Poor show at hotel career fair

Only three people show up

Despite recent claims that school leavers are not getting jobs locally, only three job-seekers turned out to a career fair at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Tuesday evening.

With some 50 jobs currently available at the high-end resort, this was the first in a series of three such career fairs being held by the hotel on Grand Cayman over the next few weeks.

Commenting on the poor turnout, the hotel’s Director of Human Resources Janette Goodman said, ‘For us it was long evening. But it’s the first of three so we’re not going to sweat the small stuff.’

The next career fair will be held at UCCI this coming Tuesday, 11 August and the following one is to be held at John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay on Tuesday, 1 September. Both will take place from 5 to 6.30pm.

The career fair had been advertised in the Caymanian Compass and there will be further advertisements along with exposure on local radio about the others, said Ms Goodman.

The hotel also reached out to the Department of Employment Relations to promote the job fair.

The various positions currently on offer include positions in areas such as finance, rooms, food and beverage, culinary, operations and engineering.

Examples include: front desk agents, housekeeping, laundry washperson, bell person, kids’ activities co-ordinator, assistant director food and beverage, stewards, cooks, engineer.

They are looking to fill the positions for November.

Interim General Manager Franz Ferschke said, ‘What we are hoping to achieve from this career fair is very simple: great, talented unique Caymanians who will help us to continue with the Ritz-Carlton service tradition and hopefully to find future leaders. It’s very simple; we are looking for the best.’

Ms Goodman said a lot of the positions require basic skills such as eye contact, wanting to be with people, service oriented people and who enjoy an environment that’s fast paced.

‘Every guest experience is different so it’s learning and growing and thinking on your feet,’ she said.

She said a willingness to learn and work hard is needed and they look at past experience. ‘But we can certainly train you on our service standards for being a waiter or a host, with the exception of ‘Blue’, as we would look for people with five diamond or luxury restaurant experience.’

The hotel held a job fair last year in November that about 20 people turned out to. ‘We filled a few of the positions. At that time we were pretty close to our season so we had hired the bulk of the positions which is why we came out earlier this year,’ she explained.

This job fair focuses on career opportunities at the Ritz-Carlton and the aim is to help people to understand the opportunities the company can hold for prospective employees.

On hand were staff members to talk to attendees.

‘We wanted to have a group of people that you can sit down and talk to and say, ‘How did you start and why did you choose this career path?” said Ms Goodman.

For instance, she herself started out as a front desk clerk and the current General Manager started out as a cook.

‘It’s not just always a job to keep you busy over the summer – sometimes it can keep you busy over a lifetime,’ she said.

Ms Goodman said they are hoping to attract school leavers as well as those currently in the job market or anyone who many find themselves looking for work.

‘What we are hoping to achieve from this career fair is very simple: great, talented unique Caymanians who will help us to continue with the Ritz-Carlton service tradition and hopefully to find future leaders. It’s very simple; we are looking for the best’ – Interim General Manager Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Franz Ferschke

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