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Want a big signing bonus? Walgreens is offering $75,000 to recruit pharmacists

Are you interested in a signing bonus the size of a salary? If you are a pharmacist, this could be your opportunity.

Walgreens
WBA,
+0.43%

is offering new pharmacist employees at some of its locations a $75,000 signing bonus just for agreeing to the job in an effort to counteract some staffing shortages.

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Pharmacist jobs paid a median salary of $128,570 in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and that number is quite similar to the average salary for a Walgreens pharmacist, according to Glassdoor data, just north of $133,000.

Walgreens is hoping the attractive sign-up bonus will entice prospective employees for these jobs, which it has had a hard time filling.

“This is one of many steps to address pharmacy staffing in some areas,” a Walgreens spokesman told the Wall Street Journal.

Walgreens typically offers signing bonus near $30,000 or $50,000, according to the Journal, and those bonuses are usually paid out after a new employee remains at the job for a certain period of time, generally a year or longer.

Companies oftentimes offer signing bonuses for positions that they are eagerly trying to fill.  During periods of labor shortage after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies, including Amazon
AMZN,
-1.44%
,
Chipotle
CMG,
-1.64%

and McDonald’s
MCD,
-0.80%
,
also offered lucrative signing bonuses to new employees.

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Walgreens did not immediately responds to a MarketWatch request for comment on this story.

The news comes as the latest jobs report indicated that the labor market is still quite strong in the U.S. despite recession and inflation fears — the U.S. added 528,000 jobs in July and unemployment fell to pre-pandemic levels.

See also: Walgreens contributed to San Francisco’s opioid crisis, judge rules

The news for Walgreens comes as the healthcare company recently decided to raise its stock dividend and abandoned a plan to sell its U.K.-based health and beauty retailer Boots and No7 Beauty Co.

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. are down 23% year to date, compared to the S&P 500
SPX,
-0.07%
,
which has slipped 12% this year.

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