SLC airport hosts job fair, employers looking to hire hundreds of people

Oct 27, 2021, 7:21 PM | Updated: Oct 28, 2021, 10:41 am

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a good thing Ioane Kaotia has a great sense of humor.

His outgoing personality is exactly what makes him stand out.

And when you’re at a job fair, standing out to potential employers is important.

“What kind of position are you looking for?” asked one recruiter.

“I’m looking for a CEO position. Do you have one?” he said with a laugh.

They all laughed.

Kaotia decided to visit the Salt Lake City International Airport job fair Wednesday afternoon.

He already has a full-time job, but was looking to see what other jobs might be out there or if he could supplement his income

“Why not go out and try, you know? See if there’s a good … or whatever kind of job for me,” he said.

Now is a perfect time for job seekers.

Airport managers decided to host this job fair to try and help its vendors, who do business with them, to find much-needed workers.

Everything from food service jobs and airline positions to opportunities in car rentals, security, construction was available.

Because of the current labor shortage, the need for businesses to find workers is a big one.

“It is, and it’s been so unpredictable,” said Garrett Purdy, who is a manager with Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Purdy says he needs workers for all sorts of positions at the airport and pitches potential employees on growing within the company.

“There is definitely some opportunity out there and one of the great things we offer with Enterprise is we’re selling a career, not just a job,” said Purdy.

Other companies are offering signing bonuses to entice workers.

The big selling point is better pay.

“A few months ago, our starting wage was actually $13.50,” said Gino Garcia, who is the general manager for HMSHost. “Now, currently, our starting wage in the food industry is $17 an hour, so we’ve had to make quite an increase.”

HMSHost, which staffs food workers at Salt Lake City International Airport, has more than a hundred open positions for workers.

Garcia has even offered a summer bonus to attract workers during the busy travel months.

For Kaotia, he had three solid job offers within his first 30 minutes of talking to employers at the job fair.

“Would you be interested in an interview?” one woman asked him.

“What time,” Kaotia asked her.

“Right now,” she said.

Since it’s a worker’s market, Kaotia says it’s allowing him, for once, to take his time in finding the one that works best for him.

“Before, yes, people were seeking and looking for jobs,” he said. “Now, the job is coming to your doorstep, you know?”

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SLC airport hosts job fair, employers looking to hire hundreds of people