CVS Well being is elevating wages and reducing academic necessities within the face of labor shortages


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

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

As retailers compete fiercely for workers, CVS Health said Wednesday that it is cutting education requirements for job applicants and granting employees a raise.

The drugstore chain announced that it would raise the hourly wage earlier this month and eventually raise its minimum wage to $ 15 an hour from July 2022. About two-thirds of employees already earn more than $ 15 an hour.

As part of this new pay structure, the company said that some roles – such as pharmacy technicians and call center representatives – will also receive a raise, even though they already have higher entry rates.

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

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

The company also beat analysts’ expectations for second quarter earnings on Wednesday and raised its outlook for the year.

Retailers and restaurants are struggling to fill vacancies, even as more Americans are receiving Covid vaccinations and many states have discontinued special unemployment benefits. The labor shortage has led to new recruitment and retention strategies, from wage increases and bonuses to childcare support.

CVS said it recently dropped the education restrictions that were keeping some people from getting a job in its stores. It has removed the requirement for a high school diploma or GED requirement for most entry-level positions, and this year plans to end the GPA requirement for university recruitment.

The healthcare company is also trying other ways to expand the pool of qualified applicants and train them for various roles within the company. Last week, CVS opened a new employee innovation and talent center in Pittsburgh, partnering with faith and community organizations to find workforce and get them jobs. Another location was opened in Philadelphia this week.