COVID-19 sits like a weight on existence, drawing everything to it, and warping many long-accepted assumptions along the way. A concept which just 6 months ago was viewed as an idealist one - at best - has now begun to enter the mainstream. SImilarly to concepts like a universal wage, easier access to healthcare (including telemedicine, lowered copays), and more, society is considering many options.
The idea at hand is, essentially, hiring and talent sharing across organizations. One of the major impacts of the pandemic has been the see-sawing of hiring vs lay-offs. Consider CVS Health and Marriott International, Inc as examples. At one end of the seesaw, you have CVS, which in a press release in late March announced it was beginning a massive push to hire an additional 50k people as a key part of our healthcare system, and providing bonuses to current employees. On the other end, you have the hotel industry, which is suffering sever losses. Marriott is being forced to furlough much of its staff (according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, that number is in the “tens of thousands”), owing to the ongoing crash in travel.
To address this imbalance, CVS Health is working collaboratively with many of the major hotel chains to essentially “borrow" furloughed staff for temporary roles within CVS Health. In its statement, CVS Health said the new jobs included retail sales associates, distribution center professionals, pharmacy technicians, customer service representatives, and others. It said it would hire workers who had been furloughed by companies like Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Marriott International, both of which have furloughed tens of thousands of employees. They have gone on to roll out a portal called Accelerated Hiring Partnerships where employees of partnership companies, from Uber to Sodexo, Marriot to Panera, can connect to find work at CVS Pharmacy, distribution, and call centers locations. According to Kerry Noone, Director of Recruitment Marketing for CVS Health:
"One thing we are doing is working with partnership organizations to help their employees who have been furloughed find work, and when these organizations get back to normal business, we’ll help transition their employees back if they chose to go back. We’re creating partnership talent communities to track and report on the visits, contacts, hires, etc. calling them, “Hilton Talent Community” as an example. We’re also using Altru videos, so a recognized leader at the partner organization can leave their employees a message about the transition if they’d like."
For an example of how CVS Health is using Altru with a partner, click here.
CVS's job application numbers have reportedly jumped by 500 percent per day.
Keeping with this theme, in a joint press statement, Accenture, Verizon, Lincoln Financial Group, and ServiceNow announced the role-out of People + Work Connect. The platform is built as a b2b play, whose goal is to connect companies who are laying off and/ or furloughing talent, with companies who are hiring at scale.
Designed by the CHROs from Accenture, Lincoln Financial Group, ServiceNow and VerizonEllyn Shook, Accenture’s chief leadership and human resources officer, said in the statement: “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.”
What becomes interesting is where this takes the industry. 6 months ago, predicting that Fortune companies would soon willingly collaborate to share talent and hiring efforts would have gotten - at best - a polite snicker from most of the talent acquisition industry. Now it’s unfolding in front of us. And it may become sticky and last beyond the crisis. We’re not the only ones seeing this possibility:
“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.”