Thursday, April 07, 2005

The farce of the job fair

I was at the National Job Fair which is being marketted like crazy as the once an year chance to get employers and prospectives together.
Not so.
I went to the fair yesterday around noon. When I found out that there was a cover charge, I mean an entrance fee, my imagination ran wild.
Somewhere in a meeting, some suit informs another that they will not pay the whole amount. Another suit fires back. The first one sits down, and explains that a small cover charge would keep the place from over-crowding and atleast cover the expense of the fortune cookies planned for the event.
And as an immediate result, I was handing out $3.50 to get my five minutes of time with the hiring managers (as claimed in the very informative magazine they provided).
Not so.
Half of the floor was given to 'employment services' and education institutes, meaning I paid $1.75 to be advertised to, by government agencies and private, public institutes. When I asked a lady at one of the booths about a creative writing program, she kindly informed me that the school did have a full fledge english department, and "the details are available on our website, Thankyou, HiHowcanihelpu?"
Then came the agency booths. These are employment agencies that place successful candidates in other companies, and apparently, that is a solid money-making gig in Toronto. Anything other than sales and customer service, and you are better off "checking the website, because it has all the updated information, and it discusses the positions in detail, too." (I have resisted the urge to provide a link to their website.)
A network marketter for financial services, self-employment guides, a volunteer staffed social service booth. Where are the employers, I thought. Lo and behold, they were there, looking for sales and customer service positions... the army wanted field engineers, OPP looking for officers (weren't they short of funds or something?), A protection service showing off an officer dog (I am not being disrespectful, it was a real dog in uniform with a human master/guide/friend, watever the politically correct term is these days) on a leash. I liked the leash though, it certainly added some character.
Two hours later I stepped out, only after providing feedback (looks like they needed it too) on one of the stalls setup for this purpose. Apart from the shoulder bag I had brought with me, I carried a bag with a tremendous amount of web-site addresses, some printed on glossy pamphlets, others on simple white paper, all of which can be compressed into a single page (the technology these days), and put on a webpage on the internet...
But that would drive the fortune cookie guy out of business.
freaking trade-offs.