Debates about the coronavirus vaccines and workplace mandates have everyone up in arms. As employers try to fill vacancies to enhance productivity and boost their bottom line, they run into serious challenges. Should you aim for herd immunity and mandate that employees and new hires get the COVID-19 vaccine? More importantly, how do you prevent these changes from discouraging ideal candidates from applying?
Encourage Vs. Require
Unless you own a business in the healthcare, warehouse, or retail industry, your best bet is to encourage instead of requiring employees to get the vaccine. Mandates can feel controlling and cause hesitant applicants to look elsewhere for employment. On the other hand, encouraging your employees through informative materials, seminars, training, communication, incentives, and reasonable accommodations lets applicants know they have a choice.
Work With An Expert
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the COVID-19 vaccines. This type of content often fuels personal fears, prompting employees to remain hesitant about getting vaccinated. Trying to argue these claims on your own isn’t very assuring. If you’re going to make potential employees feel comfortable, the most efficient solution is to work with a few experts.
An attorney, healthcare professional, and human resources expert are better positioned to provide fact-based information. Consult with them to find out how to draft and implement your policy in a way that protects your business and your staff. Make a note of the experts or reputable resources you used to develop your policies to put applicants’ minds at ease.
Make It Plain
Life amid the pandemic is already unpredictable, so don’t make matters worse. If you want to ease the concerns of job seekers, you should state your company policies and requirements plain and clear. When creating posts for job boards, list the need for a job background check and policies or incentives for the COVID-19 vaccine. While this tactic might drive some applicants elsewhere, at the very least, it shows that your company is honest, transparent, and upfront. If they chose to continue with the application process, informing them upfront also allows them to prepare.
Offer Reasonable Accommodations
If an applicant expresses that they have reservations about the COVID-19 vaccine or objects due to religion or disabilities, be prepared to offer reasonable accommodations. You can allow them to work remotely, reduced hours in-house, or a hybrid version of the two options. If you have departments that don’t require a vaccine, you can recommend compatible positions. If they’re financially strapped, you can offer incentives like cash bonuses, transportation discounts, or paid time off to anyone that wants to get the vaccine.
Offering reasonable accommodations when applicants inquire boosts their confidence and lets down their guard. Potential employees will know that you’re interested in what they have to offer and that you’re willing to go the extra mile to accommodate their needs. This could encourage them to accept a job offer.
Highlight Other Health And Safety Measures
If you’re still on the fence about the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, or you’ve decided against it, you can still make job seekers feel comfortable working with your organization. On your company website or in the job description, ensure that you highlight other health and safety measures you’ve implemented. If they know that you require wellness checks, face masks, gloves, social distancing, frequent handwashing, and additional cleaning services, they’ll be less fearful about being in the workplace.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses in various industries. Business owners had to do what they could to survive while keeping their employees, customers, and the general public safe. Now that the coronavirus vaccines are on the scene, they have helped some sense of normalcy and control. As you begin putting up ads for available positions, remember to prioritize job seekers’ health, safety, and comfort. By applying the strategies above, you can put their minds at ease and increase your chances of attracting top talent despite the madness.