Pharmacists are in such high demand that Walgreens is dangling lucrative signing bonuses to fill open positions.
The amount that the pharmacy chain is offering in the signing bonuses to recruit pharmacists varies, but can go as high as $75,000, a person familiar with the matter told CNN.
The lucrative bonuses come with a requirement for the new pharmacists to stick around in their positions for a period of time, typically a year or longer, the person said. News of the signing bonuses was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
It’s not clear what the average is for a pharmacy signing bonus at Walgreens, but the source said the average is certainly lower than $50,000.
In a statement, Walgreens confirmed it is leaning on bonuses in an effort to ease staffing shortages. The company is owned by Walgreen Boots Alliance (WBA)
“This is one of many steps to address pharmacy staffing in some areas, in order to best meet the needs of our customers and patients,” Walgreens said in a statement.
Walgreens said that sign-on bonuses vary and are part of a larger investment focused on recruitment and retention as well as “recognizing our current pharmacy staff for their hard work and dedication.”
The news underscores how worker shortages persist more than two years into the pandemic, especially in certain positions and in some labor markets.
The United States had 10.7 million job openings in June, according to the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS. That is the lowest since September 2021, but still well above pre-Covid levels of around 7 million.