Employment Specialist

International Rescue Committee

Overview: IRC in Denver’s Economic Empowerment Program seeks to support clients’ immediate needs for economic stability, while ensuring that near-term demands do not overshadow longer-term economic health. The Employment Specialist assists clients in setting employment and career goals, coaches them toward those goals, assists in securing jobs that will advance their efforts to achieve economic self-reliance, and helps connect clients to supports to pursue career pathways.

The Employment Specialist supports a caseload of individuals that includes new arrivals seeking initial employment or re-employment and may also serve longer-term clients in need of assistance with re-employment and/or job upgrading. The Employment Specialist engages clients in employment assessments and employment service planning and collaborates with colleagues across teams to identify clients’ work needs, as well as the skills, expertise, and assets they bring, and assesses alignment with employers’ workforce needs. The Employment Specialist facilitates client participation in all phases of job search and placement, including applications, the hiring process and post-placement follow up. They maintain ongoing relationships with both clients and employers, assisting in troubleshooting when challenges arise, promoting opportunities for job upgrades and advancement, and advocating for fair treatment of clients by their employers when warranted.

This role also serves as a bridge between the education and employment teams to ensure impacted individuals have access to a variety of supports to support their stability and self-sufficiency, such as digital literacy, vocational ESL, and job readiness training where applicable.

Major Responsibilities:

Major responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Employment Services

  • Employing a coaching approach, including motivational interviewing techniques, in client interactions.
  • Conducting and documenting client employment assessments, individualized employment service planning, and meaningful goal setting.
  • Enhancing clients’ work readiness by offering weekly job club support and providing one-on-one coaching and job readiness support, together with colleagues from the education team.
  • Providing employment-related coaching and promoting client engagement in activities that further job readiness, job retention, career laddering post-employment, and ongoing career development.
  • Advocating for benefits, higher pay, and advancement opportunities for clients.
  • Re-engaging eligible clients with positive 90-day job retention and longer-term clients to support job upgrades and career advancement through CAREERS and other services and supports.
  • Assisting eligible clients in accessing public benefits and providing referrals and navigation to facilitate access to other services as needed.
  • Coordinating services with the broader IRC in Denver team and with external service providers to ensure a holistic approach to moving individuals and entire families forward.

Employer Engagement

  • Representing the IRC and the IRC’s clients professionally to the local business community.

  • Researching and identifying local industries and employers who stand to benefit from employing refugees and similar populations and may be amenable to hiring them.

  • Building working relationships with potential employers through outreach, education, and events.

  • Maintaining relationships with clients and employers and assisting with questions or issues that may arise in the course of the client’s employment.

  • Maintaining contact with employers through site visits, appreciation events, and other means.

  • Liaising between employers and with other Employment Specialists and team members to ensure successful employment placements for clients.

  • Responding to incoming inquiries from employers regarding employment opportunities.

Quality and Compliance

  • Documenting case notes, entering program data, and preparing required reports in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Ensuring that services are delivered in accordance with relevant quality assurance standards.
  • Abiding by the standards of case management and delivery expectation set forth by the IRC, the Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP), the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and in accordance with the requirements of other private and public grant-funded programs supported as applicable.
  • Meeting monthly individual goals and outcomes under Matching Grant, the Colorado Alliance for Refugee Empowerment and Success (CARES) Reach Program, and other donor agreements.


  • Participating in training and professional development relevant to the role.
  • Attending meetings as appropriate and requested by CRSP and/or other state and local partners.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Job Requirements:


· Combination of education and experience normally represented by an undergraduate degree, or equivalent combination of work and lived experience.

Work Experience

· Minimum of 2 years of related professional experience, ideally working with diverse clients in a non-profit setting.

· Lived experience as a refugee or immigrant and/or previous experience working in a resettlement context strongly preferred.

· Previous experience working with job development and job placement is preferred.

Demonstrated Skills & Competencies

· Strong relationship building, diplomacy, and networking skills; ability to effectively build internal and external relationships.

· Demonstrated success working and communicating effectively in an environment that is multi-cultural and multi-lingual; experience using interpreters desired.

· Highly adaptable and flexible self-starter with ability to work independently as well as collaborate with others, juggle multiple priorities, and manage time well to meet deadlines in a demanding work environment.

· Attention to detail and accuracy in work product.

· Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).

· Working knowledge of Salesforce, Efforts to Outcomes (ETO), IRIS, or similar databases is a plus.

· Proficient in English, both written and spoken; proficiency in additional languages spoken by local refugee populations strongly preferred, such as Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Farsi, French, Karenni, Oromo, Pashto, Russian, Sango, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, Ukrainian, or Vietnamese is strong preferred.

· Valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle with current assurance, and the ability to travel regularly throughout the service delivery area.

Working Environment:

  • A combination of standard office environment and remote work.
  • Frequent travel by personal vehicle in and around the service area to work with clients, employers, and community partners.
  • May require occasional weekend and/or evening work.
  • Staff are required to adhere to IRC’s COVID risk mitigation policies, which may include masking, physical distancing, enhanced hygiene practices, symptom screening, and isolation and quarantine when needed. IRC policies may be stricter than federal, state, or local level policies.

COVID-19 Vaccination: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.

Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us at [email protected] to request accommodation.

Compensation and Benefits: This is a full-time, regular position classified as a non-exempt and eligible for overtime under state and federal law. Starting compensation is $21.00 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications. We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, this total compensation package includes: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days depending on role and tenure, medical insurance starting at $120 per month with low to no deductible; dental insurance starting at $7 per month; vision insurance starting at $5 per month; FSA for healthcare, dependent care, and commuter costs; a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested employer matching; disability & life insurance; generous parental leave; and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles. In addition, the IRC in Denver offers annual staff development funds and actively promotes learning and growth for its team members.

How to apply

Please apply on our website:


Closing date: 22-Nov-22