Codifying Strategy


Johnson & Johnson has extensive global presence and reach that covers a broad remit, from innovative medical R&D to supply chain logistics. In today’s competitive market, J&J was looking to position itself as a market-leading employer of choice by building a consistent and future-forward strategy for Early Talent across EMEA. To this end, J&J partnered with TST to define, plan, and activate an EMEA-wide Early Talent Proposition (ETP) that would anchor a unified and aligned strategic approach to attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining ET.



WINNER: Outstanding Employer & Supplier Development Partnership

"Our work with TST has absolutely helped both leadership and our HR team get behind our early talent strategy, we have built real momentum which will enable us to continue to drive impact across the business"
- Head of EMEA Talent and Development, J&J


In a multi-year partnership with the EMEA Talent Acquisition and Development teams, The Smarty Train first helped develop an Early Talent Proposition anchored in J&J’s values, culture and EVP. Through EMEA-wide research with stakeholders—ranging from graduates through the EMEA Leadership Team—TST used human-centred research methods to ensure the ETP met people and business needs. These included Discovery Labs, Validation Labs, Graduate Journaling, and a Quantitative Survey. The ETP included, for the first time, an EMEA-wide definition of who Early Talent are at J&J, the value they bring to the organisation, and how to strategically develop ET into the future workforce of tomorrow.

Following on from the ETP, TST and J&J have developed and executed an activation strategy to ensure the ETP is adopted by the right people, in the right way, for the right goals. The ETP has also shaped the creation and roll-out of a unified EMEA-wide development offering that is responsive to business needs. Specifically: an award-winning modular approach to ET development that not only enables EMEA Early Talent to own their development from the start, but is scalable and responsive to continuous intake of ET, in line with J&J’s innovative approach to ensuring ET attraction, recruitment and development are always aligned to fast-shifting talent needs in the short term.


Our partnership in putting Early Talent at the heart of development, innovating to align development with fast-shifting business needs, and grounding development in a future-forward early talent strategy was recently awarded as an exemplary Partnership in Development by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE). It has also informed J&J’s attraction initiatives globally, which was likewise awarded for Excellence in Recruiting by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in the United States.

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