Starkville business hosts Drive Thru Job Fair

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The traditional job fair may be on hold for now.

With Social distancing guidelines in place, shaking hands and holding close conversations could be risky.

In the past, Job Fairs offered a chance for applicants to interact with future employers in person– increasing their odds of getting a job. Now, they’ll have to rely solely on their resume to get a callback.

Caesare Haynes has been out of a job for more than a month.

“I’ve been able to stay afloat, but it really has done a little damage to my household, but we’re still going and we’re going to keep trucking and get through this,” said Haynes.

He’s familiarized himself with the job hunt.

Filling out applications, turning in resumes, and hoping for the best, but there is one thing he’s never done– a drive-thru job fair.

“I have a lot of experience and I just hope they can use my experience and go from there and get the work that I’m looking for,” said Haynes.

“Due to COVID-19 we have gone this direction just for safety reasons, but to still get that interaction with people,” said Anna Dodd.

Dodd is the co-owner of Express Employment Professionals.

It’s a franchise that has over 800 locations in the U.S.

Dodd got the idea for the unique application process from a location in Tuscaloosa.

“Very successful. They ended up putting like 50 people to work through this job fair, so more and more people are going this route,” said Dodd.

The idea seems to be working in Starkville as well.

“It works fine for me, You know, give them my application, bring a resume, they’ll give you a call if you meet the criteria, so just let that be that,” said applicant Antonio Burnett.

“With COVID it’s a lot more convenient. It’s a little quicker, so I enjoyed it,” said applicant Brittany Phillips.

The process is a short one for drivers, but Dodd said that’s all the time they need.

“Well, you know they say it takes three seconds first impression for someone, to see their motivation and the fact that they come. We just get that general conversation going. Follow up is important because that’s the next step, set up a time and then make sure that they call in at that time,” said Dodd.

Even though those applying will have to settle for a phone interview once selected, they remain optimistic.

“Whatever I have to do to get a job, I’m willing to go through the process of getting one,” said Burnett.

“I hope it shows that I’m diligent and hard working and hopefully, maybe confident,” said Phillips.

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