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 job seeker is the primary source of information and drives the process. The Customized Employment process begins with an exploration phase, which lays the foundation for employment planning. 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.

Suitable employment for job seekers with complex lives rarely comes from newspaper want ads, job postings; online career ads, or signs in shop windows. Customizing the relationship between employers and job seekers can offer an effective alternative. Employment professionals need to get beyond comparative, competitive evaluation strategies and embrace a more person-focused strategy-job seeker exploration using a discovery approach.