Leadership Strategies

COVID-19 Workforce Disruption: Supporting Remote and Non-Remote Workforces with Complimentary Software and Services from HCM/HXM Suppliers

HCM and HXM suppliers are stepping up to help organizations struggling with workforce disruption in the wake of COVID-19. Explore the list of resources with IDC.
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*Disclaimer: IDC is providing information on complimentary offerings by HCM/HXM vendors during the pandemic as an informational service to tech buyers. We are not endorsing or promoting these vendors.

The pandemic has caused complete disruption of the workforce. Employers have had to scramble to quickly move to support a remote workforce. The abrupt shift to managing, measuring and engaging employees remotely creates a new set of obstacles for employers. With many workers operating from home offices and balancing their work life with familial duties, there has been great strain on the human resources function and unforeseen challenges to be met. Remote employees can feel isolated, lonely, and disengaged, creating a decrease in productivity.

To meet the different and complex needs of a remote workforce, a sizable number of human capital management and human experience management software and services vendors are making some of their capabilities available on a complimentary basis to existing clients and in some cases to non-clients.

IDC is pleased to see that many vendors in the HR space are supporting organizations to meet new challenges during this trying time. The complimentary offerings, which include software, services, and support through blogs and webinars, can help organizations to manage the workforce through the disruption.

HR and management should consider ways in which the new model of work can benefit from deepening employee engagement, increasing employee communications, developing employee skill sets, and hiring assistance.

*Please note that the list that follows is not exhaustive, but representative of the types of capabilities that vendors are providing to enable employers to more fully support workforces during this time.

IDC’s Employee Lifecycle Framework

IDC outlines the offerings using IDC’s framework of the employee life cycle. A list of complimentary solutions are categorized by the phase along the HR life cycle to which the solution pertains.

  • Hire offerings provide assistance to furloughed and laid off workers seeking matches with new employers and to healthcare organizations looking to fill vital roles.
  • Track and pay offerings provide HR workforce management assistance helping track remote workers, keep them safe, and provide guidance with compliance and interpretation of new state and federal legislation.
  • Develop offerings provide courses to develop employees during this time that makes them feel “invested” in, and development can occur through new courses, which will add skills and perhaps fill some of employees’ extra downtime at home.
  • Engagement, wellness, and reward offerings are perhaps the most important phase to focus on during this time, as organizations deal with the reality of a remote workforce. Only through open channels of communication can employers understand how to meet employee needs through engagement and wellness opportunities to maintain operations as smoothly as possible. IDC confirms that employee engagement and resulting productivity during the pandemic is best handled by consistent communication and gauging employee sentiment constantly.
  • Retire/Offboarding offerings provide opportunities for employers who have to furlough or lay-off employees to manage a continued relationship with former employees and treat them as valued “alumni” and an extension of the employer brand. When things bounce back, these former employees may be first on the list to be rehired since investments have already been made; and it is always good form to leave things on a positive note.

Why Enterprises Should Assess HCM Vendor Offerings

Now is the time to assess these vendor offerings to see what works for each organization. Employees will appreciate the effort, and ultimately, this will reduce costs in the longer term by ensuring employee wellness and engagement.

Once the next phase of this pandemic is entered, things are unlikely to return completely to the previous way of working. Engaging employees as “internal customers” of the organization with continuous feedback and listening is likely to be ingrained in the culture of the most successful organizations. Employees will remember how they were treated during the pandemic and organizations that commit to investing in employee experience and well-being will be rewarded by increased commitment, productivity, and better business outcomes.

COVID-19 Free Vendor Offerings by Employee Lifecycle Phase



Broadbean is a recruitment software company based in London, England. The company develops software for the recruitment market, covering both in-house recruitment and staffing organizations. Their main product is an automated job distribution tool that allows simultaneous job posting to multiple sites.

Throughout April, Broadbean will be giving up to 10 direct employers 60 days of Broadbean’s software for free. During this period, the software can be used to send an unlimited number of jobs to any boards with whom the organization has agreements. For companies that do not have existing contracts, Broadbean can include 60 days of free advertising on CareerBuilder UK and Job Medic as well as auto-posting the job posting to a number of free channels such as Find a job, Adzuna, neuvoo (Talent.com), and Trovit. 


Dice is a free online job board specifically for those in or seeking tech careers. Job listings include full-time and contract work. Dice offers users the ability to search by job title, skill (such as Django or JavaScript), and category (remote jobs is a category. Users can create free profiles to receive personalized job listings based on their preferences and skill sets.


Eightfold.ai is a talent intelligence platform that enriches talent profiles by aggregating people data from thousands of sources on the web and matches talent to career opportunities, at scale, and in 13 languages. This solution assists global organizations to adopt digital transformation and modern talent management initiatives with an emphasis on talent strategy and analytics.

Eightfold, in partnership with Food Industry Association (FMI) and supported by McKinsey & Company, is providing such a platform free of charge during the coronavirus crisis through Talent Exchange, a new offering powered by Eightfold.ai. The exchange helps workers who are laid off to match to new jobs.


Emsi uses data to drive economic prosperity. To do this, Emsi informs and connects three critical audiences: people (who are looking for good work), employers (who are looking for good people), and educators (who are looking to build good programs and engage students). Since this vital connection takes place in the context of regional economies, Emsi also works with workforce and economic development organizations laboring to improve economic ecosystems.

Emsi has opened its real-time job posting dashboard to the public. This dataset provides feedback loops as to how companies, industries, and regions are reacting to the rapid impact of COVID-19 on the economy.


LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps. It is primarily used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting CVs.

LinkedIn has launched several COVID-19 related hiring initiatives, including:

  • Accelerate hiring for urgent roles: Healthcare organizations (including hospitals, medical device, medical practices, and mental healthcare companies), disaster relief nonprofits, warehousing, supermarket, and package delivery companies have the ability to post new mission-critical jobs for free for the next three months (April 1 to June 30) to find and hire the people they need to fill for the surge of urgent roles.
  • Connect medical professionals to critical healthcare roles: Job seekers with the right skill sets can quickly find open roles by promoting them on the LinkedIn homepage and jobs page. Frontline healthcare roles, such as doctors and nurses, will be automatically added to a list of urgent jobs and will be surfaced through a special banner to reach members with relevant skills and experience. Members that have applicable skills for these roles will receive real-time alerts and emails, so they can apply immediately.
  • Scale hiring with Recruiting for Good: To help healthcare organizations and disaster relief nonprofits that are managing the secondary effects of coronavirus, such as unemployment, childcare, and mental health issues, the Recruiting for Good program is expanded. Already more than 100 LinkedIn recruiters and talent professionals are working to help source and screen talent so that these organizations can fill urgent paid and volunteer positions.
  • Gain insights: To help support healthcare’s surge in hiring needs, LinkedIn Talent Insights is being offered for free for the next three months to provide access to real-time data and insights on the talent market.
  • Stay informed: A new Navigating Coronavirus microsite can help our customers stay informed, connected, and productive with the rapidly changing hiring landscape.


PeopleFluent provides talent management software and learning solutions that help maximize the value of the workforce. Breezy, the small and medium-sized business recruiting platform, provides reporting and analytics, candidate management, job advertisement, candidate sourcing, career portals, team collaboration, and email, SMS, and scheduling capabilities for recruiting.

Breezy HR has made its video assessments and live video interviewing capabilities available free of charge to businesses for a period of at least 60 days.


Outsourcely is a platform that connects remote freelancers with companies looking for part-time and full-time workers, ranging from customer support and data entry to project managers, virtual assistants, and email marketers. Outsourcely works with companies who are looking for long-term workers (not just short-term projects). Creating a profile is free, and once a profile is completed, users have the ability to look at job postings.


Remote.co is a free job board with listings that range from part-time to full-time jobs and redirect to the companies’ internal job posts. There are free job postings for various remote jobs, including developers, customer service representatives, designers, sales professionals, and editors.


Remotive is an online job board that lists software development, customer service, product development jobs, and more. Accessing Remotive’s job board is free, and all listings have a posting date and redirect to the company’s internal job post.


Talentsoft offers a highly customizable collaborative digital platform that fosters interactions and transforms employees’ work experience by integrating competencies management with career paths, training courses, administrative management, and HR analytics.

Talentsoft’s latest Innovation Talk is focused on the latest Talent Acquisition features with demos for: Hello Talent “Ready to move” feature; Recruitment analytics; Referrals mobile app; the new recruitment front office; and Road map for upcoming features – recruitment matching, agency portal, and Google for Jobs.


Textbroker is a free job platform specifically for writers looking for gig work in content marketing, including work for corporations, small-business owners, ecommerce, and social media. Users access the platform by completing a short article that will rate writing skills. Once completed, Textbroker allows users to choose opportunities, and completed work will be paid weekly (as soon as $10 or more is earned).

We Work Remotely

We Work Remotely posts both full-time and part-time remote jobs across a wide range of industries, including sales and marketing, design, writing, and teaching. Accessing the online job board is free. In addition, users can sign up to have new listings in specified industries sent directly to their email inbox daily.

Track and Pay


ADP is a provider of human capital management software and services. ADP has compiled several resources covering the complex COVID-19 affected regulations:

  • FFCRA, CARES Act, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). ADP is providing information and tools to help clients understand and navigate legislative relief. This includes an Employer Preparedness Toolkit that helps explain the federal and state government relief as well as a website dedicated to providing critical information about the Paycheck Protection Program. ADP has also hosted webinars focused on explaining the FFCRA and CARES Act, and trained thousands of ADP associates to field client calls.
  • WorkMarket technology powering Volunteer Surge health worker assignments. Volunteer Surge is an initiative from the Yale School of Public Health organizing volunteer health workers to help in the pandemic. The WorkMarket platform is being used to organize and manage volunteer health worker assignments as it follows the same processes and compliance needed for managing gig work.
  • Workforce Management clients receiving Compliance on Demand access at no cost.  This resource for ADP’s Workforce Management clients offers thought capital and best practices from ADP and Littler Mendelson on how to navigate the evolving wage and hour regulatory environment in the workplace. Popular topics include FLSA, FMLA, overtime, and sick leave. There is a new COVID-19 Resource Center in the Compliance on Demand library, with over 100 new assets focused on best practices and legislative updates related to the pandemic. Access is made available until June 30, 2020, at no additional cost.
  • ADP DataCloud provides visibility to remote workforce management.  DataCloud clients that purchased analytics now have complimentary access to Data Mashups allowing clients to pull sales, financial, and other data directly into their ADP Human Capital Management System so they can combine it with people data and reveal relationships between people metrics and business metrics. ADP has developed a COVID-19 template to help clients upload data via Mashups to understand which employees are working from home by their organization’s locations and which employees need to be onsite.


Oracle Corp., a multinational computer technology corporation, offers database software and technology, cloud engineered systems, and enterprise software products. The company also develops and builds tools for database development and systems of middle-tier software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, Human Capital Management (HCM) software, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and supply chain management (SCM) software.

Oracle has launched multiple initiatives for clients of Oracle HCM Cloud:

  • Oracle is offering Oracle Workforce Health and Safety Solution to all Oracle Cloud customers at no charge. Oracle partners are offering pro bono assistance to set up Workforce Health and Safety.
  • The webcast series, Coaches Corner: HR Leadership Series on COVID-19, runs every Monday at 9:00 a.m. PT.
  • Oracle created a new Oracle HCM Cloud COVID-19 Forum for all things COVID-19 on its online customer community, Cloud Customer Connect. This is a place where members can pose questions, discuss challenges, and offer solutions specifically related to COVID-19.


ServiceNow is a Santa Clara, California-based software company whose cloud computing platform helps companies to manage digital workflows for enterprise operations. The company has put together crisis management solutions:

  • Emergency Response Operations: Optimizes resources to support emergency response for public agencies and other organizations.
  • Emergency Outreach: Distributes information and confirms employee safety and location through email or a mobile app.
  • Emergency Self Report: Enables employees to report illnesses and readiness to return, and initiate workflows to help managers respond.
  • Emergency Exposure Management: Identifies and manages exposure risk when an employee is diagnosed with an illness.



Cornerstone is a human capital management and talent management software and services company. The company has created learning resources to help users adapt to the COVID-19-affected worker.

  • Cornerstone Cares offers free content to help with remote working, stress management, information on coronavirus, and support to help K–12 teachers transition to an online classroom.
  • PiiQ Learning offers a learning management system to create a culture of learning. Companies can assign and track completion of 1,000+ courses to enhance employee skills and develop new efficiencies. Users can combine PiiQ Performance and PiiQ Learning to ensure feedback is tied to relevant learning content.


LTG is also providing a 90-day free offer for PeopleFluent LXP, an instructor-led training through an online delivery platform including video recording, captioning, and translations.


Skillsoft is a provider of talent and learning management software and services as well as a comprehensive library of learning content. Skillsoft is offering free access to its learning experience platform Percipio for 60 days, and 90 days for students/professors with a .edu email. Percipio offers nearly 700 curated learning paths that are continuously updated ranging from leadership development to risk management to project management. Skillsoft is also offering Bootcamps for AWS Certification, and registrants are also offered 60-day access to Percipio for free.


Talentsoft is a provider of talent management software and services based in France and serving Western Europe. Talentsoft is offering the following:

  • LMS platform: Talentsoft is offering a free subscription to the LMS platform until June 30. Clients have access to off-the-shelf training content and free courses from partners. The elearning offer can be deployed with the express five-day activation package.
  • Continuous Conversation: Integration with Microsoft Teams enables Talentsoft to manage individual objectives remotely and easily. A free subscription to Continuous Conversation until June 30 with an express five-day deployment is now available.
  • Talentsoft Academy: To facilitate client enablement of the Talentsoft platform, all users have free access to training on Talentsoft Academy.



15Five is a continuous performance management suite providing employee coaching opportunities. 15Five is supporting organizations by offering free access to 15Five for new customers through June 15.


Cornerstone is also offering a free trial of PiiQ, a performance and learning solution for small and medium-sized businesses that automates performance reviews, develops employees, and provides data insights.

Engagement, Wellness, and Reward


Achievers provides a recognition and rewards solution helping engage employees through a collaborative approach with clients. The Workforce Institute shares thought leadership on workforce resiliency. Achievers has compiled multiple COVID-19 resources, including:

  • Critical Events Survey and Toolkit: a pulse survey with “safety indicator” questions and response toolkit to build workplace resiliency.
  • Appreciation Cards
  • COVID-19 Communication Campaigns created for Achievers customers
  • Engage Blog: the corporate blog, which features how Achievers customers are using recognition as a tool for culture continuity
  • Access to previous and new webinars: roundtable webinars with customers/case studies on how to communicate with employees especially in harder hit industries like retail
  • Virtual Coffee Chats: transitioning cross-function collaboration tool (coming soon) to virtual meetings matched by algorithms to encourage social interaction and understanding across organization, also prevents loneliness during the crisis

The Marcus Buckingham Company (an ADP Company)

The Marcus Buckingham Company provides solutions for employee engagement, team performance, and leader development. The employee engagement platform, StandOut, is used by ADP’s 58,000 employees. The platform’s three components include an assessment of core strengths, a weekly check-in, and a 4x/ year pulse.

StandOut, an engagement and team performance solution, is available to ADP clients in North America with more than 500 employees through October 31, 2020. StandOut is also being offered to individuals by Marcus Buckingham during this time. Buckingham will provide strengths-based coaching through Instagram.


Limeade provides solutions for employee well-being, engagement, and inclusion solutions in a mobile-first experience (separate or one solution), with business metrics and recommended actions for managers. The Limeade Institute produces research and thought leadership.

Limeade is offering use of its platform for free through August 31, 2020. Limeade has also produced “Care in Crisis” resources, including blogs and webinars on best practices on engagement, remote work, and employee support during the crisis.


Medallia provides employee experience and other experience management solutions through the Medallia Experience Cloud. The employee experience solution provides continuous employee feedback across the employee life cycle.

Medallia is offering its Employee Pulse, Medallia Crowdicity, Medallia Digital, and Text Analytics free for 90 days. The company has also produced a resource center with recommended resources will help navigate the crisis including webinars, articles, and blogs.


Peakon, a data-driven employee engagement solution provider, focuses on employee success platforms including employee engagement, retention, leadership development, and diversity and inclusion. Peakon uses surveys and data to increase productivity, retention, and performance. Peakon has made COVID-19-specific questions free for three months, and has also produced a COVID-19 Support Hub, providing articles and webinars to help teams stay connected while working remotely.


PwC’s People and Organization practice provides capabilities in developing the workforce of the future, focusing on new organizational, talent, HR, and technology challenges such as skills gaps, digital transformation, emerging technologies, global risks, regulation, and compliance. Building workforce resilience and employee engagement underlies workforce transformation efforts.

PwC has created the following resources and offers to help clients navigate COVID-19:

  • Check-In: a precision platform designed to improve workforce resilience by providing a real-time view of workforce productivity and risk exposure (There are two components: Status Connect and Automatic Contract Tracing. Fees are waived for Status Connect through September 2020 for existing and new clients.)
  • Biweekly CFO Pulse Survey
  • COVID-19 Resources: COVID-19 Navigator, thought leadership, and understanding the CARES Act


Qualtrics EmployeeXM platform provides employee experience management aimed at attracting, developing, and retaining talent. The platform includes personalized engagement, including pulse, training, onboarding, and new hire surveys; 360 performance reviews; benefits optimizer; action plans; analytics; and other components aimed at providing engagement to achieve business results.

Qaultrics has created these COVID-19 resources:

  • Remote and On-Site Work Pulse, Healthcare Workforce Pulse, COVID-19 Customer Confidence Pulse, Supply Continuity Pulse, and Remote Educator Pulse to help people stay connected
  • COVID-19 Pre-screen and Routing: questionnaire and recommended actions
  • Partnership to bring Qualtrics and SAP solutions with EY implementation to governments globally to help in fight against COVID-19: prescreen and route patients, support healthcare workers, and manage flow of information and resources

Ultimate Software

Ultimate Software is a provider of human capital management and payroll software and services. In addition to core and talent-related HCM solutions, Ultimate offers a comprehensive employee engagement platform, UltiPro Perception.

Ultimate Software has made these resources available to users:

  • Free survey being offered to HR leaders, empowering them to assess employees’ current experiences. Powered by UltiPro Perception, and using Ultimate’s Xander platform (an artificial intelligence and natural language processing engine), the survey can be rapidly shared with employees to gain quick insights into employees’ frame of mind, sentiment about work, and concerns and instantly interpret themes behind open-text comments.
  • Free web-based training on how to use the survey and interpret the results will be provided to organizations that participate, who will receive a report with survey results one week after the survey is distributed to employees, providing rapid insights on employees’ experience during the pandemic.

Virgin Pulse

Virgin Pulse is a provider of corporate health and wellness platforms. Solutions are aimed to increase employee well-being and engagement and include health assessments, lifestyle coaching, employer insights, and topical research.

The company has created the following resources to help users adapt to COVID-19:

  • COVID-19 homebase site (publicly available) with resources to help people maintain their well-being in five key areas: reducing stress, staying active, being productive, sleeping well, and eating healthy(Several partners added content and free offers in specific areas — financial well-being [Enrich], mental health [meQuilibrium], physical activity [Aaptiv], and Nutrition [Monj].)
  • COVID-19 toolkits to assist employers and health plans
  • Work-from-home toolkit: the “Work-from-Home Playbook”


Workhuman has a social recognition and continuous performance management platform, Workhuman Cloud. The platform includes social recognition, continuous performance management, service milestones, life events, and community celebrations. The platform provides a social feed, analytics, and reporting. Workhuman is offering a free through March 2021 of Workhuman Cloud, including all components: Life Events, Conversations, and Gratitudes. Additionally, the company has created a “Thank You Healthcare” link to thank individual or all healthcare workers.



EnterpriseAlumni provides a platform for onboarding alumni and activating the community network. The network consists of former employees who can provide benefits to the organization including recruiting, sales, business development, and brand ambassadors. Alumni are often priority candidates for rehire as the company has already invested in them, also known as the “boomerang effect.”

Enterprise Alumni is providing a free six-month subscription to the platform, enabling companies to communicate and engage with former employees, retirees, and those furloughed. This offer is valid for all NGOs and select industries including tourism, travel, and retail and health. Organizations that start a program will be able to access this large talent pool of prequalified and available talent as part of their recovery staffing plan.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting the global economy at nearly every level. Anticipate market challenges, keep business moving, and forsee what recovery could look like with IDC’s extensive COVID-19 research and advice.

Megan Buttita, MLIS and Lisa Rowan also contributed to this piece.

Research Manager, Employee Experience: Benefits, Wellness and Employee Engagement