Sometime over this past holiday weekend, somewhere between the second helping of Aunt Rose’s cranberry-orange relish and Cousin Minnie’s green chili mac and cheese I recalled an article that one of our contributing consultants had written for our web site, see Should Job Fairs Be Part of Your Talent Acquisition Strategy? The first part of the article is below. I think that you will enjoy reading it as much as I did re-reading it, especially since it kept me away from going after that fourth piece of pumpkin bread.
Do you know when the first Job Fair was held in this country? You should. You and millions of other people celebrate that day every year with family, friends and near and far relatives. You celebrate it with lavish meals, roast turkeys, gravy, stuffing, Aunt Mary’s pumpkin pie and Uncle Willie’s green bean casserole. You celebrate it with parades and football games and late night turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce and mayo and plenty of Rolaids. That’s right, the first Job Fair was held as part of the First Thanksgiving. The Job Fair lasted for three days and since there were no restaurants to speak of in 1621, the Indians brought in food to share with the Pilgrims.
The Indians were hosting the Job Fair because they were expanding into new markets and were looking for people with little or no experience in fishing, hunting, corn planting and agriculture. Most of the young braves in the tribes had been promoted to middle management, running small tribes and some in charge of raiding parties. With new markets opening up, there was a need to fill entry-level positions and implement the training programs required to build and sustain a growing enterprise and nation.
The Pilgrims were new to this country and were willing to take any job that would lead to promotion with a good organization. The dollars were not as important as the training and a chance for advancement.
A three day Job Fair was held outside of Plymouth, MA and a number of Indian tribes sent their chief hiring managers to conduct interviews. As a result of the Job Fair, 60 offers were made and 56 Pilgrims accepted. The four who were turned down required relocation and moving expenses.
To celebrate the success of this first Job Fair, a small catered lunch was served to all participants and one Pilgrim was heard to say,” Thanks for Giving me this opportunity.” Thus the First Thanks Giving.
Hope you had a wonderful and happy holiday. I am now off to Wal-Mart to camp out for the early bird specials.