What is Opportunity Employment?
Opportunity Employment is a set of principles and associated talent practices that prioritize equity, inclusion, opportunity, and mobility within your company while generating business value.
Navigate the Practices
Want help understanding which practices you should work on? Use the Navigator to quickly find out!
The Opportunity Employment Principles
Strategy & Set-Up
A Culture of Inclusion and Belonging
A commitment to inclusion and belonging is foundational to being an Opportunity Employer. Without a strong culture, effective practices may fall short. Ensuring your employees have channels to voice opinion and offer feedback, are empowered to speak out against bias and racism in the workplace, and feel connected to the company’s purpose are but a few ways this culture can be developed.
A Data-Driven Approach to Equity
In business, what matters gets measured. In order to be an effective and responsible Opportunity Employer, it is important to dig into your talent data. Your employees may not all have the same experience at your company. By disaggregating your data by race, ethnicity, and gender, establishing metrics of success for your equity and inclusion strategies, and holding people accountable for those metrics you can better ensure success.
Recruiting & Hiring
Proactive and Intentional Recruitment
Opportunity Employers go beyond traditional recruiting methods to actively seek out talent that face barriers to employment and economic opportunities due to systemic factors. Understanding how your company can effectively connect with Opportunity Talent will help you develop a strong talent pipeline.
Minimized Barriers to Accessing 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 missing out on Opportunity Talent who may be right for the job.
Retention & Advancement
Family-Sustaining Wages and Benefits for All Employees
Ensuring all employees have access to a living wage and benefits – from healthcare coverage to transportation assistance – is critical to becoming a strong Opportunity Employer. It is also a powerful way to improve retention and employee satisfaction, especially among frontline employees.
Systems That Support On-The-Job Success and Ongoing Professional Development
The support employees receive can make or break their 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.
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, DREAMers, and formerly incarcerated individuals – who seek economic stability through employment, and are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, and people of color.
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.
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
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.