Companies have turned to recruiting unvaccinated workers in the latest effort to combat the nationwide labor shortage that’s holding back companies from bouncing back from the depths of the pandemic.
JP Valadez, a worker at NextGen Code Company in Lubbock, Texas, launched NoVaxMandate.org, an online job board, to help connect the unvaccinated workforce to employers in need of more help, CNN Business reported.
Since the site’s August launch, it’s drawn more than 2.25 million unique visitors and over 20,000 resumes have been posted, Valadez told CNN. The site recently had roughly 500 active listings, the report said.
“We are also seeing a massive migration from corporations to smaller businesses,” Valadez said in an email to CNN Business.
“Many in the health industry are completely abandoning their career path in favor of something completely different. We are seeing nurses and doctors apply at travel agencies, for example, and just the other day we saw a resume from a NASA data analyst who was willing to work as a plumber or an electrician as long as the employer respected their values and their bodily autonomy.”
Searches for “no vaccine” on Indeed, a major job board, began to tick up around August, after the Food and Drug Administration fully approved the first COVID-19 vaccine, AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told CNN.
However, job postings on the site that don’t require vaccination are an “incredibly small” percentage of site’s total US job listings, she added.
As of Nov. 5, fewer than 0.01 percent of job postings included the phrase “no vaccine required” or similar language, CNN reported, citing the most recent data from Indeed. The report added that more than 2.5 percent of US job postings on Indeed required vaccination at the same time.
“My suspicion is that these employers are probably facing hiring challenges, and they’re throwing everything at the wall to try to get the workers they need,” Konkel said of companies not requiring vaccinations among applicants.
“That’s a very short-term bet with long-term consequences.”
Primal Life Organics, an Akron, Ohio-based maker of natural skincare and dental products, saw a spike in applications after the company added the phrase “*NO VACCINE REQUIRED*” to its job listings, CEO Trina Felber told CNN.
Applicants didn’t seem deterred from the fact that the listings included a caveat that said any policy on vaccination status could be changed at any time.
“It was at that point that we were then able to start hiring people,” Felber told the outlet, noting that she hired six new employees after advertising the lack of a company vaccine mandate.
Felber added that she believes “that the right to choose and the freedom of choice is a basic need that every human has.”
When Pflugerville, Texas-based Spanish Oak Assisted Living added the phrase “NO VACCINE REQUIRED” in the title of a job posting for a certified nursing assistant, they similarly saw an uptick in applications, owner Philip Dulock told CNN.
He added that they allowed for unvaccinated workers to try to compete with bigger health care organizations in the region that would only hire vaccinated people.
Because most staff and residents are vaccinated, he said he’s not concerned about a small minority of unvaccinated workers, according to CNN.
Opening up to unvaccinated applicants is just the latest effort by companies to try to staff up to meet the recent surge in consumer demand. Employers have hiked wages, offered new benefits and made other efforts to renegotiate with employees.
And while the Biden administration is urging employers to mandate the vaccine, the federal rules that would require as much of any employer with 100 or more employees are being held up in court.