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With more and more employers mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees, it’s not surprising that employment ads are starting to tell potential applicants that they need “the shot” to have a shot at a job.
Still, it’s the nascent days of any kind of hiring trend.
A recent survey by the job site Ladders shows less than 2,500 of the 3.8 million “high-paying” career job postings in the United States and Canada during the past two years mention vaccine mandates. That’s less than .06% of the postings.
Still, that’s a 5,000% increase in job postings since before the pandemic. In November 2020, only 54 of the high-paying postings tracked by Ladders mentioned vaccination requirements.
“The fact that any job postings mention a vaccine mandate is astounding,” said Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella in a press release. “It’s the beginning of a massive trend. I expect this exponential growth will continue throughout the fall and winter.”
Enough of the math. What legal and practical factors should HR professionals weigh before posting vaccination requirements in employment advertising?
Follow the same protocol you use when requiring medical testing, such as drug screening — make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory after a conditional job offer, says Barry Hartstein, shareholder and co-chair of the EEO and Diversity Practice Group for Littler Mendelson P.C.
“It’s not unlawful to give people a heads-up,” the Chicago-based Hartstein said. “But like any testing, you can’t make an applicant do it until there is a conditional offer. Be consistent with applicable law.”
Hartstein said he’s seeing much more interest in employee vaccinations, describing the job posting mandates as a “growing, but still small trend.”
Jim Fickess is editor of WorldatWork’s Journal of Total Rewards.