Customized Employment

The Customized Employment process is a flexible blend of strategies, services, and supports designed to increase employment options for job seekers with complex needs through voluntary negotiation of the employment relationship with an employer. The US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy  has evidence-based research data showing that Customized Employment leads to positive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

In Customized Employment, the job seeker is the primary source of information and drives the process. Planning results in a blueprint for the job search where an employment relationship is negotiated to meet the needs of both the job seeker and the employer. Time spent engaging with the job seeker to discover the individual’s unique conditions, interests and potential contributions, as well as complexities, is essential to establishing successful employment and laying the groundwork for Customized Employment.

An essential element in Customized Employment is negotiating job duties and employee expectations to align the skills and interests of a job seeker to the needs of an employer. Typically, an employer will be willing to consider customizing job tasks for a prospective employee if doing so meets unmet needs in a way that saves money, helps make money, helps the operation run more efficiently, improves customer relations or increases safety. Customized Employment entails the voluntary negotiation of an individually tailored relationship between a job seeker and an employer.

Customized employment has six basic steps that guide toward employment: discovery of the job seeker, capturing discovery in a profile, customized employment planning, visual portfolio/resume development, job development representation and worksite analysis, accommodation and job support.

For more information, refer to TACE’s archived webinar series on Customized Employment.