HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Teachers in Henrico County are up for a hefty bonus this year as the school division, like many across the country, works to hire new teachers amid a nationwide shortage.

The school will pay all full-time employees who return for the 2022-23 school year a one-time bonus of $500 next fall, in a move seemingly designed to improve teacher retention.

Additionally, the school will try to boost recruitment by paying a $500 bonus to any employee who refers someone to the school division who is eventually hired for a full-time position.

“Our staff members are the heart of Henrico, and these measures express that,” said Amy Cashwell, HCPS superintendent. “We’ll continue to work for opportunities to boost staff pay, benefits and well-being wherever possible.”

The county adopted a budget in March that provided for a 5%, across-the-board pay increase for teachers, totaling about $24 million in additional spending.

Full-time employees interested in making a referral for “a full-time teacher, exceptional education instructional assistant, nurse, psychologist, social worker, bus driver, custodian or school nutrition services staff member” can fill out a referral form.

Qualifying candidates must be “new to HCPS for the 2022-23 school year,” and the deadline is Aug. 15.