Blog

Job fairs scenes in Vancouver

Let’s look at different kinds of job fairs in the city.

Last three years, I attended more than 40 small and large job fairs, run by for-profit companies, government-run and not-for-profit organization. More than 80% of job fairs are organized by not-for-profit organizations with government-funded employment programs such as ISS of BC, Mosaic, Success BC, PICS, YWCA, YMCA and so on.

Here is a bit of information about job fairs in the city.
Venue

The size of the venue decides how big the job fair is going to be. Check where it is hosted. If it is running out of WorkBC, YWCA Career zone, and ISS of BC offices, it’s not going to be a large job fair. Larger job fairs are usually hosted at Vancouver convention centre, Croatian Cultural Centre, Vancouver Community College, and Fairmont Hotel.

Organizations like Success of BC use Vancouver Public Library. VPL would be a mid-size job fair with around 30 to 35 boots.

Larger job fairs have 55 to 60 booths and they seem to have the ability to attract larger employers and more selection of companies to attend the job fair.

A well-organized job fair is?

Job seekers expect job fairs to be spacious, presentable, great mix of companies and skill levels, sound travels is good, professional attention and follow up from HR, nice flow of foot traffic and more.

There are two job fairs in Vancouver that meet job seeker's expectations nicely. I would recommend for anyone.

Mosaic

Mosaic is a not-for-profit organization and their Spring 2019 Job fair in early April, expecting to see more than 60 employers and it is hosted at Croatian Cultural Centre. Simply go to Google and search for Mosaic Career & Job fair. Follow their instruction to get yourself a free ticket through Eventbrite. I’ve seen some occasions where there is a line up to enter the venue.

PICS Mega Job Fair

It was this February that PICS (Non-profit) hosted their Job fair at the Croatian Cultural Centre. I think it was just under 60 employers that attended the job fair and it was a well-organized job fair. It’s more than likely that PICS will do another job fair after the spring.

By WorkBC, ISS of BC or Success BC

There are other organizers of course, but these are most commonly seen names that organize smaller job fairs. Smaller job fairs would have around 20 booths or less. Smaller job fairs are a bit calmer, fewer competitions and employers could provide you with more personal attention.

Job fairs by Jobs Canada

A job fair by a private company is called Jobs Canada Job Fair. Until last year, they used Fairmont hotel in downtown Vancouver but in 2019 it is running out of Holiday Inn on Howe and Helmcken. They downsized the event a lot, a mix of employers aren’t as good as previous years and capacity/space is too small.

They run job fairs in every major city across Canada. Maybe this is why the quality of their job fairs aren’t as good as the two larger job fairs mentioned above. Also, their job fairs are too frequent and see too many employers repeat to attend the job fair.

A newcomer to Canada Job Fair

They use the Vancouver Convention Centre. You will see their promotion at least twice a year. From my experience visiting the event more than twice, this is more like an expo than a job fair. If you are new to Canada, it is worth checking it out but for anyone already settled this isn't for you.

A lot of non-profit organizations attend the event to promote their services, private colleges attend the event to attract students. Looking to do some serious job hunting? You wouldn’t get much out of this particular job fair.

Smaller job fairs VS larger job fairs

Smaller or larger jobs fairs, you will always see employers attending to fill retail positions, customer service positions, some entry-level administrative positions, food production and processing positions and so on.

There are benefits to attending smaller job fairs as it is a bit calmer, fewer competitions and more personal attention available when you interact with HR.

Larger job fairs have the ability to attract specialized companies in Engineering, Design, Technology, Automotive, Logistics, Gaming and so on.

Recruiters

Referring to employment agency representatives, they are always attending job fairs, small or large. You might see full-service recruiters that offer temp or permanent job placement for A to Z industries, and some that specialize in health care, construction or others.

For a better understanding of what recruiters can do for you (your job search) follow the link to our recent posting. “What can recruiters do for me?

Conclusion

Going to job fairs is never a bad idea. Going to a smaller one as a warm-up and hitting a larger one after is also a nice strategy.

 

Positions that employers bring to a job fair can vary. Low pay range of $12.65 - $15.00, mid pay range of $16 - $19, and a higher pay range of $20 and up.  Not never, but I rarely see higher paying positions at job fairs.


Another upcoming post in the near future is going to be about how you can make the most out of a job fair.

To Call or Not to Call

This question came up in my recent job search boot camp session. A young lady from Korea applied for an administrative position with a well-known private college in Vancouver. They never responded. She asked If the employer doesn't respond to your application, should you call or just wait?

You should call.

The only time that I would not bother calling or think of a better way to hunt down the person responsible for initial screening is if the job posting clearly says DO NOT CALL.

Assuming that you are QJ (Qualified job seeker) call in after 3 to 5 business days from the job application.

Your call is to let someone know you are QJ, have them look up your job application. That’s all. Don’t ask for an interview or try to sell yourself over the phone. Point them to your job application and that’s it.

Two things will happen from the call.
  1. After your call, they will email you to say that there are other candidates with stronger or relevant experience and they are leaning towards other applicants. Cross this one off and reference this experience when you come across similar opportunities.
  2. They will be happy that your profile was found. It was buried deep. This strategy actually worked for Shaw’s H/Q technical support position. They went deep into their candidate database, found the job seeker's profile, conducted an interview and offered him a position.  

Getting any kind of response is extremely important for a job search. If employers don’t come to you, you need to reach out to them. The thing of it as helping them to find a good candidate.

Hope this posting is going to encourage you to call in and hunt down HR. If they are not happy with you that you called in, cross them off and move on. They only value their time, not job seekers.

What Can Recruiters Do For Me?

I spoke to a Ph.D. graduate this morning. He thought recruiters call companies to find a job for him.  It isn’t just him that has a mixed understanding of what recruiters do or will do for a job seeker.

Recruiters represent the interest of their clients; employers who hire them to find temporary, contract or permanent employees.

Recruiters maintain a database of job seekers, attract people to fill various job openings, screening candidates, reference check and contract handling if needed. For all this work, it is the employer who pays recruiters.  

If you understand how recruiters work, finding recruiters to help you with a job search is a great idea.  But! If you reach out to a recruiter without knowing their role in the job market, your relationship with the recruiter can go cold.

Here are three things you should remember when working through any recruiters to reach the employment goal.

 

1. Can you find me a job?

You need to change this question around so they understand that you recognize recruiter's role.

“Can you tell me if you have job openings that fit my experience and interest?”

 

2. Give them space.

After you meet a recruiter (and only if you made a good impression), email and thank them for their time and future consideration. Give them a week or two, then send out a warm greeting email to remind them of you. Your third follow up email can be another two to three weeks later.

If nothing fruitful come through after 3 respectful follow-up emails, leave them alone. They have no job orders to give you.

3.Take on a small assignment

In most cases, recruiters are risk avoidance and try to assign a new job seeker to a smaller assignment as a warm-up. The smaller assignment can be two to three weeks of temporary fill-in or level of work that’s a lot less important than what you did in the past.

They know their new job seeker's performance very well as employers always give feedback on the new placement provided by the recruitment firm. As soon as the new job seeker become reliable, the recruiter starting throwing greater placement offers.

Working with a recruiter is a great option to enter a new job market and build strong reference. Recruiters you meet at any job fairs are very approachable. Make a great connection with them and don’t forget their role in the job market.

5 Possibilities Why Your Job Search Isn’t Working

When job search isn't going the way you anticipated, we all start processing what is going on and look for reasons why.  

Here are 5 major reasons that you can consider as possible job search obstacles.

 

5 Possible Job Search Obstacles

 

1. Quality of your application

You stayed up until 2 am and sent out 20 job applications. Quality of your job application is probably low.  Send out less, and increase quality.

 

2. You are qualified but…

You are more than qualified according to job knowledge, education and training. But you sell yourself short or confuse readers on a resume and cover letter.

 

3. You are overqualified and…

You are qualified over and beyond the scope of the job. You think you can tell the company that you don’t mind and happy with a job. What about people managing you and their hiring plan and structure? Find a new goal.

 

4. You are not ready for the job.

You are about 50-60% qualified for the job. You should grow your job knowledge little more before applying for the job you aimed to have. Wait until you have 70-80% of qualifications at least. Or look for ways to avoid direct competition with others who apply for the same jobs. Hidden job market?  job fair? Informational interview?

 

5. You have everything but the language.

Who you interact with, whether you manage or direct others, how much writing is involved… all these factors decide how good English proficiency is expected.  Imagine working for a bank. How good of English would you need to gain trust from customers to handle their money?

There is no advise or trick to it. Read a book out loud every night until your reading improve. Invest time or a bit of money by going to an evening class if needed.

 

Share via