Full-time Employment Specialist

May 07 2020
Job Description


HOPE Services Hawaii, Inc. is looking to recruit an Employment Specialist who is responsible for supporting families obtain and retain employment. All activities must be in alignment with our organizational vision and values. The Employment Specialist works within the guidelines of the organization, policies, and contracts.

Reports to: Team Leader                 ​                    ​           Classification: Non-Exempt


  • Help families increase their income by obtaining employment;
  • Complete a comprehensive employment assessment with every unemployed and underemployed adult household member entering emergency shelter programs;
  • Partner with local businesses and build meaningful partnerships to help families secure & maintain employment;
  • Utilize methods and techniques which fit each person’s unique needs (i.e. job carving, customized employment, and appropriate job coaching and teaching strategies);
  • Develop a list and keep inventory of employment listings throughout the community;
  • Achieve employment and community inclusion outcomes as desired by guest, and in line with contract and internal standards;
  • Assist adult household members complete employment applications and build their professional resume and cover letter;
  • Assist families leverage their social network to obtain employment including family members, guardian, teachers, friends, mentors, church members;
  • Develop naturally supportive environments to allow fading from jobsites;
  • Support guest to increase work hours, responsibilities, and wages in line with preferences;
  • Provide adequate level of support to each guest as directed by their level of need;
  • Maintain DAP notes for each shift worked with the guest served and document their progress on employment achievement and retention;
  • Support guest to utilize public transportation and/or provide linkages to transportation services;
  • Other duties as assigned.


The Employment Specialist must be able to fulfill duties in accordance with the Housing First approach, including:

  • Housing as the first essential step, without any requirements for sobriety, participation in treatment, medication protocol, compliance, or demonstrated “housing readiness”;
  • Recovery orientation related to mental wellness and cognitive functioning;
  • Reducing harm to the individual and broader community;
  • Remaining non-judgmental in behaviors, practices, beliefs and actions of service guest;
  • Promoting and empowering meaningful choices and service access options, as well as allowing the service participant to influence the type, duration, frequency and intensity of supports;
  • Absence of coercion, tricks or contracting;
  • Supporting greater independence overtime;
  • Professional relationship without dependency that supports “doing with” instead of “doing for”;
  • Expressing empathy and positivity;
  • Remaining future oriented, not anchored to past events, with a strong sense of promoting hope and possibility in a realistic manner;
  • Transparency and disclosure of information with the service participant using full informed consent;
  • Balancing the needs of the client, community and landlord in each situation;
  • The right to refuse or revoke services and/or seek restitution or grieve instances where they feel services are inappropriate or inadequate.

In the course of performing the duties of the Employment Specialist, it is not uncommon to see, engage or be confronted with first hand – or have staff encounter first hand – the following: violence and threats of violence; profane, racist and/or sexist language; bodily fluids; conflict; interactions with First Responders; alcohol and other street drugs; cigarette smoke; death of service guest or her/his associates; nudity of service guest or her/his associates; friends/family dynamics with service guest; people involved with sex work; people involved in the drug trade; persons used against their consent, will or knowledge; people in conflict with the law; and/or other situations that may be unsettling. Measures are taken to train staff to appropriately deal with these situations, but those in the position should reasonably expect these types of things to occur and the Team Leader must provide appropriate direction and support to these situations.


  • An Associates degree and two years of experience in employment services.
  • A Bachelor’s degree or higher may substitute years of experience.
  • Current driver’s license and traffic abstract.
  • Personal vehicle with current safety check, registration and minimum no-fault insurance coverage.
  • Availability to work occasional evening and weekend shifts


Candidates must display and/or demonstrate ability to: 

  • Climb and/or walk up and down stairs and/or walkways;
  • Sit for periods of up to 30 minutes at a time;
  • Walk and/or standing for up to 30 minutes at a time;
  • Lift, carry, pull and/or push items up to 30 pounds at a time and for short distances.  Such motions may include reasonable bending, stooping, reaching and twisting.

Starting Pay: $18.00/hour