Vaccine Requirements – The New Standard

Whether we like it or not vaccine requirements are becoming the new standard for organizations, adding a level of complexity to an already difficult hiring market. So what’s going on and how does it affect companies and hiring?

  • What’s Happening 

As if COVID hasn’t given us enough problems, now the new COVID rules at the federal level are making it harder on employers and hiring in general. The government is now placing vaccine requirements for companies with more than 100 employees, most government agencies, and healthcare workers. This also means that unvaccinated employees that are in the office will have to produce a negative COVID test. According to Indeed, As of August, the share of job postings per million that require vaccinations was up by 119% compared to a month earlier.

  • Why Are These Requirements Making Things Difficult? 

The vaccination requirements are causing more individuals to look for remote-only roles or join smaller companies that don’t have to follow the restrictions and puts companies that want their people in the office at a bigger disadvantage. Some companies are now only considering vaccinated individuals for new hires – especially in the medical field.  You should expect to be asked about your vaccination status as part of an interview process. 

  • Things to Think About 

Employers need to be aware of start dates to allow for people to get fully immunized now that this is the new standard, and communicate openly with their employees about vaccination expectations. This mandate could make some employees feel more comfortable interacting with others in person, conversely smaller companies are finding that being exempt from it has hiring advantages. There are also workarounds for certain medical reasons or religious beliefs, and organizations need to be aware of this and respond appropriately. 

  • What Should Employers Do Now? 

A CED survey found that 56% of business leaders will find it difficult to implement the vaccine-or-test requirements. While waiting on more rules and regulations from the Department of Labor, organizations should draft a vaccination/testing policy, and make sure these policies include religious or disability accommodations. With each new variant of the virus, organizations should also be prepared for changes in regulations or new requirements if a new strain of COVID-19 is found and make sure to update employees and candidates regularly on what is going on.       

  • Final Thoughts

While this could create legal challenges in the future, the vaccine mandate looks like it will be in place for a while, complicating an already difficult hiring market. You can read up on the global talent shortage in our “Talent Shortage” blog or about hiring tips in our Hiring Strategies blog.