Job Developer/Retention Specialist

Please see details about this job below. To apply, click here for the job application.

As a result of the COVID-19 hiring slow down, please note that this position will have a July 1st or later start date.

The Opportunity

CEO is seeking to hire a strong communicator and resilient individual who thrives when engaging and supporting others to serve as a Job Developer/Retention Specialist (JD/RS) in our Memphis office. The JD/RS increases the range of employment opportunities available to our participants using participant interests, experiences, and ambitions as foundation for job placements and for the identification and cultivation of potential employers for portfolios.

The JD/RS also supports participants in retaining full-time employment once they become employed outside of CEO and is essential to ensuring participant longevity in the workforce which can drastically reduce the rate of recidivism. A successful JD/RS understands customer relationship management and works to build strong and trusting relationships with participants and employers. 

Who We Are

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)Opens a New Window. provides employment services to people with recent criminal convictions. Across the United States, over 6,000 people participate in CEO each year, transitioning to employment that supports themselves, their families, and their communities.

What began as a demonstration project of the Vera Institute of Justice in the 1970s to address employment barriers facing the formerly incarcerated following release in New York City has grown into the leading reentry employment organization in the country, where over 25,000 formerly incarcerated individuals have secured full-time employment since 1996. Since 2009, CEO has gained support to expand its programs through government, nonprofit, and private organizations including the Federal Social Innovation Fund, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation. In 2016, CEO embarked on a 5-year strategic plan to grow to serve 9,000 participants annually.

Who You Are

  • You’re deeply dedicated to social justice and perhaps are already working in the re-entry space
  • You preferable come to CEO with experience in retention services, case management. workforce development, recruitment, or sales/account management
  • You enjoy networking and cultivating lasting relationships with people and businesses, helping them understand how our work helps them achieve their business goals
  • You have excellent interpersonal and written communication skills with the ability to adjust to particular personalities and interaction styles on the spot
  • You’re resilient and never give up, anticipating and addressing challenges along the way while keeping your eye on the end goal
  • You’re passionate about making an impact in people's lives and interested in guiding them to achieving their career goals through feedback, accountability and empathy
  • You’re able to take into account and analyze various points of view and data to form a perspective appropriate to a particular context
  • You demonstrate consistent dedication in the face of adversity, adaptability and flexibility
  • You have strong time management, prioritization, and project management skills; you can identify the steps of a project, set deadlines, and hold self and others accountable
  • You’ve demonstrated the ability to navigate technological systems quickly
  • You preferably have a Bachelor’s degree (ideally with a focus in criminal justice, public administration, psychology, social work, or a related liberal arts field)
  • Bilingual (Spanish) preferred

Major Responsibilities

Key responsibilities of the JD/RS include but are not limited to:

Job Development

  • Conducting reviews of existing CEO business partnerships regularly, evaluating employer demand and usage of CEO services and determining improvements and ways to leverage relationships with employers to meet CEO’s placement metrics
  • Serving as the face of CEO to prospective employers
  • Researching, conducting outreach to, and building relationships with prospective employers willing to hire CEO participants and who have hiring needs that match the skills, experience, and interests of our overall participant cohort
  • Maintaining relationships with existing employer partners
  • Scheduling and conducting daily prospecting, cold calls, and face-to-face meetings
  • Serving as the liaison among employers, participants, and our criminal justice partners
  • Screening participants to ensure readiness to enter job market
  • Matching program participants with employment opportunities, taking into consideration each participant’s skills, work experience, interests, and goals and aspirations
  • Customizing participants’ resumes to fit identified opportunities
  • Managing a caseload of participants, supporting and coaching them around applying for jobs, navigating the hiring process, and finding and securing right fit employment


  • Achieving targeted participant retention outcomes of 90, 180, and 365 days of full-time employment through communication and relationship management
  • Maintaining frequent contact with participants
  • Researching and connecting participants to educational and vocational opportunities related to their short- and long-term goals
  • Providing participants with relevant resources to keep them engaged in CEO’s program and the workforce for 12 months from the start of full-time job placement
  • Advocating for participant needs with parole officers and other constituencies
  • Distributing retention incentives to participants

Administrative Support

  • Documenting all participant and employer contact, activities, and outcomes in our case management system (Salesforce)
  • Performing other job-related duties and responsibilities assigned from time to time

Compensation and Benefits

The salary for this position is $40,000. We also offer a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage, paid parental leave, participation in a retirement plan, sick and vacation leave, paid holidays and more. We're a workplace that promotes continual learning and teamwork, offering lunch and learns, team outings, holiday gatherings and more for our staff.

Please click here for the job application.