Skip to main content

Gap introduces new hiring strategy for entry-level employees

Gap Inc. has a new plan to fill entry-level jobs at its stores around the globe.

Gap plans to hire 5% of all new entry-level store employees from its This Way Ahead program by 2025. This Way Ahead is a life-skills and on-the-job training program for 16 to 24-year-olds from low-income communities. The company’s decision to tap This Way Ahead participants is based on the program’s proven results to attract and retain highly-engaged employees, Gap reported.

In addition, the specialty apparel retailer announced that it will expand the program globally. Through a new national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America for example, This Way Ahead will be offered in 22 U.S. cities in 2018, and will grow to 60 cities by the end of 2020. Local Clubs will connect youth with hiring opportunities at Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy stores.

Meanwhile, the program will be piloted at select Athleta stores in the United States, as well as at national distribution centers. The first distribution center to host the program will be a facility in Gallatin, Tennessee.

Taking the initiative global, the retailer will introduce the program in select Gap and Banana Republic stores in Japan through a partnership with Multi-Cultural Center of Tokyo. Participation in the U.K. will also increase from three cities to 11 cities across the country.

Since Gap launched the training program in 2007, participants tend to stay with the company twice as long as their peers, and have higher engagement scores than their co-workers. In 2017, 80% of store managers who worked with This Way Ahead participants reported increased skills in key competencies like leadership and communication skills, according to the Gap.

“We believe in the universal power of a first job,” said Brent Hyder, executive VP and chief people officer for Gap Inc.

“From Belfast to Tokyo and from Minneapolis to Sarasota, This Way Ahead provides the experiences and skills that young people need to succeed both in work and in life,” Hyder said. “For Gap Inc., this program is a valuable talent pipeline of future employees, and it helps us to build stronger relationships with our communities and customers. This Way Ahead isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.”
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds