Seekers have advantage during record-breaking job fair

Local News

A record-breaking 350 employers were seeking new hires at the WorkForce Job Fair Wednesday, May 16, at the Neal S. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall in Honolulu. 

There were more than 30 new employers at the event, which organizers called “shocking.” 

The historically low unemployment rate gave more than 3,000 job seekers an advantage.

“We’ve had historic low unemployment for about a year now,” said Beth Busch, executive director of WorkForce Hawaii. “What we’re seeing is the long-term effect of that, and now we’re seeing no people left to hire and employers having to do a lot more to find people.”

“You’re going to see a lot more sign-on bonuses, and incentives and referral bonuses and they’re offering things like lower requirements and more flexibility, or maybe you can work part-time from home, anything to make it easier for that person to take that job,” Busch added.  

Hawaii Pacific Health was looking for high school graduates to fill 50 patient service representatives and nurse aide positions. Candidates need only one year of customer service experience. Pay starts at $19 per hour. 

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard extended its Direct Hiring Authority mandate from critical to all positions. Job seekers whose resumes qualified were interviewed, and some received a contingent job offer on the spot. 

The DHA mandate allows job seekers a shortcut that makes the hiring time only 60 to 90 days. 

Employers at the event, which included retail, hospitality, and government sectors, did on-the-spot interviews and even made offers to new employees.

All ages were in attendance as companies sought recent graduates and mid- to upper-management positions. 

The next job fair will be held in September.

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