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Report/Research

Next Gen Solutions for Next Gen Talent

How Employers Can Engage, Develop, and Advance Gen Z—Today’s Early Talent 

November 30, 2023

At a Glance

As Gen Z—today’s early talent—enters the workforce in growing numbers, a central question for employers is how they can better understand and respond to their early talent’s unique assets, challenges, and motivations. Employers also need to consider workplace supports that can make or break the chance of economic advancement for early talent who face systemic barriers to success. Jobs for the Future (JFF) has developed actionable insights, advice, and strategies to help Impact Employers reimagine their early talent strategy amid their other talent priorities and imperatives 

Contributors
Erik Cherkaski Senior Manager
Sheila Jackson Director
Practices & Centers

The next generation of workers is here.  

Meet Generation Z—today’s early talent and the workforce of tomorrow. By 2025, they’ll constitute over a quarter of your team. And along the way, they’ve had unique experiences driven by technology, global events, and movements for widespread change. 

The experiences Gen Z continues to face will create a unique set of assets, liabilities, and needs for this population in the workplace. 

To complicate things further, a significant cohort of today’s early talent face systemic barriers to career and economic success. Future jobs will depend on these talented individuals, and thoughtful, inclusive—while practical—solutions will be needed. 

Employers know that they must find ways to include and respond to this new generation in order to fulfill organizational needs. Through Jobs for the Future’s (JFF) work with dozens of Impact Employers, we’ve seen firsthand the challenge human resource leaders face in prioritizing one worker population without neglecting others.  

What can companies do? 

While companies increasingly recognize the importance of a dedicated early talent strategy, there’s little research on what works for today’s early talent. And employers already struggle to adequately track, segment, and provide targeted engagement to their employees. 

To help companies navigate this challenge, JFF underwent an effort to better understand this specific worker population and identify concrete, practical ways that employers can support their early talent’s engagement, development, and advancement at work—specifically those who face systemic barriers to advancement. 

As part of this work, we are excited to release two new resources to help employers understand and respond to their early talent’s characteristics, reinforcing and sustaining their commitment to inclusive talent practices. 

Download JFF’s new resources focused on early talent: 

The work to support and integrate the incoming generation at work is just beginning, and these resources only scratch the surface. If you are interested in getting involved in this work and would like to learn more, please contact: employermobilization@jff.org. 

Learn more about the Employer Mobilization Practice
Learn more

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Jobs for the Future (JFF) is a national nonprofit that drives transformation of the U.S. education and workforce systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all.