CVS Health raises wages, reduces education needs amid job shortages

A driver unloads goods in New Rochelle, New York, on March 16, 2020.

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As retailers compete hard for workers, CVS Health said Wednesday that it reduces education requirements for job candidates and gives employees an increase.

The pharmacy chain said it will increase pay for now just this month and finally increase its minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by July 2022. Its current starting salary is $ 11, but CVS said that about two-thirds of employees already make more than $ 15 an hour.

As part of this new salary structure, the company said that some roles – such as pharmacy technicians and call center representatives – will get an increase, even if they already have higher departure rates.

CEO Karen Lynch said the pay increase will strengthen the workforce as it transforms pharmacy locations into health care centers with a wider range of services, from diagnostic tests to urgent appointments.

“Attracting and retaining the greatest talent in our businesses is critical as we continue to redefine what it means to respond to people’s health needs,” he said in a press release.

The company on Wednesday also exceeded analyst expectations for second-quarter results and raised its outlook for the year.

Retailers and restaurants have struggled to fill jobs, even as more Americans take Covid vaccinations and special unemployment payments have ended in many states. The labor shortage has inspired new recruitment and retention strategies, from raising wages and bonuses to supporting childcare.

CVS said it recently dropped education restrictions that have prevented some people from getting a job in its stores. He has eliminated the requirement for a high school diploma or GED requirement for most entry-level roles, and this year plans to end his GPA requirement when he enrolls in college.

The healthcare company said it is also trying to expand the group of qualified candidates in other ways and train them for different roles in the company. Last week, CVS opened a new workforce innovation and talent center in Pittsburgh, where it works with faith-based organizations and communities to find workers and place them in jobs. He opened another venue in Philadelphia this week.

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