Princess career fair attracts hundreds
A career fair at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel attracted hundreds of people, with some of the keenest getting in line well before the doors opened.
The hotel is currently in phase two of a $90 million renovation and redevelopment project and needs to fill 150 full-time positions for 2015. The majority of the positions are new jobs, as opposed to seasonal rehires.
Career fair attendees were eager to find out more about opportunities.
“There were people waiting outside the doors at 9.15am,” said Jeanette Matthew, the hotel's director of the human resources. The event ran from 10am until 2pm yesterday with an estimated 350 people attending during the four hours.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who had expressed an interest in advance, and had gone to our website and prepared for the fair,” said Ms Matthew.
Computer stations were available in a side room for those interested in uploading their resumes and starting the job application process. A steady stream of applicants made use of the computers, while others walked around the Adam Lounge, where different departments were represented at meet-and-greet tables manned by senior staff.
“One of the main objectives was to have people network with department leaders,” explained Ms Matthew. At the food services table the hotel's executive chef chatted to job seekers, at a table nearby it was the hotel's director of sales giving advice and information. Sales and marketing, housekeeping, and engineering were among the other departments represented.
The front office and food and beveridges tables attracted the highest levels of interest, according to Ms Matthew.
Although the fair was open to allcomers, Fairmont was particularly keen to attract graduates and students.
Describing the cross-section of attendees, Ms Matthew said: “One lady was working in the international business sector, but has a passion for hospitality and took advantage of this opportunity.
“There were a few people who said they had been made redundant in the past year and were looking to get back into hospitality.”
One of those seeking a return to the hospitality sector was a 30-year-old man. Asking not to be named, he said: “I'm working, but not full-time. This is a great opportunity where you get to meet senior people face-to-face.”
Another man said he had spent two years out of work and, although he was now employed, came along to see what opportunities were available. Clutching information sheets from a number of the tables the man, who also asked for anonymity, said: “A lot of things are happening now with the America's Cup coming. It's good to see what's available.”
Bermuda Industrial Union president Chris Furbert visited the career fair and said he was encouraged by what he had seen. He said he would like to see more career fairs, and added: “I want to see Bermudians getting jobs.”
There were 278 registered attendees at the fair, although the total number of visitors was estimated to be 350, which included parents, siblings and job seekers who had not previously registered.
When asked if the hotel would do a career fair in the future, Ms Matthew said: “I think we will. There are many reasons why this event has been beneficial. It reminds people of the range of careers available in the hotel environment and it has encouraged people to go through with their applications.
“Even if we are able to meet 25 per cent of our recruitment needs through this career fair it will have been a success.”
Some applicants are all ready well on the way to securing employment at the hotel.
“We have started recruiting,” said Ms Matthew. “We have offered a sales coordinator position to a lady who started the application process early. She came along to the fair with her signed contract.”