Employers look to connect with job seekers

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Okotoks: McBride Career Group job fair March 8 at Foothills Centennial Centre

Job seekers will have the opportunity to connect with employers and see what Okotoks-area businesses have to offer.

McBride Career Group is hosting its ninth annual Career and Employment Expo at the Foothills Centennial Centre on March 8 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., where more than 25 booths will be set up with potential employers and educational institutes providing information and applications on the spot.

“The career fair includes businesses, continuing education and community resources,” said Dawn Hansen, McBride Career Group project manager of career and employment services.

She said they’re expecting a lot of people to come through the doors, because demand for work is high in the region.

“It’s a great way for businesses to connect with those looking for work,” said Hansen. “People get to know what’s out there, and it brings them together.”

Having educational institutes like Bow Valley College and SAIT attend provides other options for people considering changes in career. Sometimes re-educating can take a person in a new direction or make them more hireable as they acquire new skills, she said.

There will be many seasonal employers at the expo, including golf courses, landscaping companies and places like Kayben Farms, she said.

Judy Kolk, owner of Kayben Farms said they’ve been coming to the career fair for years.

“It’s worked for us, flat out,” she said. “Every year we make some kind of an important connection there, and what I really like about it is the face-to-face.”

Kolk said putting on a career fair is a lot of work, so to be able to attend a third party event is a great advantage.

The timing works well for seasonal employers like Kayben, which are looking for employees to begin in early spring and work through the summer, she said.

Kayben will be hiring up to 35 people to fill five different types of positions, said Kolk. Being able to meet so many people in one place helps with the hiring process ahead of their busy season, she said.

Kolk said the main qualities they’re looking for are coachability, suitability and availability. It’s easier to gauge those criteria in a person when you meet in person rather than just reading a resume, she said.

“We get a chance to talk face-to-face with people in the community who are potentially interested in employment with us but didn’t know all these positions we have open,” said Kolk. “We get a chance to show people the jobs we have available, when they’re going to start, what they look like. It’s a really efficient and effective way for us to connect with a lot of people who might be a good fit.”

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