outside the Federal Government for similar positions;
  • Recent turnover in similar positions;
  • Employment trends and labor-market factors that may affect the agency's ability to recruit candidates for similar positions;
  • Special or unique competencies required for the position;
  • Agency efforts to use non-pay authorities, such as special training and work scheduling flexibilities, to resolve difficulties, alone or in combination with a recruitment or relocation incentive;
  • The desirability of the duties, work or organizational environment, or geographic location of the position; and
  • Other supporting factors.

(See 5 CFR 575.106 and 575.206.)

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