Engaging Employers: Three Lessons from Impact Hiring

Apr 21, 2017 8:15 AM ET

A couple of weeks ago, influential employers—including T-Mobile, Gap Inc., and McDonalds*—came to New Orleans for an unprecedented gathering on jobs in the United States. Each had expressed enthusiasm for impact hiring—an approach that creates business value through hiring and investing in individuals who face barriers to economic opportunity. Through a cohort-based program designed and led by FSG, and supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and Walmart, employers began putting this enthusiasm into action in new ways.

The inaugural impact hiring cohort brings together HR, Operations, and corporate social responsibility leaders from diverse employers to design new ways for their companies to support entry-level talent, including opportunity youth—16- to 24-year-olds who are neither working nor in school. Over the course of 9 months, participants will collaborate in design thinking workshops, engage with youth and community leaders, and develop and evaluate pilot projects at their companies to provide greater opportunity and improve retention for this target audience. Amidst the sights, sounds, and culture of New Orleans, employers began their journey and started to create their own “jazz” around social change and business value.

This cohort-based approach, designed to accelerate adoption of impact hiring practices, is an important catalyst to create more inclusive economies by engaging employers in developing new ideas and solutions. Over the past decade, The Rockefeller Foundation has worked with the private sector to unlock the solutions to some of society’s biggest problems—particularly relating to livelihoods – in the United States and around the world. FSG has seen the importance of finding business opportunities that help solve social problems through both our stewardship of the Shared Value Initiative and our consulting work. Supporting a cohort of pioneering companies focused on impact hiring, in partnership with other funders and experts, is an investment both of our organizations believe in.

In working together, we have learned 3 key lessons about employer engagement that we are applying to this cohort learning model. Learn about the 3 key lessons on FSG.org >