New Brunswick

Fredericton hotel struggles to fill positions

A Fredericton hotel is getting creative in its efforts to find workers, by offering a free appetizer for all applicants, and a $200 bonus for all new hires.

Delta Fredericton holds its own job fair, offering gifts and hiring bonuses

Management at the Delta Fredericton hotel are getting creative to fill job vacancies. (CBC)

New Brunswick's unemployment rate may be hovering around 10 per cent, but a Fredericton hotel has had to get creative to find workers.

The Delta Fredericton hotel has struggled to find skilled kitchen staff and housekeepers.

So, it held a job fair on Friday with a free appetizer for all applicants, and a $200 bonus for all new hires.

General manager Sara Holyoke said there were 13 to 15 permanent full-time and part-time vacancies.

Holyoke said she would have expected the positions to be easier to fill.

"I've got to be honest, it surprises me too. All the time, I will hear things like 'keep New Brunswickers in New Brunswick,'" said Holyoke.

"We thought, 'if we're going to do this, let's do it with a bang, and do it different.'"

Holyoke said most of the vacancies she is looking to fill are for culinary and housekeeping positions, but the hotel also needs food and beverage servers, and front desk staff.

She said the job fair event appeared to be working, with around 50 people arriving in the first hour.

"Within 15 minutes of us opening, HR called us and said 'we need all hands on deck,'" said Holyoke.

Screaming for work

Job seeker Kevin Fallis said he'd be happy to work at the front desk or in housekeeping.

"That deeply surprises me that someone's having a hard time finding workers, because everyone's screaming for work, so I'm happy to hear they're getting a turnout, and happy that they were looking," said Fallis.

"I like how they incentivized it. They gave us little gifts for free appetizers which is nice, and the $200 bonus. If we weren't coming before, we all want 200 extra bucks in our pocket, so why not?"

Education student Andrew Sandford said the event shows that there are jobs out there.

"I don't think that the decrease in job opportunities is any representation of why people can't work. I feel like if you want a job, just go out and get one," said Sandford.

"I was actually going to do research for my education degree, and I heard about this and I figured it was a prime opportunity."