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Health Care > Industries > Supply & Demand > Talent Acquisition > Workforce Data

Can’t Make a Hire? You May Need to Reconsider Your Compensation

Are Candidates Unhappy with Your Salary Offerings?

Here’s a real-life scenario: You have just built a larger facility for your hospital and would like to expand the oncology department. 

You are in the market to hire registered nurses in oncology. Unfortunately, you find that only a few applications come your way. Moreover, even when faced with a few applicants, you have trouble converting those interviews into hires.

Have you considered whether your compensation is competitive enough?

You can run a search in CareerBuilder’s Supply & Demand Portal and learn that the hiring indicator for oncology nurses is a 43 out of 100. Therefore, registered nurses in oncology are fairly hard to recruit.

Suppose you are offering $60,000 annual total compensation. Using CareerBuilder’s Compensation Portal, you can uncover the national salary distribution for oncology registered nurses and see where on the spectrum you fall. By offering just $60,000, you are at the 25th percentile, meaning that 25 percent of employers pay less than you, and 75 percent of employers pay more than you. This could explain why you are finding it hard to attract applicants.

A little goes a long way

If you can afford it, you should increase the offered compensation to at least the 50th percentile at $70,000, or the average pay, which is $77,524.

Indeed, as my study with my colleague Ronald Wolthoff shows, a 10 percent increase in compensation leads to a 7 percent increase in the number of applicants. If you cannot afford to increase compensation, it may be wise to brainstorm about other ways to attract (and retain) desirable candidates.

Ioana Marinescu

About Ioana Marinescu

Ioana Marinescu is an assistant professor in economics at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on understanding labor markets. She has been collaborating on data and research projects with CareerBuilder and she is especially interested in how to get the right people to work in the right jobs. You can follow her on twitter @mioana and check out her research on her website,

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  2. [...] in applicants, University of Chicago economist Ioana Marinescu suggests that employers need to reconsider their compensation offering and make an effort to understand what constitutes a truly competitive [...]

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