Research Report Moving Up: Talent Strategies for Retail Businesses to Help Frontline Workers Advance
Molly M. Scott, Shayne Spaulding, Christian Collins, Semhar Gebrekristos
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Nearly two-thirds of all Americans start their working lives in retail jobs. Because of the breadth and depth of retail careers, many with relatively low entry requirements, these jobs can offer many people a pathway to a middle-class life. Numerous retail businesses are exploring strategies to help frontline workers advance through an internal career progression or a platform for external job opportunities. Through interviews with human resources and learning and development professionals in 16 large retail companies, we document how retailers design, implement, and think about approaches to advancement for frontline retail workers. Our study includes insights into the talent challenges businesses face, the strategies they use to help workers advance, the metrics that show whether their strategies are working, and considerations for policymakers in supporting frontline retail worker advancement.

Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Education
Tags Higher education Financial knowledge and capability Labor force Wealth inequality Job training Mobility Public and private investment Beyond high school: education and training Building America’s Workforce
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center