On Thursday, June 23, job seekers will have the opportunity to meet with employers during the “Why Won’t You Hire Me?” Job Fair co-hosted by the Educational Opportunity Center and Women Who Care.
Women Who Care Director Harolyn Benjamin said more companies have been reaching out to the organization in recent months to find potential employees, so she decided to host an event to connect employers with job seekers.
“I created ‘Why Won’t You Hire Me?’ 24 years ago this year after meeting with employees and employers and asking them what they were looking for when seeking employment or employees,” Benjamin said. “The answer was clear, and to be honest, it has not changed a lot. Employers want to hire people who want to work, be committed, and help increase revenue. Potential employees want to be appreciated, respected, and paid a decent wage. Both want less stress and more communication.
“This is our first time making ‘Why Won’t You Hire Me?’ a job-fair instead of what it was created as: workshops that provided speakers that spoke on a variety of topics. Amanda [Petty, EOC Educational Advisor] and I felt having a smaller group of employers would work better,” she said.
The event will be held from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Student Center MPR at Enterprise State Community College. During the event, businesses will be set up to meet with job seekers, who could potentially interview with the company there during the event. Business coaches will also be available to provide feedback to participants, helping them identify their skills and strengths while coaching them on the interview process.
“The economy and the pandemic have changed the recruiting process,” Benjamin said. “There is a greater demand for labor and, in some cases, less conversation about what the other should expect. Having business coaches allows the employers to share insight with individuals seeking employment. Having an opportunity to speak with a potential employer may help the participants ask one-on-one questions and get positive and informed feedback. That might help them secure employment, stay employed, and ultimately create a better work environment and life.”
“As the participants walk around the room, there will be signs that say, for example, this particular company may be hiring, but at another table, a company might be hiring and they are also participating as a business coach,” she said. “The goal of the business coach is to look at that resume and give critical feedback, notice things that the participant might be doing that if mentioned could make a difference in getting that great opportunity.”
Benjamin said Women Who Care is also planning to bring clothing from the organization’s April’s Boutique, for participants who may need an interview outfit.
“My hope… no, my prayer is that someone will be given a chance at a future interview, and they can get their new, free outfit or just a feel-good outfit to step into their new life.”
Job seekers interested in attending the job fair are encouraged to have copies of their updated resume ready to present to employers. The event is free to attend, and no registration is required.
“The Wiregrass Educational Opportunity Center is dedicated to helping individuals improve their quality of life,” EOC Director Jennifer Braden said. “This can be achieved through education and/or through better employment opportunities. Our goal is to help connect our local job seekers with job opportunities or to help them better understand the job seeking experience for future success. We are proud to co-host this job fair with Women Who Care to help our community members and help our local business find reliable employees to hire.”