How employers and recruiters are stepping up to support workers laid off during COVID-19

Intulog • May 9, 2020 • 4 min read

The bad news keeps coming, as waves of layoffs and furloughs continue to rock the US and global economies. According to the International Labour Organization1, the predicted drop in working hours for the current second quarter in 2020 is 10.5%, which is the equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs.

In the US, payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7% according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics2. This is the highest this number has been in the 75 years it has been measured, since 1945.

Yet, amid the looming dark clouds of unemployment and recession, there are still slivers of hope as more and more companies are scrambling to support workers losing their jobs to the COVID-19 fallout:

Job boards and databases for laid-off workers

Recruiters and job portals have been quick to respond to the employment crisis by putting together job boards, spreadsheets and databases dedicated to helping recently unemployed workers get rehired3.

The network recruiting firm Drafted, for instance, has built the Layoff Network to apply its network recruitment experience to getting laid off workers rehired.

Similarly, Santa Barbara-based LayOffers4, a new venture formed to connect displaced workers with recruiters advanced its public beta launch in the face of COVID-19. The company aims to help one million layoff victims find fresh work. The professional networking app Upstream5 also unveiled itself earlier to aid coronavirus-affected tech workers. Other sites like Silver Lining6 are also focused on helping people find opportunities at companies still hiring.

At Intulog, we are determined to play our part. If you are affected by the layoffs and have experience in any of these roles (Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Data Scientist or Business Analyst), please do reach out to us by clicking on the Find Jobs button above.

Outplacement and employer resources

Initiatives that assist employers in aiding laid off employees have also sprung up. For instance, Accenture designed and built People+Work7 in collaboration with several other firms to facilitate employer-to-employer interactions and fill jobs without extended recruitment processes. This analytics-based platform aggregates non-confidential workforce information to match companies with open positions with others having available employees.

The hiring platform Workable has launched Bridge8, an outplacement solution that leverages the platform’s customer list to find fresh opportunities for workers about to be laid off. Guild Education is taking the process a step further with Next Chapter9, by integrating outplacement services with rapid reskilling to better align laid off workers with new opportunities.

Career toolkits

As hiring has suddenly turned demand-driven, recently retrenched workers also need help with strategizing how to present themselves to potential employers. Several recruiters have responded to this need by creating career toolkits and resources on how to get hired during the pandemic.

On its COVID-19 resources page, for instance, Dice10 offers tools such as career path and salary predictors, articles on COVID-19 and remote working insights, a career toolkit with information on job hunting, networking, resumes, and interviewing and so on.

Similarly, Binc has redeployed a section of its workforce to managing Binc Boost11, offering a wide array of services including resume review, career strategy guidance, networking assistance, interview preparation, compensation advice, negotiating tips, connections to opportunities, and sharing of resources. Florida-based Newland Associates12 too is offering a series of webinars on finding re-employment and staying financially stable in the current circumstances.

Upskilling resources

For some workers, layoffs or furloughs could also be an opportunity in disguise for training or upskilling themselves for the jobs they most desire. Thankfully, several online learning portals are opening up resources for affected workers.

Software developer JetBrains has kicked off JetBrains Academy13, a project-driven learning portal for Java, Python and Kotlin. Catalyte has launched RetrainAmerica14, a national reskilling exchange for people, regardless of prior education and work experience, to train for jobs in technology, cybersecurity, industrial automation, logistics, and so on. The exchange has currently launched in Maryland and aims to expand to other states in the near future.

Udacity has launched a tech-training program for laid-off workers, offering 5,000 challenge scholarships coupled with 1,000 nanodegree scholarships15. In the first phase, the 5,000 scholarships provide access to two- or three-month-long “challenge courses” in various programming and data disciplines. Of these, the top 1,000 students will receive scholarships for three- to six-month-long nano-degrees related to the challenge courses.

Coursera is routing its support for unemployed workers through government, offering 3,800 courses in 400 specializations that government agencies can help unemployed workers access till the end of September16.

At a time when businesses and people are facing economic turmoil, these and other grassroots efforts carry hope and remind us of the power of community in difficult times.

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