Driving to the airport Saturday morning, cars were backed up for blocks – but not to get to the terminal. Drivers were all heading to a job fair at the Renaissance Hotel.
“We’ve got over 60 retailers here, as well as our contract service providers all looking to fill approximately 1,000 jobs,” said Jason Bos, Premium Outlet Collection’s general manager.
“There was lineups outside on the street so the turnout’s been fantastic and exceeded our expectations.”
At one point, the floor was so full, people had to squeeze past one another to get from booth to booth. It’s a good problem for retailers to have.
“Oh my God this is one of the best turnouts we’ve ever seen at a job fair. People are excited for this premium mall to open,” Levi’s area manager, Marko Prasad, said.
His company alone is looking to hire 30 people this weekend, both full and part time for the third Levi’s store in the Edmonton area.
“They come and sit with us for about five minutes, we talk to them, then we get them to apply online on the spot and then we hire them,” he explained.
That’s music to the ears of Nicole Jefferson.
“I’ve been working at my one job for about three years now and I just wanted something else,” she said.
She was hoping to show off her bubbly personality and can-do attitude to prospective employers. She came to the job fair armed with 20 resumes and handed out each and every one.
Just a few minutes down the road, construction is ongoing at the mall.
“At this stage in construction we’re at the phase where the tenants are building out their spaces – ready to open for May 2,” Bos said.
The new mall will feature 100 retailers when all the spaces are filled. But any potential employees should be ready to start as early as April.
“We need them to get trained, so they can learn our culture and our values,” Prasad said.
And if you’re in the market for a job, you’ll want to make a good first impression.
“My one advice would be to be prepared to come back for your second interview within the same day. Be prepared, be happy. They’re going to go to a lot of booths – just think about what brand you really want to align with.”
The job fair continues Sunday from 11-4 at the Renaissance Hotel connected to the airport. Based on Saturday’s parking challenges, Ivanhoe Cambridge is encouraging people to park in EIA’s lot as well.
“We are offering free parking if you park in the hourly parkade at the Edmonton International Airport. We are offering parking tickets,” Bos explained.