News & Announcements

December 1, 2021
City Proposes Employee Hiring and Retention Bonuses

City Proposes Retention Bonuses of $2,000 for Each Employee and Hiring Incentives of $1,000

Part of Aggressive Plan to Build Workforce Capacity In Tight Labor Market

Faced with a roughly 20 percent vacancy rate and a competitive labor market that presents challenges both nationally and locally in recruiting, hiring, and retaining workers, City Manager LaPan Hill directed the Finance and Human Resources Departments to craft several aggressive, immediate actions to increase workforce capacity.

Most prominent among the tactics is to grant current employees a $2,000 retention incentive. New employees would receive a $1,000 hiring bonus. Interested parties are urged to consult the City’s employment page: How to Apply For Jobs | City of Santa Fe, New Mexico (

The Human Resources Department will hold a rapid-hiring event on December 11 to assist in completing job applications, provide career counseling, and host on-the-spot job interviews. The City will even issue offer letters during this exciting event, and the new hires would be eligible for the proposed bonus! (Stand by for details of the event.)  

If the Governing Body approves the measures, some 1,200 employees would receive the $2,000 retention incentive in two separate $1,000 distributions. The incentives do not apply to temporary employees or elected officials.

The plans were introduced at the Finance Committee meeting on Monday, November 29, and will be presented to the Quality of Life Committee tonight. The Governing Body will consider the proposals for approval on next Wednesday, December 8. Find details of the meetings here:

The City is also proposing several other budget adjustment requests designed to strengthen the workforce and enhance delivery of services.

Mayor Alan Webber says: “The workforce is our greatest asset so we need to keep and cultivate the talent we have in place. These proposed expenditures reflect City government’s commitment to being the most desirable employer in the region and the mandate to deliver prompt, professional services to the residents of Santa Fe. The City’s strong financial position in the current fiscal year presents an exciting opportunity to improve the City’s infrastructure and operations – and that means we have an urgent need to grow staff capacity to get the work done.”

The incentives would be paid for by new money: The $2.4 million for retention incentives comes from a settlement the City received from the Taxation and Revenue Department in October. The $300,000 for hiring incentives will be funded from Gross Receipts Tax revenues earned in the first quarter of FY22, above originally budgeted revenue estimates.

Other Budget Adjustments Under Consideration: Proposed FY22 Midyear Budget Adjustments totaling $2 million in recurring expenditures include further investments in core city operations, including funding for:

  • Salary increases for construction inspectors, transit drivers, and street maintenance workers;
  • Creation of 7.5 new positions in key operational areas from Community Services, Land Use, HR, and the City Attorney’s Office;
  • Funding 15 vacant, unfunded positions in various departments; and
  • Additional operational funds for the Municipal Recreation Complex and Parks.


Other Workforce Development Initiatives:

  • City employees recently received raises of up to 4 percent in the new budget.
  • The minimum hourly wage for City employees has been raised to $15.
  • The City’s robust benefits package was enhanced this year at no cost to employees.

The City proposes to create the new position of Recruitment Specialist to have more immediate and ongoing communication with applicants and to assist departments in the hiring process

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