If you believe that the horrendous unemployment figures from the U.S. because of COVID-19, you will think we are heading for much leaner times. The shifts in labor is often equated to those witnessed in World War II.
But it is not the entire truth.
In fact, unemployment and employment needs are unequal across industries — just like it was during the last world war. While travel and hospitality companies have been laying off en masse, medical players, big online retailers and delivery companies cannot get enough hires in.
Eightfold.ai saw it as a question of employee distribution and pondered whether you can simplify the way employers can redeploy their workers into roles at other companies.
Enter Talent Exchange.
Pooling the resources of the U.S.-based The Food Industry Association (FMI), it was launched on April 6, 2020.
According to the announcement, the platform is a bridge between companies that need to hire and their counterparts with employees who have been furloughed or laid off. It allows business leaders to collaborate across industry sectors to fulfill “the tremendous swings in labor needs.”
"If you're hiring, it's an incredible way to help the community. And if your company is going through tough times, you can place your workers into roles at other companies that need their help. Doing so will fill critical shortages and create goodwill with your workers, in hopes that they will rejoin you when business conditions improve," says Ashutosh Garg, chief executive officer at Eightfold.ai.
The idea is not new. For example, the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) is enlisting cabin crew from Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet to assist their stretched workforce. In Australia, Qantas is looking to redeploy staff at Woolworths. Employees at Malaysia’s Hwajing Travel and Tours are taking fresh vegetable orders.
Governments are shoring their support for redeployment. Josephine Teo, Singapore’s incoming Manpower Minister, said that they will focus on retraining and redeploying workers at risk of displacement.
In a blog, Randstad RiseSmart argues that outplacement and redeployment services can maintain a positive brand reputation, improve retention and rehiring, reduce litigation, generate optimism within the corporate culture, and keep unemployment costs low.
Where Talent Exchange differs lies in its use of AI algorithms to navigate through the complexity that comes with redeployment. It will help to match candidates with roles, based on skills and current experience.
The platform is geared for employees, employers and hiring companies. It automates and even personalizes the engagement for hiring companies. Employers can look at their entire impacted workforce in a single dashboard, and filter for talent needs. Employees can create and update their profiles and answer queries.
As demand and supply of talent shifts, CHROs can use such AI-based redeployment platforms to offset the reputation and economic risks, while giving other industry players a much needed helping hand. Their employees will probably thank them for it.
Photo credit: iStockphoto/tomertu