Searching for 'diamonds in the rough' at Kelowna job fair - InfoNews

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Searching for 'diamonds in the rough' at Kelowna job fair

Ryan Jones (left) and Keeland Kannan with ProSource Irrigation Supply were at the Kelowna Jobs Fair, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
March 19, 2019 - 5:28 PM

KELOWNA - What does it take to get a job in the current labour market? 

“I’m looking for that diamond in the rough,” the Greyback Construction pperations manager told at the Kelowna Job Fair today, March 19. “I’m looking for the millennial who’s good at math, good with their hands and good at multi-tasking.”

He finds that many job seekers are not good at keeping a list of tasks in their heads.

“You give them four or five tasks to do and they will remember one or two and come back to me to ask about the rest,” he said.

When prospective employees approach him, he does an interview that is a bit of a test to see if they can remember key points raised at the start.

Shauer has been attending career fairs all around B.C. for the past eight years, after spending almost 30 years working in the field, and finds “diamonds in the rough” often enough to make it worthwhile.

With about 200 employees who have an average age of 45, it’s an ongoing challenge to recruit younger workers who have the qualifications and attitude, he said. While resumes are important, it’s the face to face that works best for him.

Over at the ProSource Irrigation Supply table, operations manager Ryan Jones does rate the resume higher.

“The personal gives the first impression but I look over the resumes,” he said. “Little things like spelling errors says something.”

And references are carefully checked.

He’s looking mostly for university or college students to work in the summers and want to come back each year. They still have to have the customer service skills in order to pass muster.

At the Arc Programs table program director Dan Tellier is, first of all, looking for people with the right academic credentials and experience working with youth.

“People who stand out would understand some of the key theories,” he said. “And do they want to be in the industry or just want to get a bit of experience?”

In all, about 20 employers set up booths for the two-hour job fair.

These are held three times a year in Kelowna, Jobs Canada marketing coordinator Danoishan Sinnathamby said.

Cara Walter, left, and Bobby Shauer represented Greyback Construction at a job fair in Kelowna,Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
Cara Walter, left, and Bobby Shauer represented Greyback Construction at a job fair in Kelowna,Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

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