Hiring Spokane businesses and job seekers can connect in ‘speed hiring’ event in effort to fill more jobs

Joey Gates Working At Remedy
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SPOKANE, Wash. – Businesses are struggling to find workers right now. So, the Spokane Hospitality Association is trying to make the process even easier for businesses and job seekers.

On Monday and Tuesday, a speed dating style job fair will take place at the Wonder Building. More than 15 businesses and restaurants will be set up, ready to talk to job seekers and hopefully eventually end up in job offers.

It’s been rough for businesses finding workers these last few months.

Joey Gates is normally working behind the scenes as a chief operating officer for The Goodwin Group, which owns eight restaurants in Spokane. For the last week, Gates has been working as a server at Remedy, a restaurant they own.

There aren’t enough people to work at Remedy or across many other businesses in the Inland Northwest. Gates says he’s barely hired more than 15 people in the last five months. In some instances, Gates said he’d set up interviews with candidates and then they never show.

“Ive never heard of it ever being this tough,” he said.

That’s why Gates will be part of the speed hiring event, hoping to connect with people looking for a job.

In the event, job seekers will be put in a group and sit in front of different employers for 10 minutes. That group of people looking for a job will be rotating around to talk with other business owners.

The Spokane Hospitality Coalition says there’s no need for resumes or experience. Board member Bryan Toston said the hospitality industry is exciting and moves fast; they wanted the hiring process to be a reflection of that.

Businesses like Remedy, David’s Pizza and Davenport Hotels will be there.

“We’re willing to take you in. We’ll train you and again provide some great benefits while we do that. I think that what was attractive for us participating in this event, we need to be able to cast that net as wide as we can to find anybody that’s interested in joining a great company,” said Matt Jensen, the corporate director of sales and marketing with Davenport Hotels.

The Washington Hospitality Association says it’s been short nearly 90,000 workers since the start of the pandemic. There are people still on unemployment and some have left the hospitality industry to find more stable jobs elsewhere.

“It’s a crisis we’ve not been through before, just like everything else in the last 14 months,” said Anthony Anton, the CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association.

To try and be creative and move past all this, businesses and people like Gates are trying out something new, hopefully finding more workers through the speed hiring event.

“I hope many restaurants can at least land one person. Whether it’d be front of the house or back of the house, just looking to hire one person, that’s where we’re at. Baby steps,” Gates said.

The event is on Monday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. then again on Tuesday, June 8, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. People looking for a job will need to register online first, letting businesses know what they’re looking for to make the process go more smoothly and quickly. Click here for more information on which businesses will be there and to register.

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