What is Opportunity Employment?

Opportunity Employment is a set of principles and associated talent practices that prioritize opportunity and mobility for entry-level and frontline workers while generating business value for the company.

Navigate the Practices

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Opportunity Talent

Opportunity Talent are individuals from traditionally untapped talent pools – such as Opportunity Youth (16-24 year olds who are neither in school nor working), individuals with disabilities, veterans, formerly incarcerated individuals – who seek economic stability through employment.

Opportunity Employers

Opportunity Employers include Opportunity Talent in their entry-level and frontline talent pools and refine their talent management systems to support the retention and advancement of Opportunity Talent, and, in turn, all workers.

The Opportunity Employment Principles

Strategy & Set-Up

  1. A Commitment to Inclusion and Respect

    A commitment to inclusion and respect is a critical part of being an Opportunity Employer, and can manifest in many ways. Ensuring your entry-level and frontline employees have a sense of ownership and purpose in their work, gathering feedback, and cultivating diverse leadership are but a few ways to make this commitment a reality.

  2. A Data-Driven Opportunity Employment Strategy

    In business, what matters gets measured. In order to be an effective and responsible Opportunity Employer, it is important to establish clear metrics of success for your Opportunity Employment strategies, hold people accountable, and incorporate insights for continuous improvement.

Recruiting & Hiring

  1. Proactive and Intentional Recruitment of Opportunity Talent

    Opportunity Employers go beyond traditional recruiting methods to seek out talent that may otherwise go unnoticed. Understanding how your company can effectively connect with Opportunity Talent will help you develop a strong pipeline.

  2. Minimized Barriers to Accessing Entry-Level and Frontline Roles

    Many common hiring practices can act as barriers for Opportunity Talent and limit your candidate pool. Taking steps to remove bias and focus on skills over credentials in your job postings, applications, and interview processes can help prevent screening out Opportunity Talent who may be right for the job.

Retention & Advancement

  1. Family-Sustaining Wages and Benefits for All Employees

    Providing your entry-level and frontline employees with access to important benefits that can set them up for success on the job is a powerful way to improve retention at your company. These benefits range from access to paid leave to transportation assistance.

  2. Systems That Support On-The-Job Success and Ongoing Professional Development

    The support an entry-level or frontline employee receives can make or break a work experience. Building systems for effective onboarding and development can help employees reach their full potential and create pipelines for other roles at your company.

Access the complete list of practices here.

Want to Learn More?

Explore Some of the Research that Informed the Principles

Investing in Entry-Level Talent

A Roadmap for Corporate America

Workforce Wins: The Case for Opportunity Youth Talent Pipelines

National Fund for Workforce Solutions: Job Design Framework

Want more research? Go to the Resource Library.

Assess Your Progress Against Best Practices and Get Resources to Take Action

Use the Navigator to understand what goes into operationalizing each of these principles, and how much progress you’ve made within each.