Reports to

Stability Services Program Manager

Job Summary

The Employment Navigator is responsible for working with directly with clients from across the agency’s programs and a range of employment histories, to increase their ability to secure and maintain living wage employment. This position is also responsible connecting clients to an established network of employers, employment agencies, and vocational training organizations. To develop employment and employment training opportunities that meet the clients desired career goals.  Coordinates day-to-day activities such as orienting clients to agency employment services, working one-on-one with clients to develop their resume, disseminating employment listing, soliciting employer interest and involvement in the employment of clients, and tracking placement data. The Employment Navigator interacts with Career Passport participants and job sites to make customized job matches and provide job retention support.

SCOPE: The Employment Navigator performs activities designed to assist clients with finding employment. This includes working closely with local employers, business organizations, and community organizations in developing job opportunities and arranging the direct placement of clients matching the job skills with applicant qualifications.

Job Responsibilities

  • Initiates and maintains personal contacts with business and industry representatives to set up recruitment profiles and provide orientations; schedules and visits potential and existing employers to identify and develop positions for clients; and promotes the agency’s job placement service.
  • Establishes and maintains temporary, full-time, and part-time job banks.
  • In consultation with management set and achieve a placement and retention rate for program.
  • Market unique services to local and downtown Chicago employers. Target sectors and locations best suited for participant skill sets. 
  • Create features and benefits materials describing cost savings from recruiting, lower turnover and faster ramp-up time.
  • Maintain on-going communication with a minimum of 25 businesses, industry contacts and job placement/training agencies for placement of participants.
  • Attempt 30% to 40% of job interviews for each Career Passport class. 
  • Create additional marketing materials that include a map of services including job matching to employer specifications, coaching to help with retention, long term career development, links to training. Emphasize long term employment support.   
  • Form Community Based Employment Partnerships that include, but are not limited to, professional associations (hospitality, manufacturing, etc.), chambers, job fair providers, civic groups like Lyons, other job training providers, local economic development agencies, government agencies, etc.
  • Use Community Partnership Models from workforce experts (Department of Labor, etc.) and Forefront, Chicago’s non-profit, free research library to outline collaboration strategy, resources to share and shared performance goals.
  • Use Screening and Job Matching Materials to make employment referrals based on employer needs and participant qualifications.  Include hiring supervisors in customizing job matching process when possible.
  • Work with Employment Staff to assess participant’s education level, employment skills and interests and readiness for the program.
  • Teach classes to Career Passport participants in finding employers, interviewing and having a career path. Use classroom time to assess participants, start formulating job matches and building employability skills.   
  • Identify barriers to employment including legal background for needed supportive services.
  • Conduct job retention follow-up at 1-, 3- and 6-months intervals with participants once employment is secured. 
  • Follow-up. If a referred candidate is not selected, follow up with employer for feedback regarding candidate  
  • Follow up with teg to assess interview and strategies for improvement.
  • Use social media, websites and employment agencies to research and identify potential leads for participants.
  • Track performance measurements for job placement, retention, advancement.
  • Maintain data information on all employers and participants after placement for retention purposes.  
  • Attend job fairs to gain information on possible placements.
  • Maintain and publish job resource bank
  • Attend employment networking coalitions as assigned (e.g. Chicago Jobs Council and WERC)
  • Maintain client files with appropriate training and employment documentation.
  • Meet regularly with clients to discuss progress and challenges toward achieving employment goals.
  • Must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Must have smart phone to utilize Agency communication and collaboration tools. 

ABILITY TO: Develop and maintain collaborative working relationships with clients, staff and industry partners; interpret policies, procedures, techniques, and rules governing employment and job placement; demonstrate sensitivity to, and respect for, a diverse population; represent the agency by giving presentations and participating in meetings with individuals and groups; communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; work independently; monitor, track and compile statistical information; give and follow written and oral instructions.

KNOWLEDGE OF: Local economic and labor market conditions and trends; effective techniques for contacting potential employers; job development and job placement techniques, accepted standard employment practices; community resources and professional organizations; City, State, and Federal laws, regulations, and codes related to employment and Equal Employment Opportunity; modern office methods; emerging technologies and standard office productivity software; labor market programs to inform outreach efforts; understanding laws and regulations governing state and federally funded programs including labor laws, budgets, and revenue control.


Maintain positive relations with clients, volunteers, co-workers, staff from other agencies, agency funders, and the general public.

  • Interact effectively with persons of diverse backgrounds and treat each individual with respect and dignity.
  • Attend appropriate agency meetings and other community meetings as assigned.
  • Represent the agency in a professional and ethical manner.
  • Maintain an active team approach with all staff in all work-related situations and with the staff of other agencies/organizations.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:  Bachelor’s degree in related social service field such as adult education, career counseling, etc.  Two years of direct service with clients and customer service experience.

HOUSING FORWARD is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or disability. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear, sit, use hands, reach with hands and arms, stand, walk, and walk up and down stairs and to life 35 pounds.