In the last few weeks, several companies across sectors - hospitality, consumer internet, aviation - have announced that they are laying off staff or putting people on furlough. Unemployment too is at an all time high. According to data from CMIE the rate of unemployment in India is 23.8 per cent by the last week of March, with urban unemployment at a distressing 30.9 per cent.
To dip into this talent pool, firms have come together to form an employer-to-employer partnership called People + Work Connect that is connecting the firms laying off to organisations that are hiring.
The concept was conceptualised by Accenture, Lincoln Financial Group, ServiceNow and Verizon and many firms have joined the initiative since then.
To date, participating companies include Cargill, Frito-Lay, Marriott, Mondelez International, ServiceNow, Walmart, Zenefits, amongst others.
The platform will be free for companies to join and it will soon extend partnership to public sector firms.
Companies that are forced to lay off employees would share the details and expertise of their laid-off or furloughed workforces to connect at no cost with other companies on the platform that are seeking talent. The global platform will be able to deploy people across sectors and industries in areas of opportunity.
"By providing real-time visibility into which companies need people and where, People + Work Connect is designed to lessen the economic and societal impacts of the virus and help us work together to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people," said Ellyn Shook, Accenture's chief leadership and human resources officer.
"A small group of CHROs came together because we share a passion for making sure that we - and the companies we represent - are remembered for addressing this tough moment with compassion and a sense of responsibility that transcends the business we do every day," said Lisa M Buckingham, executive vice president and chief people, place and brand officer for Lincoln Financial Group during the launch.
Pat Wadors, chief talent officer at ServiceNow, said, "This crisis has created massive job loss and people need help finding work. By connecting companies that are hiring with a talented and available workforce, technology is truly acting in service of people."
"While the current pandemic has been the impetus for People + Work Connect, we expect this type of collaboration to become the norm going forward," said Christy Pambianchi, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, Verizon. "Now is the time to build a more resilient workforce - for today and tomorrow."