This year’s fair had a record attendance of more than 5,700 visitors who enjoyed an opportunity to discuss career options with representatives of 137 different companies and organizations.
Kirandeep Gill, a human resources generalist and member of Epic Opportunities’ recruitment team, said career fairs such as the one at Red River College are important in attracting new employees to the organization as well as promoting it within the community.
“It’s a great way to promote the organization to people who might be interested in working in the field…and to show disability support work as a career rather than just a job,” she said.
“It’s also another way to get out in the community and advocate about the great things we do,” Gill added. “A lot of people don’t know about organizations like Epic and the work we do.”
Carey Richards was one of a handful of Epic Opportunities employees who attended the Red River fair and spoke with visitors about career opportunities in the community living sector. She said one of the most commonly asked questions by people visiting the Epic Opportunities booth was what kind of skills and experience are needed to work in the community living field.
Richards said she was encouraged by the number of individuals who had researched the organization and were familiar with its values.
“It’s encouraging that people are becoming more focused on values and not just the job,” said Richards, a co-ordinator and member of the Epic Opportunities recruitment team.
“When I have an opportunity to work at a career fair it reignites the passion for supporting individuals. Being able to talk to people about all the rewarding experiences reminds me how grateful I am to be in this field.”
Gill said career fairs such as Red River’s play a vital role in attracting new staff to Epic Opportunities. At least 79 of the 534 resumes the organization received this past January were from individuals who visited a career fair. Last year, more than 350 people submitted a resume as a result of attending a career fair. Thirty of those individuals were invited to take part in formal interviews and 15 were hired later that year.
“Job fairs are great because we get to put a face to a piece of paper. At the same time we can show the type of people who work in the organization,” Gill said.
Epic Opportunities also participated in the recent 2014 Rotary Career Symposium, held March 18 and 19 at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg. More than 13,000 visitors attended this year’s event which featured in excess of 200 exhibitors.
While the majority of attendees were high school students, Gill said the Rotary Career Symposium is a valuable opportunity to introduce Epic Opportunities to young people who may be interested in working in the community living sector in the near future.