City & County of Denver nearing 1,500 job vacancies; $700k+ budgeted for recruitment

City and County of Denver
Posted at 5:34 PM, Sep 20, 2021

DENVER -- The City and County of Denver has nearly 1,500 jobs to fill, and that number could rise when its vaccine mandate takes effect.

"We're trending in the wrong direction in every department in the City of Denver," Mayor Michael B. Hancock said at a budget hearing Friday.

As of Monday afternoon, there were 1,481 available positions, according to the Office of Human Resources. About a third of those positions have offers or awaiting start dates.

The situation could get worse when the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate takes effect on Sept. 30. City employees have to submit proof of vaccine or request an exemption to avoid possible termination.

The mandate also requires private-sector workers in high-risk settings like schools, hospitals and shelters to do the same.

As of Friday, at least 87% of the city's full-time employees have either provided proof of vaccination or requested an exemption.

Mayor Hancock is trying to give those employees who meet the Sept. 30 deadline a $400 bonus to boost morale, but a Department of Finance spokesperson says they're still working out the details.

"We acknowledge and recognize that they did something upon request for all of us," Hancock said. "After they've done their thing, to say thank you, I let them know that their city is grateful for their efforts."

In the 2022 proposed budget, the city wants to spend nearly $740,000 to help recruit new talent. That includes money for seven new recruiter positions and a little more than $100,000 on advertising.

"Everybody is competing with city government now, state government, and we have to be prepared to compete for these employees," Hancock said. "We're in a competitive environment."

Below is a list provided by the Office of Human Resources of the agencies leading with the most active recruitments.

AgencyActive Recruitments
Parks & Recreation248
Denver Police Dept.216
Denver International Airport198
Transportation & Infrastructure132
Human Services110

The city is also offering hiring bonuses for some hard-to-fill positions, like fleet mechanics and 911 operators.

In the coming weeks, the Office of Human Resources plans to launch a recruitment campaign to promote its open positions.