With the nation's unemployment rate, which dropped to 4.3% over the summer, at the lowest levels in 16 years, competition for entry-level talent has stiffened considerably. Target's recent announcement of the increase in its starting wage (to $11 this year, with a commitment to increase it to $15 by year-end 2020) is simply the latest evidence of the pressure U.S. employers increasingly feel to both stem turnover, which imposes high costs in the form of recruitment and training, and woo talent.
At the same time, as more companies are realizing how critical entry-level talent is to their customers and brands, and while overall unemployment is decreasing, economic opportunity remains stubbornly out of reach for some. Notably, the unemployment rate for workers between 16 and 24 years old remains well more than double the national average at 9.1%1 The Rockefeller Foundation saw an opportunity to help companies target their frontline recruitment and retention efforts to reach untapped talent pools, like opportunity youth—disadvantaged young people who are out of school and out of work. In partnership with its grantees and some of the nation's largest employers, The Rockefeller Foundation has invested in tools and resources that support what we call "impact hiring"—scalable talent practices that create meaningful business advantage by hiring and retaining employees who face barriers to economic opportunity.
To continue reading this SHRM Research Special Report, please click here.