Nearly 60 exhibitors were on hand for the Central Alberta Job Fair Thursday at the Pidherney Curling Centre in Red Deer.
The RCMP, CN Rail, Sanjel and Precision Drilling were among those seeking to attract new employees at the event.
Aaron Sheppard, Director, Career Assistance Network (CAN), says they made a concerted effort to attract more large-scale employers to the bi-annual job fair.
“CN Rail was a big one, we’re really proud of getting them out here, as well as the RCMP,” says Sheppard. “As well as our guys that have been here the whole time, like Precision for example has been here almost every time we run it, so we try to make sure we have our core, as well as some of the bigger exhibitors.”
Sheppard says their main objective was to offer the 1,500 – 2,000 local job seekers they’re anticipating, a wide variety of potential employers to choose from.
“We have people that are looking to hire people for personal care attendants to work with seniors in long-term care to guys trying to hire for specialized oil and gas jobs or large corporations like CN Rail and the RCMP,” states Sheppard. “You’re going to see a good mixture of people here from professional to blue collar to white collar.”
Sheppard described the hiring climate over the past year as ‘patiently optimistic.’
“There’s still some areas that are really tight right now,” Sheppard admits. “I’d say as an overall climate, positive but patient. Oil and Gas are still doing quite well and they’re looking to get people but some are still having a hard time and bumping back.”
He says the biggest thing to make note of, however, is the fierce competition in the current job market.
“It’s a much more competitive market than most people understand,” states Sheppard. “There’s still work, there’s lots of work available but just make sure that you’re not ‘A candidate’, but that you are ‘The candidate’, you have to really compete. Make an impression, shake a hand but come out and show you’re motivated and willing.
“Per booth here, you’re probably looking at five to ten job openings for an average across the board,” he added. “So you’re looking at 500 - 1,000 jobs instantly that you could grab here so definitely worth your while.”
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