A group of chief human resources officers led by Accenture launched a new platform to connect companies laying off employees due to the coronavirus with companies looking to fill positions.

Julie Sweet, the chief executive officer at Accenture, announced this People + Work Connect collaboration on Tuesday along with Lincoln Financial Group, Verizon, and ServiceNow. Accenture’s technology group built the platform, and the chief human resources officers (CHROs) are donating their time to the effort.

Sweet said the idea hatched at a CHRO conference about two weeks ago.

“This analytics-driven platform matches companies on both sides of the equation and allows companies to share the experience and skills of laid off workers with other companies looking for workers,” she said.

The B2B platform aggregates non-confidential workforce information by location and experience. It will give organizations that have open positions a view into the people available to fill those jobs. This should allow companies that have recently laid off employees to help their people find new roles.

Sweet said economists expect the equivalent of 200 million full-time workers to lose their jobs over the next three months alone.

IHS Markit forecast that growth will drop 27% between April and June. Moody’s predicts that the US unemployment rate will surge to between 8.8% and 16.2% in the second quarter, and end the year at about 6.5%. On Monday, Walt Disney Co. announced it was furloughing 43,000 workers at Walt Disney World following the park’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tesla also announced furloughs recently.

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There is no cost for employers to submit information or to search for potential employees. Data displayed in an initial search result is non-confidential and includes information such as geographic area, job experience, job title, and organization.

Christy Pambianchi, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Verizon,
said she and her fellow CHROs saw the unemployment caused by the coronavirus as a huge call to action to collaborate and find a solution.

“We want to remove the friction points in finding a new job,” she said, adding that she expects this type of collaboration to be a lasting model for the future.

Lisa Buckingham, executive vice president and chief people, place and brand officer at the Lincoln Financial Group, said that the platform is not a job board for individuals, but a service for hiring managers and recruiters to use.

“The platform will list domestic and global jobs for companies with 100+ jobs to fill or 100+ impacted employees,” she said. She said the group plans to add public sector jobs in the next phase of the platform.

Ellyn Shook, chief leadership and human resources officer, Accenture, said that there are 250 companies interested in using the platform, some of which are in the process of loading information about laid off employees.

The global effort launched with ADM, Baxter, Blue Apron, Cargill, Marriott, Mondelēz, Nordstrom, Walmart, and Zenefits, among others. Lincoln Financial Group and ServiceNow are also participating.

The initiative is also supported by leading organizations, including Business Roundtable, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies in the ILR School at Cornell University, Center for Executive Succession at the Darla Moore School of Business, Gallup and the CHRO Roundtable, Institute for Corporate Productivity, National Academy of Human Resources, Society for Human Resource Management, and World50.

Accenture, Lincoln Financial Group, Verizon, and ServiceNow built the People + Work Connect platform to connect hiring managers at companies that are laying off workers with companies looking to hire workers.
Image: Accenture