SUCCESS STORY FROM LAST YEAR
Tips for employers
Just a few things to keep in mind before you attend the Job Fair
The most basic of information you need to know about the Job Fair
When Christina Jones of Rocky Top Catering walked in the door of the Wake County Hospitality Job Fair last year she didn’t know what to expect. Her first reaction was that it was all a bit overwhelming. Her low-key approach of a sign and a laptop seemed overshadowed by the elaborate displays from some of the well-known companies. But she decided to give it a shot. And she’s glad she did!
As a direct result of being at the Job Fair, Christina was able to hire five employees for the catering business. And nearly a year later, all five are still with the company.
When asked what she looked for in potential employees at the fair, Christina said that just by attending the fair she knew these candidates were genuinely interested in working in the hospitality field. And that matters. As Christina explains to all her new employees, the catering business is there for their clients whether it is a wedding, a sporting event or business function. “We are there for their best days. We take away the stress,” she says.
Rocky Top Catering employees approximately 500 people. Most are part-time, and the number fluctuates seasonally. In addition to event catering at their two venues and others, Rocky Top Catering is the exclusive caterer for UNC’s Blue Zone, and they operate the food service at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Christina will be at the 2019 Wake County Hospitality Job Fair, and she’ll be looking to fill positions for servers, culinary and others.
Networking at the Job Fair
If all that Christina Jones of Rocky Top Catering gained from the 2018 Wake County Hospitality Job Fair was the five employees she hired, that would be a success. But thanks to some networking, she and her company gained even more.
When Christina talks about the Job Fair, she is quick to mention that it is where she met Kathy Keith of Community Partnerships, Inc. (CPI). The two developed a working relationship that is benefiting both of them as well as several people served by CPI.
With experienced therapists, job coaches, case managers and other professionals, CPI provides much-needed services to both children and adults with developmental disabilities, adults with brain injuries and adults with mental illnesses and/or substance use disorders. Part of their mission is to help their clients find and maintain competitive-wage jobs in the area.
That’s where the partnership with Rocky Top Catering comes in. After meeting Kathy at the job fair, a relationship began and Christina was eventually able to hire some of CPI’s clients. Their relationship has gotten even stronger as Christina now serves on CPI board of directors.
It all goes to show the power and impact of networking, finding ways of working together for the greater good.
-Story by Laura McGill