Employee Referral Program

Employee Referral banner

The Employee Referral Program (ERP) provides discretionary cash awards of $1,000 to support organizational needs in the recruitment of top talent for difficult-to-fill and other designated positions within the University.

Here's how it works...

Employee Eligibility for Cash Awards

Full or part-time non-represented and represented career Professional Support Staff (PSS) employees and Managers and Senior Professionals (MSP) Career Tracks Manager 3 and below and equivalent positions are eligible for ERP cash awards if, at the time of the award, they:

  • Are an employee at UC Berkeley.

  • Are on active pay status or on an approved unpaid leave.

The following employees are not eligible for an ERP cash award:

  • An employee in the Senior Management Group (SMG).

  • An employee in the MSP above Career Tracks Manager 3 and equivalent positions.

  • An employee who holds a supervisory position and who has hiring authority within the reporting chain of the ERP award-eligible job opening.

  • Employees responsible for or with influence over the hiring of the referred employee. This includes, recruiters, leaders with general oversight for hiring in their areas, interviewing committee members, team interviewers or others providing feedback throughout the interview process.  Examples include instances where the referring employee:

    • is involved in the interview for the referred employee

    • is involved in resume or application review for the position

    • is asked for feedback related to the hiring decision

    • is part of facilitating the interview process (e.g. coordination of dates and times, etc)

    • whose role puts them in a position to refer employees to the application process (e.g. HR Leaders who are contacts for job seekers)

    • is an Administrator in a department or unit who is responsible for the general leadership of the department where the position is open

Note:  Employees are eligible to receive ERP cash awards for the referral of relatives, including near relatives, provided that the other eligibility criteria are met. Please refer to PPSM-21 for more information concerning near relatives.

Referrals Eligible for ERP Cash Awards

ERP cash awards may not be provided for referral of current University of California employees, former University of California (UC) employees with a break in service within 12 months of the plan year, students, temporary/casual employees and employees working at UC Berkeley through an agency.

Positions eligible for Referral

Any open benefits-eligible position at UC Berkeley, using an open recruitment, designated by a Division leader, or person designated by a division leader, for referral eligibility prior to the posting of the job. Designation of positions must be done online through the completion of a google form.


ERP cash awards are funded by the hiring department.

Timing of ERP Cash Award Payments

ERP cash awards will be paid as soon as practicable in the month after the month when the referred employee completes six (6) months of employment.  

To be eligible to receive an ERP Cash Award, the person who made the referral and the referred and hired employee must both still be employed by the University, in good standing and in pay status at the time payment is to be made. ERP awards must be paid through the payroll system, are considered taxable income and are subject to withholding. For compensation purposes, cash awards are non-base building.

Limits on the Amount of ERP Cash Awards

  • Each ERP cash award shall be in the amount of $1,000.

  • Cumulative ERP cash awards paid to an employee in a plan year may not exceed $8,000.

  • ERP cash awards are strictly discretionary and may not be promised or guaranteed in advance.

Referral Process

An applicant for a referral-eligible position must indicate on the application that they have been referred by a current employee. Employees making referrals should advise each referred candidate to select “Referral from Employee” in the “Please tell us how you first heard about this position” section of their job application. There will be a field for the candidate to enter the referring employee’s name. The name of the referring employee must be present on the original application submitted.

This is what it looks like for Internal Referrals:

Internal Applicants Process image

and this is what it looks like for External Referrals:

External Applicants Process image