A new AI-powered network is helping workers displaced by the coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus crisis has turned the US jobs market on its head. While businesses across the travel and hospitality sectors have been decimated, big retailers and delivery companies are expanding, and are reportedly trying to hire some 500,000 or more people in the next few weeks.

FMI (The Food Industry Association) and Eightfold.ai have teamed up to help facilitate this massive shift in labor, widely considered the largest since World War II, by launching an online marketplace that aims to help people who have lost their jobs in the coronavirus crisis find work. Called Talent Exchange, powered by Eightfold.ai, the platform launched on April 6.


Eightfold.ai CEO Ashutosh Garg called Talent Exchange “an incredible way to help the community” that promises to help business leaders take care of their people. “If your company is going through tough times, you can place your workers into roles at other companies that need their help,” he said in a press release. “Doing so will fill critical shortages and create goodwill with your workers, in hopes that they will rejoin you when business conditions improve.”

Talent Exchange uses AI to match candidates with available roles, based on each individual’s skills and previous experience. Employers send their workforce a link that allows their employees to create profiles for hiring companies to see. The platform helps employers understand how their workforce has been impacted in a single dashboard, and it helps hiring companies find matches quickly and onboard new employees.

“Our communities rely on vital frontline businesses in food, manufacturing, and delivery services,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin in the release, “and this new Talent Exchange will help many unemployed and furloughed workers in their time of need.”

McKinsey is honored to support the effort. We have provided our research on the US jobs market and shared insights from our client discussions across a breadth of sectors to help Eightfold and FMI in their efforts to better understand employment needs and how they were shifting amid a rapidly evolving situation.

“In talking with clients across the US, it became very clear that there is a huge labor mismatch and individuals are being affected very differentlyfrom retailers furloughing tens of thousands of workers to other organizations needing to hire more than 100,000 workers quickly. We’re excited to help bring a scalable offering to the market,” said McKinsey partner Andrew Davis.

Talent Exchange, available in 15 languages now, is expanding to other impacted geographies and sectors that have a growing imbalance of jobs and available talent.

This crisis is reshaping lives and livelihoods. This is one small way of several that our firm has had an opportunity to help.

Carla Arellano, McKinsey Partner

“This crisis is reshaping lives and livelihoods,” said McKinsey partner Carla Arellano. “This is one small way of several that our firm has had an opportunity to help. We’re talking a lot about what the next normal will look like, and we’re humbled to have supported these organizations that are doing great things to help people and businesses.”

At launch, several thousand profiles have been uploaded onto the platform. Employers who would like to use Talent Exchange should visit the Talent Exchange website or email talentexchange@eightfold.ai.

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